Milan kicks off an intense Fashion Week on Tuesday with Gucci and Tom Ford in the spotlight
After London, Milan is taking over with an exciting line-up. The programme includes: 176 shows, presentations and a host of events. No fewer than eleven new names are joining the runway schedule, from first-timers to major returnees, with a programme dedicated to the women's ready-to-wear collections for Spring/Summer 2024 packed with highlights. Tom Ford, Gucci and Bally are putting on shows with their new creative directors, Moschino is celebrating its 40th anniversary and Moncler and Pharrell Williams are launching their latest collab. The excitement is at its peak.
The first day, Tuesday, is kicking off with a host of events, before giving way to the fashion shows. These include the Breast Cancer fashion show, organised with a range of new-generation Italian designers to raise public awareness of cancer research; the Milano Moda Graduate show, featuring up-and-coming talent from Italian fashion schools, to honour the best student of the year; and the "Maestri d'Eccellenza" ("Masters of Excellence") awards, promoted by Fendi in conjunction with the Italian Fashion Chamber (CNMI) and the Confartigianato confederation of craftsmen, to reward the best craftsmen in Italy. And don't forget Calzedomania, the evening party and immersive experience organised around the world of tights by the Calzedonia group.
On Wednesday, the Week gets down to business with no fewer than thirteen shows, including those by Fendi, Roberto Cavalli, Antonio Marras, Etro and Diesel, which once again opens its doors to the public in an unusual format. A total of 59 physical shows are scheduled over the five days, compared to 54 last February, complemented by five digital shows closing on Monday 25 with Pillings, Guido Vera, Maison Mencioni, Phan Dang Hoang and Laura Biagiotti. Added to this are brands positioning themselves outside the catwalk calendar, such as Benetton and Annakiki, who are now included in the programme of events, and Francesca Liberatore, who will be walking the catwalk this Tuesday 19 at the Milan Fair during Lineapelle, the show dedicated to leather.
On Thursday 21, the spotlight will be on the American label Tom Ford, which has chosen the Lombardy capital to inaugurate its new chapter with new designer Peter Hawkings at the helm. On the same day, Prada will be on show, while Moschino, which has been without a creative director since the departure of Jeremy Scott in March, will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a collection signed by four of the most influential designers of the moment: Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Katie Grand, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson and Lucia Liu. The same day will see Francesca Murri's first collection for the relaunch of Fiorucci, as well as the debut of Matthew Adams Dolan as head of women's collections at Jacob Cohën and Lucia De Vito at Fabiana Filippi.
The following day, on Friday, Sabato De Sarno's eagerly-awaited first show for Gucci will be unveiled in the Brera district, right in the centre of town, to kick-start the relaunch of Kering's star label. Conversely, on the same day Walter Chiapponi will present his last show for Tod's. On the same Friday, Versace, Boss and Luisa Beccaria return, while Aigner returns to the calendar on Thursday. As for Chiara Boni La petite Robe, billed as a new name in Milan Fashion Week, she will in fact be making her comeback on Sunday 24 after several years at New York Fashion Week.
Other shows will also be closely watched. Take Bally, for example. On Saturday 23, the Swiss shoemaker will unveil the first collection by Simone Bellotti, who succeeds Rhuigi Villaseñor, who left in May. On the same day, The Attico's very first fashion show is also eagerly awaited. The luxury ready-to-wear brand, considered one of the coolest of the moment, was launched in 2016 by Gilda Ambrosio and Giorgia Tordini and is 49% owned by Remo Ruffini, the boss of Moncler, via the company Archive. Saturday is sure to be a busy one, with the heavyweights of Made in Italy Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni and Bottega Veneta also on show.
Also on Saturday, don't miss the very first Milan show by Nigerian designer Papa Oyeyemi, who founded the androgynous Maxivive label in 2007. Maxivive stands out for its creative fashion, rich in materials, cuts, details and finishes, with African influences only hinted at. Also to watch on Sunday 24 are the first steps on the Milan catwalks of Swedish brand Rave Review, founded in 2017 by Josephine Bergqvist and Livia Schück, known for its designs based on recycled upholstery fabrics, and its compatriot Avavav, also launched in 2017, by Linda and Adam Friberg, who rely on Florentine craftsmanship with a responsible approach. Joined in 2020 by Sweden's Beate Karlsson, who is the creative director, it has gained in visibility creating buzz with a caustic sense of humour.
Four names are missing from February's winter edition. Japanese designer Atsushi Nakashima, who joined Milan Fashion Week in February 2016, alternating between shows and presentations, Mauro Simionato's experimental label Vitelli, Anglo-Nigerian designer Ineye Tokyo James, and Japanese designer Tomo Koizumi. Invited last season by Dolce & Gabbana, he is succeeded this autumn by London-based Brazilian Karoline Vitto, whose designs exalt the female body.
It's a rich week ahead, with young African, Hungarian and Ukrainian designers also being showcased through a range of initiatives. Other not-to-be-missed parallel events include the Green Fashion Oscars, the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards 2023, celebrated on Sunday 24 by the Italian Chamber of Fashion, as well as a number of exhibitions, including one devoted to the photographers Luigi & Iango.
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