With Gucci’s return to the menswear catwalk calendar, continued strong sales of Italian fashion, and a farewell to the virtual show trend due to the pandemic, all the systems are in place for Men’s Fashion Week in Milan on Friday. start moving.
The presentation of the Fall-Winter 2023/2024 men’s collections continues with hopeful spectacle and optimism through Tuesday after a year of the strongest growth in Italian fashion sales in the last 20 years.
Of the 79 shows, only 4 are digital. It’s a holdover from the debilitating pandemic period, when sales plummeted and live runway shows were cancelled.
Fashion consultant Elisabetta Cavatorta told AFP there is no substitute for “live experience, enthusiasm, anticipation, applause, top models parading down the catwalk and powerful music.”
Most highly anticipated is fashion powerhouse Gucci, who is hosting an all-menswear show for the first time in three years.
This is the first time since the abrupt departure of artistic director Alessandro Michele in November.
With the bold and colorful collection that permeated the 1970s, Michele gave it new life after being tapped in 2015 to revive sales of the famous brand with its world-famous green and red stripe logo. rice field.
Sales of Kering’s flagship brands exploded by 44% in 2018, but growth over the past two years has lagged its competitors.
“It remains to be seen whether the departure of Alessandro Michele will initiate a reorientation for the fashion house,” said Cavatorta.
As to who will succeed Gucci, the fashion world is waiting with bated breath for news of Michele’s successor.
Armani, Prada, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and Zegna are among the big labels planning to launch men’s collections in the Italian fashion capital.
But there are also exiles, including Versace, who plans to present its men’s and women’s collections simultaneously in Los Angeles on March 10.
Despite the war in Ukraine and the impact of the energy crisis on energy-intensive fashion supply chains, Italian fashion sales rose 16% to €96.6 billion ($104.4 billion) last year.
“This is the highest earnings in the last 20 years,” said Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian Chamber of Fashion and Commerce, in a presentation ahead of last month’s show.
Inflation played a role as fashion prices in Italy rose by about 9% in 2022, but the rise is “a positive sign as we close out a year marked by dramatic events and difficult times.”
Exports of ‘Made in Italy’ fashion increased by 18.7 percent in the first nine months of last year, driven by demand in the United States and the Gulf States, with exports both surging more than 50 percent.
Sales to China grew modestly by 18.8%, while exports to Russia fell by 26% following the invasion of Ukraine.
But one area where the impact of the Covid-19 crisis is still being felt in Milan is the absence of Chinese buyers.
Despite the lifting of coronavirus-related health restrictions by Beijing authorities, the number of buyers traveling to the city for the show will be “limited,” Capasa said.