Milano Fashion Week just ended and I will always remember it as one of the best I ever experienced. My new freelance status allowed me to enjoy the shows and the presentations without dealing with many stressful back office matters. And if you add this to the fact that I didn’t get the invitations for some of the biggest shows, you will easily understand how easier life is when you can start at 10 in the morning, or go home at 7 p.m.
I don’t complain because I knew it from the start that this was going to happen. In this business, many people think they deserve a seat because of themselves and don’t realize that it’s the company they represent that grants them a first row. When I resigned from Vanity Fair Italia, I had it clear in mind that things were going to change and I was grateful when I noticed that most of the brands kept inviting me to their shows. What happened in Milano, though, has nothing to do with my situation.
Suddenly, some maisons reduced the number of people admitted to their shows, including permanent staff of magazines and newspaper they usually work with throughout the year. A fashion show is like inviting someone to your place and talk about yourself, so everyone is fully entitled to choose who they want. Only I find it strange that such a thing happens in a time where the word “Inclusiveness” is constantly used.
Lapo Elkann launched a new campaign for his eyewear brand Italia Independent with a hashtag #EveryONE to embrace each kind of diversity and to celebrate them all. It’s a very positive message that most of the fashion brands are trying to give themselves by choosing peculiar beauties, different ages, races, shapes and the whole system has banned the world exclusive replacing it with some sort of “Everybody’s welcome” idea to communicate with any tool. Except for the shows, where the “Only for the lucky few” attitude actually seems to be back.
When Nicolas Ghésquiere was still at Balenciaga, you didn’t even get and invitation. Only a fax sent to your hotel the night before could grant you admittance to the show and I remember how excited I was when the concierge handed it to me. That probably boosted Balenciaga’s desirability, but did Ghesquiere really need it? His work was so outstanding that people would have loved it anyway. it was another era and we were all quite into that exclusivity loop. People’s mentality has changed a lot now: the most illuminated part of the society is really focused on inclusiveness.
“That was the best show ever”, a girl told me sitting next to me in the front row at the end of Moschino show. I thought she wanted to comment about the looks, but she added: “I loved it because everybody could get in and find a decent place where to sit and watch”.
Sometimes I feel like brands think they don’t need the press anymore. The vast majority of them has got websites and social media accounts where they can communicate themselves, so why they should “talk” to a young editor? I acknowledge there are journalists more interested in the petit cadeau left on their seat, than the show itself, still fashion houses and the press shouldn’t stop the dialogue, or restrict it to just a few.
People always wanted to hear great stories and won’t stop now. You can print them on a sheet of paper or post them on-line, people will always stop and listen if you have something enthralling to say. But if you don’t get spellbound first, how can you tell them?
The picture above is from Moncler Genius presentation where I was very kindly invited. It was a big event, the very first one of Milano Fashion Week for A/W 2018-19 season. The brand introduced the audience to a completely new concept of fashion collaborations. Remo Ruffini invited 8 remarkable designers to give their own vision of Moncler world with its different lines and those products will be sold on a monthly basis. Pier Paolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha and Craig Green re-thought Moncler. Karl Templer worked on Moncler 1952. Sandro Mandrino on Moncler Grenoble. Key Ninomya on Moncler Noir (see the photo on top). Hiroshi Fujiwara on Moncler Fragment and Francesco Ragazzi on Moncler Palm Angels. The venue was packed with people and the company benefited from such an inclusive presentation also on Milano Stock Exchange. Analysts were much impressed and Moncler shares reached their all-time high.