Milan fashion polishes its image

Milan women’s fashion is due for a boost this year amid concerns that it has been losing out to New York (4-12 Sept), London (13-17 Sept) and Paris (24 Sept-2 Oct).

For the spring/summer 2014 collections Italy’s fashion house Costume National is back in Milan previewing its collection this autumn after two decades in Paris, and eight fashion houses will hold shows in Milan for the first time. These include German designer Philipp Plein and Italy’s Fausto Puglisi, who has a big following in the States.

However Dolce&Gabana are absent following the high profile tax fraud case earlier this year which is now under appeal. And Milan is still smarting after Burberry took its men’s collection to London in June.

Italy’s fashion industry remains in crisis with the Chamber of Fashion predicting a 2.5 per cent fall in sales this year, the second consecutive year of bad figures, largely due to the fall in domestic sales.

Accusations of racism have also come from American super model of the 1970s Bethann Hardison, who has sent four letters on behalf of The Diversity Coalition to the organizers of fashion weeks in London, Milan, New York and Paris raising the issue that design houses employ predominantly white models, using at most one black model a season. Hardison, Naomi Campbell and Iman have also appeared on US television talk shows and Iman has stated that the situation for black models (men and women) is worse now than in was in the 1970s.