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Times Reminds the World New York Wasn’t Always a Fashion Capital

The CFDA might stop fighting Italy's plans to hold Milan Fashion Week on dates that would overlap with New York and London Fashion Weeks, and just begin the New York shows earlier than planned next September. This would be in exchange for a formal agreement with Italy about show dates for 2013, CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg said. Her statements come even after Condé Nast threatened to have its Vogue editors boycott Milan Fashion Week in favor of attending the New York and London shows — a threat that wasn't great enough for Milan Fashion Week chief Mario Boselli to change his mind about Milan's dates.

However the issue will be resolved, it will show which fashion capitals have the most power in the industry. Eric Wilson reports for the Times:


“We have to protect the industry,” Ms. Von Furstenberg said. “To give jobs is the No. 1 responsibility for anyone today, and that’s what we have to realize.”

If the shows go on as planned, Wilson points out, "To see Gucci and Prada in Milan would mean missing Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein in New York." But would that really be a sign of the apocalypse or just symptomatic of an ever-changing industry? Like clothing trends, certain cities come and go, just not with the same rapidity of harem pants.


Paris has ruled fashion since the mid-19th century, and the American collections did not come into any prominence until World War II. Eila Mell, the author of the recent book “New York Fashion Week,” said that New York carried equal weight with Milan and Paris only after its designers decided, in 1998, to show before the European collections instead of after. In recent years, Milan has faced criticism that its designers, despite their advertising power, are not demonstrating their creative worth.

So New York has only been a true fashion capital for thirteen years, while cities like Rome and Barcelona that are now mere flickers on the dashboard used to carry much more weight. And just think about all the Fashion Weeks there are in the world — from Brazil to Australia to India to China, designers are fighting for significance in every corner of the globe. The luxury industry is enjoying rapid and prosperous growth in Asia, and big labels increasingly take advantage of the marketing opportunity that staging special shows there affords. Of course, convenience will be a huge factor in who gets to be the most powerful on the fashion calendar, since actually going to fashion shows all day every day for a month isn't nearly as much fun as it should be. (Remember the foot.) As Wilson notes, "For some retailers and editors, who have complained of the ever-expanding duration of the shows and the feeling of being harassed to attend them all, it would be a welcome development for one city or another to fall by the wayside." You know what, let's just all stay home and get fat and watch live streams next year. That is clearly the solution.

One Month, Too Much Fashion [NYT]

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Cut® are registered trademarks of New York Media LLC.

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

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

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