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Milan Fashion Week’s President Unleashed a Pointed Letter About the Show Dates Debacle

Imagine if there were NO PEOPLE in the audience.

As it stands, Milan Fashion Week will overlap with New York and London Fashion Weeks in September of next year. Italy is not budging on its schedule, even after Condé Nast has promised that its Vogue editors will boycott Milan Fashion Week if organizers don't behave more accommodatingly. In what's become a big match of "he said, she said", Milan Fashion Week president Mario Boselli sent an open letter to members of the fashion industry explaining that Milan has every right to overlap with London and New York next September because the long-term agreement over show dates that New York organizers keep alluding to was never actually a long-term agreement.

The letter, obtained by British Vogue:


First of all, I would like to make clear that Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana never meant to create a problem of overlapping dates between the four major fashion weeks.

We were very much surprised by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and British Fashion Council's decision of postponing by one week the usual date of its fashion week, despite the agreement made in London on September 15 2008 for the following three years (2009-2010-2011), which was fully and correctly complied with by all the four fashion weeks.

The documentation relating to the dates of Milano Moda Donna September 2012 was examined by our Board of Directors and by the Designers' Roundtable and it was demonstrated that no agreement had been made with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the British Fashion Council about the years 2012-2013-2014 and, in any case, the postponement of the September 2012 dates by a week had never been at issue. Only the extension of the London Fashion Week from four to five days had been dealt with.

CFDA executive president Steven Kolb emphasized that New York never intended for the agreement to be short-term, and that anyway, this city has enough clout to keep editors and buyers here instead of running off to Milan. He told Business of Fashion:


No one agreed to a short term [agreement], why would we? Since we negotiated the second Thursday start, the idea was to get it as far away from Labour day as possible. 2012 is the first year that we actually benefited from [NYFW] not being the Thursday after Labour day, but the following Thursday.

So, we are pretty clear on that. I know that the Brits are really clear on that. I feel that 20 years ago, Milan and Europe could really dictate and New York had to follow, but I feel like it’s time for us to stake what’s important to us. We have enough strength; we have a strong market; we have a lot of really talented designers. Milan might be surprised where editors and buyers decide to go.

He continued, "I think a lot of them would go to London and New York over Milan," and added that the CFDA is working toward an amicable solution. Boselli has already implied that Milan's dates next September are fixed and won't be changed. Well, if not very many people go to the Milan shows next September, at least there will be room for everyone's ego.

Show Conflict [Vogue UK]
CEO Talk | Steven Kolb, Chief Executive Officer, Council of Fashion Designers of America [BoF]

Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

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Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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