Milan Fashion Week and London Fashion Week have been crunched for days during the past few seasons. Sandwiched between New York and Paris, London and Milan Fashion Weeks each had not even a week to put on their shows, and with the dates so close together this season, London lost out on good models. Milan, which has had a bee in its bonnet about this injustice for a while, has taken a stand by moving the dates of its Fashion Week next September to a slot that would overlap with both New York and London Fashion Weeks.
Milan wants to start on September 19, but New York plans to start on September 13 and London on September 21. After Milan decided to move its Fashion Week up to September 19, Paris decided to do the same, and now plans to begin shows on September 25.
Apparently Milan, which seems to have the balls in this situation, tried to get Paris to move its ready-to-wear shows to July, but Paris rejected the idea because it would interfere with couture. But Milan has a reason to worry about its placement on the show calendar, the Telegraph explains:
The real nub of the problem, say sources on both sides, is that the second Thursday in September falls so late next year, jeopardising production deadlines for meeting retail orders. It is this that has driven Milan into its decision to announce a clashing fashion week.
More broadly, the clash is symptomatic of a growing realisation that the old system of biannual fashion weeks is no longer in sync with a changed retail landscape.
Less than 30 per cent of buying is done at the fashion weeks, and the monthly magazines to which they are designed to appeal have been increasingly marginalised by an internet-led fashion consumer, typified by the success of the online retailer Net-a-Porter.
Sure, blame the Internet for making fashion shows obsolete. They could always just hold Fashion Week in a movie theater, and live stream show after show. But that creates the problem of keeping everyone's ego properly inflated with just the right seating and street style blog exposure, so that idea will probably not fly any time soon.
Anyway, the scheduling problem will probably be resolved according to the interests of LVMH and PPR, the French luxury conglomerates that have the most money and clout in the industry.