inside and uncertain situation in the luxury market

The fashion world headed to Italy on Wednesday for Milan Fashion Week, which featured a new designer at Moschino but comes amid an uncertain outlook for the luxury sector.

Women’s runway shows from Fendi, Prada, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and many more promise a dose of festivity and exuberance in Italy’s northern fashion capital. After fashion weeks in New York and London, Milan is now back in the spotlight. There are 56 catwalk shows scheduled for fall/winter 2024-2025 until Sunday.

“A year of transition”

Uncertainty in the global luxury fashion market hovers in the background of fashion week. Subdued growth forecasts, inflation concerns, an economic slowdown in China and geopolitical risks are weighing on the industry. According to the McKinsey “State of Fashion” report published in November, global growth of just three to five percent is expected this year. That’s down from the estimated five to seven percent for 2023.

The Italian fashion sector includes clothing and leather goods, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and accessories. According to estimates by the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, it grew last year by four percent to almost 103 billion euros.

The head of the association, Carlo Capasa, said it is still too early to know how the industry will develop in 2024.

“It’s a complex year, you have to be resilient,” Capasa told reporters earlier this month. “We know that there are three wars, European and US elections. It is a year of transition.”

The glittering world gathers

But in the front rows of fashion shows, where the glittering world gathers, nerves are rarely frayed. On Wednesday the shows by Fendi, Diesel, Alberta Ferretti and Roberto Cavalli will take place, among others. And despite the uncertain outlook, more than 100,000 people – buyers, media and brand representatives – are expected to attend this week’s shows, 10 percent more than last February, Capasa said.

Milan debuts

Adrian Appiolaza’s debut collection for Moschino on Thursday will be at the top of fashion watchers’ lists. The Argentine designer, who previously worked at Loewe, was named the brand’s creative director last month after his predecessor died just 10 days after taking the job. Gucci veteran Davide Renne, who died in November, was hired following the resignation of Jeremy Scott after a decade at the helm of the company. Founded by Franco Moschino, the label is known for its playful, quirky creations, often emblazoned with slogans such as “Good taste does not exist” and referencing iconic consumer brands such as McDonald’s or Barbie.

Debut collections are also expected from Walter Chiapponi at Blumarine – the flirty, denim-heavy brand previously run by Nicola Brognano – and Matteo Tamburini at Tod’s. Chiapponi had been artistic director at Tod’s since 2019 and was replaced after his departure by Tamburini, who most recently headed Bottega Veneta’s ready-to-wear division.

Maison Yoshiki FW24 Image: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

In a nod to Milan Fashion Week’s many fans from Asia, Tuesday evening also saw the debut of Maison Yoshiki, the label founded by Japanese rock star Yoshiki Hayashi. With the 58-year-old former frontman of the heavy metal band X Japan on the piano, the models walked the catwalk and presented the all-black collection with long silhouettes, angular, asymmetrical necklines and dropped shoulders. Hayashi, who goes by his first name, has put his name on wine, energy drinks, kimonos and even a quirky Hello Kitty twin, Yoshikitty. He describes his new clothing line as a “feminine but also genderless collection, extravagant with a rebellious touch.”(AFP)

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