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Milan Fashion Week is considered the Mecca for fashion lovers. It is a clothing trade show held twice a year in Milan, Italy. In February/March every year, the autumn/winter event is held. This trade show was established in 1958, and mostly women’s fashion is showcased during the event. The spring/summer event, which is held in September/October of each year, also includes Menswear.
World-class luxury fashion houses like Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, and Gucci participate in Milan Fashion Week. The designers working in these brands showcase their best creations and try to allure the who’s who of the world.
Philipp, Versace, Prada, Etro, Ferragamo, Jil Sander, Missoni, Marni, Max Mara, Moschino, Plein, Pucci, John Richmond, Tod’s, and many other fashion houses showcase their collections in more than 40 shows each season.
How the City Transforms
The natives of this area wait for these semi-annual extravaganzas, and their sources of income largely depend on them. Milan Fashion Week transforms the city into a scintillating tourist spot. Many exotic venues like Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Serbelloni, and other elegant and grand palaces are selected to host the shows.
The 2020 edition of Milan Fashion Week was conducted virtually from 14 July to 17 July 2020 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Milan Fashion Week in 2021 too remained digital due to the coronavirus international travel restrictions. Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Etro were the only fashion houses that hosted guests in their showrooms between 18 June to 22 June 2021.
How Was the 2019 Show?
Creative director, Karl Lagerfeld who joined Fendi in 1965, passed away in 2019, and hence a tribute to his genius was paid during the Milan Fashion Week. Nicki Minaj, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Freida Pinto, Dakota Johnson, Salma Hayek, Lana del Rey, Emily Ratajkowski, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, and many other celebrities participate in the Milan Fashion Week every season. All the top fashion brands try to impress celebrities so that they endorse their outfits and wear them at various red carpet events.
Camera Nazioale della Moda Italiana, a non-profit organization, conducts this show every year, and in 2019, more than 200 companies manufacturing clothing, footwear, bags, accessories, etc., participated in the show.
Who Attends Milan Fashion Week?
Apart from the big fashion brands and their designers, some talented budding designers also attend Milan Fashion Week and showcase their creations. Celebrated models don the exquisite creations and walk on the ramp amidst the thundering applause of the viewers.
Buyers from garment manufacturing companies attend the show to learn about the latest trends and draw ideas for their own manufacturing units. Editors of fashion magazines and websites attend Milan Fashion Week to understand the upcoming styles and trends and advise their creative teams to write articles about them. The media covers the show, and thousands of tourists visit Milan during this time.
Milan Fashion Week is the celebration of fashion, and the connoisseurs enjoy the month-long tour between the big four cities to attend these four fashion shows. New York, London, Milan, and Paris, all the four fashion capitals, host one-week-long fashion extravaganza each in their respective cities and invite garment lovers from across the globe.
A Day in the Life of a Typical Milan Fashion Week Attendee
By now, you must have understood that Milan Fashion Week is not for everyone. Only the richest and the most successful people visit Milan during the fashion week. The hotels are booked to the optimum level much before the show starts, and the prices spike up during the season. The airfare increases a lot, and it is an expensive affair to be in Milan during the fashion week.
Since many designers now are moving away from showcasing their designs twice a year, the format of the fashion week is changing. They are planning to release new designs for public viewing every month.
|Fall/Winter 2021/22||15th-19th January 2021|
|Spring/Summer 2021||22nd-28th September 2020|
|Men’s collection and Men’s – Women’s pre-collection Spring/Summer 2021||14-17 July 2021|
So depending on your occupation, your day as an attendee will change at Milan Fashion Week. If you are a celebrity, all the big fashion houses will try to contact you and convince you to be their brand ambassador. You will receive passes for all the important shows, and you will find it difficult to juggle your schedule.
If you are a regular tourist, you would have to ensure that you would have made your hotel bookings much in advance. If you want to save some money, then it is a good idea to select a good homestay and stay there during the fashion week. Most of these homestays are away from the main fashion center, and you need to ensure that you have transport available. Getting passes for the shows will not be easy for you, and you might have to pay a hefty sum for them.
If you are a buyer of a large fashion house or an editor of a large fashion magazine, you will get a decent number of invites for the shows. Again you will have to hop from one show to the other to ensure that you cover the maximum of them for your respective magazines, websites, and business.
If you are a struggling model, then you need to have a good agent who can help you to get some work. Of course, you will not get an opportunity to wear the creations of the best brands, but many upcoming designers need good models to showcase their designs. So you will get some work, and your day will start early with the pre-trials and make-up. By the end of the one week in Milan, you will be exhausted and waiting to go home and get some sleep.Since Milan is one of the capitals of Haute Couture, you surely will have to have a good budget if you are planning to attend the Milan Fashion Week in the future.