22-28 February 2012. Milanís Fashion Week, which presents the womenís collections for coming autumn/winter 2012, has just started with great expectations.
The programme includes over 135 catwalks and showrooms, by internationally acclaimed brands as well as emerging designers. Gucci officially inaugurated the Milan fashion week on 22 February, while Giorgio Armani will close catwalks on Monday 27 February. New entries will introduce their collections on 28 February, when the fashion shows move to Paris.
In a time of economic recession, which has hit the European government spending, employment and consumersí outlook, Italian fashion houses are particularly oriented towards the Asian market and other luxury shoppers.
According to the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, after two consecutive years of growth sales of Italian fashion are forecast to be down 5.2 per cent in 2012 from 5.5 per cent growth last year. Mario Boselli, president of Italyís Fashion Chamber, revealed that fashion environments particularly fear that this yearís trend will retrace the one of 2008 and 2009, when fashion sales dropped 15 per cent. But hopefully this wonít happen, because brands have slimmed down their operations and expanded in emerging countries. Less known brands are expected to suffer from the crisis, while global luxury makers, such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Prada, expect to escape almost untouched and exports outside the European Union should grow two per cent this year.