Milan Fashion Week unveils phygital programme for Fall/Winter 2021-22
Following the marathon of virtual menswear shows in January, the women's ready-to-wear fashion weeks are fast approaching. While London has announced an entirely digital calendar running from 19 to 23 February, Milan has joined New York (14-17 February) in planning the return of some 15 physical shows and presentations, including one from new brand Del Core, in the presence of a handful of buyers and journalists. The remaining brands will mainly present their collections via the digital platform launched by the Camera della Moda Italiana (CNMI), which will host 61 runway shows, 52 presentations and six events from 23 February to 1 March.
"It's a very well structured calendar, with an interesting programme for each day. In total, we'll have 124 sessions, including, for the first time, a digital interview with Brunello Cucinelli. Furthermore, as in September, our platform will offer parallel events focused on themes that are important to us, such as sustainable development, diversity and inclusion," explained CNMI president Carlo Capasa during a video conference. He also reminded his audience that the fashion week's opening will feature a film directed by Beninamino Barrese, which pays hommage to Beppe Modenese, one of Capasa's illustrious predecessors as CNMI president and an avid promoter of Italian-made fashion.
Excluding the notable absence of Versace, which announced on Thursday that it has opted to reveal its collection with a video to be launched on 5 March (which is to say after the end of the official calendar) all of the major Milan Fashion Week regulars are present and correct. This includes Valentino, which has confirmed its participation in the Milanese event for the second season in a row, following years of shows in Paris.
It's a tightly packed programme then, and one which looks to be full of highlights. Starting with Fendi, which will reveal the first women's ready-to-wear collection by Kim Jones on the fashion week's opening day. Another first collection to keep an eye on is that set to be presented by Alessandro Dell'Acqua for Elena Mirò, a brand which is making its big comeback to the Milanese calendar after a ten-year absence.
The Neapolitan designer will also be appearing on the Fall/Winter 2021-22 programme with his own label, N°21, on 24 February, alongside Missoni. The schedule for the next day (Thursday, 25 February) features brands such as Max Mara, Prada and Moschino, while Friday, 26 February will see shows from Antonio Marras, Etro and Tod's. On Saturday, 27 February, it's the turn of Giorgio Armani and Salvatore Ferragamo. Sunday's highlights will include Dsquared2, Fila and Emilio Pucci, while Ports1961, MSGM, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana will round the week off on 1 March. Both Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana are currently evaluating the possibility of organising a physical show.
Aside from Brunello Cucinelli and Alessandro Dell'Acqua x Elena Mirò, another notable debut comes from brand-new label Del Core, launched by Daniel Del Core, a long-time collaborator at Gucci, who will be organising a physical show. But there's also the new brand from Alessandro Vigilante, who trained at Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci and Philosophy, not to mention Christian Boaro's label, CHB, which the designer – who boasts extensive experience, having previously worked at Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Ferré and MSGM – launched in the middle of lockdown. And let's not forget the arrival of Giuseppe Buccinnà, a trained engineer and promising Italian talent, who founded his fashion house in 2015.
Along with these new names, there will also be Onitsuka Tiger, the fashion-focused sister label of Japanese footwear brand Asics, and Korea's Münn, by Hyun-min Han, both of which will be making their Milanese debuts this season. Other first-timers on the womenswear calendar include Budapest Select, a collective show focused on fresh Hungarian design; Fabio Quaranta, a regular of the menswear season; and Dima Leu, the young Moldovan talent who showed in Milan for the first time last month, during men's fashion week.
The CNMI also has plans to organise a number of parallel projects, with a particular focus on supporting young design. This includes "We are made in Italy - The Fab Five Bridge Builders," a video project made by designers of colour in collaboration with the Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion collective, which will open the Italian fashion week on the morning of 24 February.
Similarly to last September, 11 young designers – Marco Rambaldi, Fantabody, Vitelli, Gentile Catone, Themoirè, Drome, Simona Marziali, Mrz, Melampo, Sara Battaglia, Giannico and Greta Boldini – will also have their pieces featured at a pop-up hosted by Italian department store Rinascente during the fashion week. Elsewhere, the second season of the "Designer for the Planet" project will highlight collections produced by designers engaged in sustainable fashion, such as Gentile Catone, Gin Salemò, Froy;Traffico, Iindaco, and Dassùyamoroso.
Finally, for the first time, Milan Fashion Week will shine a spotlight on the work of craftsmen, presenting five different Italian artisans: plumassier Duccio Mazzanti, weaver Alberto Bevilacqua, bespoke shoemaker Vivian Saskia Wittmer, knitwear specialist Marina Rizzini, and fabric flower artist Anna Tosi.
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