Giogio Armani joins the National Chamber of Italian Fashion

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Armani was prompted to join up following the decision by Costume National’s Ennio Capasa to bring his own runway presentations back to Milan after 20 years in Paris. 

The 79-year-old designer had previously refused to become a member of the chamber unless all the Italian members committed to showing in Italy, but has had a change of heart following the Costume National move this summer. 

“While I still believe that all Italian brands should hold their fashion shows in Italy to give due prominence to our country, as an entrepreneur I understand that certain situations, created over the years, need time to be reorganised. I appreciate the move made by Ennio Capasa, which constitutes an important first step in this direction,” said Armani.

He described his decision as a “strong signal of commitment and confidence aimed at boosting an upswing in the vitality of Italian fashion,” which has suffered as London and New York have grown in status over the past decade.  

With husband and business partner Patrizio Bertelli a key member of the chamber, Miuccia Prada of course presents her main line in Milan, but has shown her Miu Miu collection in Paris since 2006. It’s a state of affairs apparently designed to give the designer enough time between the two events. Nonetheless, it won’t allay fears that Milan is losing out to the other fashion capitals, especially as Miu Miu announced this week that their creative teams and PR & marketing operation would be moving to Paris on a permanent basis. 

Qatari-owned, but Italian-based luxury brand Valentino also shows both men’s and womenswear lines in Paris rather than Milan, and the label recently showed a full China-exclusive collection in Shanghai. 

So will we see other Italians heading home, and will we see foreign brands like Burberry (who used to show their men’s collections in Milan) tempted back? Who’s to say? With the increasingly international appetite for luxury fashion, and special one-off shows in shifting locations (just last month Armani himself held a show in New York City), the fashion calendar seems to be in a permanent state of flux. Watch this space.

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