Is Milan the Place to Be?

With JLo’s stride down the Versace Spring/Summer 2020 runway in the scandalously sexy, legendary jungle dress, she dropped the mic on any other fashion show here. 

With skin to die for and a booty that has not lost any of its bodaciousness, the singer, dancer, actress, mother of twins, just closed a global concert tour celebrating her 50th birthday and the Versace appearance was another crowning self tribute to her life, Versace’s history, and Milan’s relevance. It certainly propelled Milan Fashion Week’s importance on a world stage. 

And spectators and insiders here agree: while Milan can’t compare to Paris in terms of the amount of creativity and lavish parties, it has its perchè and trumps New York and London in terms of trends, quality, and overall pizzaz. 

“Milan is smaller than Paris, but the big brands here are killing it, the PRs are less stressed, the vibe is upbeat and top designers are going back to their roots and New York and London just can’t compare in terms of trends and quality,” one editor said. 

MFW’s governing body, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana dubbed this week “Hotel MFW” to emphasize Milan’s newfound allure. The Italian hub of elegance and finance is now heralded an international epicenter of Italy, as well. The 2015 Expo sparked a renaissance of architecture, art, design, and cuisine in the city that shows no signs of slowing down. Testament to that is the upcoming opening of the uber exclusive members only club The Soho House. 

Milan’s fashion week’s president, Carlo Capasa also rejigged the schedule – with Prada opening and Gucci closing the shows on the 22nd, so the fashion set is relegated to remaining in Milan for its duration and attending the so-called oscars of sustainability, the Green Carpet Fashion awards ceremony, the brainchild of Eco Age founder Livia Firth and Capasa himself. Its creative director, Vogue’s Hamish Bowles was enthusiastic about this year’s edition, which will pay homage to former Milan resident Leonardo Da Vinci and award historic acts like Valentino Garavani. 

One reporter admitted he naively showed up to the first Green Carpet in jeans and a t-shirt. “Not making that mistake again. I have my Versace suit this year,” he said. 

Camera Moda, hosts a slew of young talent events like the international emerging designer showcase Fashion Hub Market and helps young acts like Brognano and Tiziano Guardiani produce their fashion shows.  But critics argue that the association struggles to infuse new fresh talent onto the official calendar. 

Milan has a lot to celebrate. Massimo Giorgetti of MSGM is celebrating 10 years in the business and Vogue Italian editor and head of Vogue Talents Sara Sozzani Maino cut the ribbon on an exhibit honoring her aunt Franca Sozzani, who founded Vogue Talents. At a palace in Milan’s Quadrilatero district, the event showcased all of the novice designers it helped promote: Marco de Vincenzo, Arthur Arbesser, Sunnei, and Stella Jean among them. 

For now, according to Capasa, the focus is on rendering Milan’s existing brands and new ones completely sustainable over the next decade. To accellerate this change, Camera Moda hosts the International Roundtable on Sustainability. Now on its fourth year, the event unites the most important actors of the sustainable revolution, in the luxury fashion world. 

“Our goal is to make Milan THE sustainable fashion week.” 

Photo by Valerio Mezzanotti

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