Last week, Giorgio Armani criticized the menswear by today's top fashion houses (Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, specifically), calling them ridiculous-looking and griping that "fashion today is in the hands of the banks and of the stock market and not of their owners." His complaint was seen as a direct attack on Prada's recent IPO, which Tod's chairman Diego Della Valle defended at a luxury conference yesterday:
That kind of attack does not make any sense, and it was the least opportune moment ... Prada’s listing] was a beautiful operation, with global visibility ... Rather than criticizing Prada’s strategies, Armani should do the same thing, invest in the territory, as I did in Rome, contributing to the restoration of the Colosseum. In a moment of crisis, it’s important to be part of a team, and it’s our duty to give a signal, not waste time in useless attacks.
Della Valle also alluded that Giorgio Armani's age (he's 76) might be affecting his judgment, backhandedly referring to him as "a sprightly old man," and gave several pointed suggestions for historical Italian buildings that Armani could pitch in to help Tod's restore. He did not, however, defend the recent menswear collections by Prada or Dolce & Gabbana, which Armani claimed no man would ever wear.