Milan Men’s Fashion Week Continues – WWD

Milan Men's Fashion Week Continues - WWD

“We don’t know how long we will have to live with this virus, but while we must guarantee the health, safety and protection of everyone involved, we must also look to the future and guarantee business continuity. The fashion industry is the second-largest industry in Italy,” Capasa underscored.

“Armani has his own strategic views and philosophy and he was the first to choose to show behind closed doors. He is consistent, and I don’t feel like questioning his choice and I respect it,” said Capasa, admitting that some companies had to face practical problems, such as flying their teams into Milan — as in the case of JW Anderson from London — or others that had several employees either affected by COVID-19 or quarantined.

The calendar includes 16 shows, from DSquared2, Zegna and Fendi to Prada and Etro; 22 presentations; 18 digital content segments, and seven events for a total of 53 brands and 60 appointments.

He underscored that the Camera is doing everything in its power to work “in the utmost safety,” sharing criteria with the ATS, the local authorities, to guarantee more control and social distancing, checking proof of vaccinations and enforcing the use of FFP2 masks.

Story Highlights

  • Counting the number of cases — “which is so dramatic,” reaching daily infections of up to 200,000 in Italy — “is a distorted reflection of reality, which translates into a fear of traveling and increased restrictions,” Capasa contended. As several scientists are pointing out, most of the patients hospitalized were never vaccinated, he continued, and while the vaccines do not prevent infection, they protect from more serious illness and Italy has a high rate of vaccinations.

  • While a draft of the show calendar was issued in December, there were several changes after the holidays due to Omicron as Giorgio Armani decided to cancel both his signature brand and Emporio shows and other labels, such as JW Anderson, opted to forego a physical event in favor of a digital one.

“It is key for us at Fendi to support Italy, Milan Fashion Week and present a united front within the fashion industry,” said Serge Brunschwig, chairman and chief executive officer of Fendi, which will stage its show on Saturday. “Over these now almost two years we have been learning how to work if not normally, at least with all precautions necessary. For this reason we know many people will be watching the show digitally from remote, yet it is extremely important to keep our presence with a physical show also, with a limited audience attending.”

“Certainly we all hoped we were toward the end of the pandemic,” said Gildo Zegna, chairman and CEO of the Zegna Group. “Now more than ever we must go forward and be focused. It is our responsibility to do so. The important thing is not to close the manufacturing plants. I can’t deny a certain concern, but if there is one thing that keeps me serene, it’s the certainty that we have taken the right path with our strategy linked to luxury leisurewear and with the rebranding that the market has well received.”

As reported, the rebranding took place in December, ahead of the company’s public listing in New York. The Zegna road symbol, part of the rebranding launched by the company.

Earlier this month, Alessandro Sartori, artistic director of Zegna, which will show Friday, told WWD he believes “we can’t return to a 100 percent physical experience — ever. This must be integrated with a digital one. It is fundamental for us to think of those that are physically present in the room and those that are not. Only this way can you deliver a message that will be in continuity. Digital and live will blend into a seamless experience, we are convinced of this. The format will continue to evolve depending on the timing and on the external conditions.” Zegna believes that “for a while” it will be key to focus on the local consumer, given the restrictions that are obliging many foreigners, in particular from Asia and the U.S., to avoid traveling. That said, the company has decided to do the fall show during Milan Men’s Fashion Week via a film and in the presence of a limited number of people to protect their safety.

Zoom calls are being organized for media and buyers not traveling to Milan, as Zegna has done in the past. “The group is set on guaranteeing smart-working and to go ahead with the projects started in terms of digital and innovation. The evolution of distribution across the different physical and digital touchpoints and the attention on product durability and excellence are the most important issues that emerged in the past two years, that see us well positioned thanks to our digital and CRM investments and thanks to our DNA and our history,” the CEO said. “The long-term fundamentals of the industry are solid, and benefits brands and companies that have a clear project as we have,” he continued, touting the brand’s uniqueness and tradition, as well as its consistent positioning and its expression of authentic values, including in particular, sustainability. “I believe in the competitive advantage of the way we have been operating for more than 100 years.”

Stefano Canali, president and CEO of Canali, said the year 2022 will be “very intense,” with several major projects lined up, including a retail expansion in China. There are 23 Canali directly operated stores in China out of 49 in the world and by the end of this year Canali expects stores in China to account for more than 50 percent of its total units, said the executive. “This will complete our digital development, after launching on Tmall and our mini program on WeChat in the second part of the second half last year,” he said. The company plans to increase its focus on CRM, investing more “to optimize relations with clients,” and to re-platform its e-commerce in Europe and the U.S. in the early part of the second half of the year. “Last year our e-commerce grew 51 percent and it was up by 10 percent in 2020; it’s becoming really very important,” said Canali.

Maserati and Zegna have been partnering since 2013, and the price of the MC20 in Dubai will include compensation for its CO2 emissions for the next six years. Customers will therefore actively support the goal of planting 360 trees at the Oasi Zegna in Italy. The company has been teasing on Instagram a new partnership it has inked with Maserati on the occasion of the Expo 2020 Dubai, where, until the end of the month, it has opened a Zegna and Maserati Pop-up. The venue will offer Zegna’s newly launched outdoor capsule collection while displaying the new Maserati MC20, customized with the recently unveiled double-stripe signifier and the new Zegna logo, and the Maserati spring 2022 capsule collection, in unique colors for Dubai only.