Milan Fashion Week exceeds expectations, says Italian fashion chief

Organisers of Italy's Milan Fashion Week say this year's event has been a huge success, attracting big name models, guests, and buyers from around the world.

The president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, Carlo Capasa, believes the six-day event with 170 shows and performances exceeded all expectations. "We feel this incredible energy across the city, people are very happy to come back to a live show," he said.

Designer Brunello Cucinelli is among the quintessential Made in Italy brands to make a physical return after a two-year hiatus.

Kendall Jenner presents a creation from the Prada Fall-Winter 2022/2023 collection during Fashion Week in Milan. /Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters

Kendall Jenner presents a creation from the Prada Fall-Winter 2022/2023 collection during Fashion Week in Milan. /Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters

Famous for his cashmere creations, Cucinelli wanted to promote accessibility and sustainability this year, with models mingling with guests and buyers in an intimate winter garden setting.

"We wanted to start Fashion Week by celebrating something we all need: physicality. To be together again after two years and share a desire to return to a normal life," he said.

The philanthropist says the post-pandemic buyer is conscious not to consume, but to utilise.

"There is a new trend to buy important pieces, maybe less than before, but that you never throw away," he said. "People want to be elegant, as in 1920 when, after the pandemic and the war, Edward the VIII said '"let's dress well.'"

It's a sentiment shared by other big-name designers who returned to the catwalk this year, with soft chiffon designs by Fendi showcased by international model Bella Hadid and sheer dresses and feathered jackets paraded by another headline act, Kendall Jenner.

The return of Milan Fashion Week signals a significant recovery for the whole industry, after the sector lost $27 billion USD in the first year of the pandemic.

"In Italy, fashion is the second industry, and we had a big crash in 2020, we passed from making 100 billion euros a year to 76 billion. We recovered two-thirds of what we lost in 2021 and we hope to recover the rest in 2022," says Capasa.

Cucinelli senses an optimism among designers. "The atmosphere is completely different because everyone is talking about projects for the next three to five years, so there is a sense of serenity," he said.

A serenity perhaps reinforced by the official end of Italy's state of emergency next month, signalling a spring of hope for the fashion sector.

"We have the culture of artisanship, fashion and lifestyle and so when we would like to sell clothes, we would also like to sell a piece of our Italian culture," enthused Cucinelli.

Search Trends