MFW 2022: and just like that… it’s war!

While MFW 2022 was still celebrating with cautious optimism the exit of the Italian Fashion System from the pandemic with fashion shows and side-events finally live, with a large influx of buyers, journalists and international VIP’s, a war in the heart of Europe has bursted on the scene!

MFW 2022

Everything was going well at MFW 2022:

a full calendar of fashion shows and side-events finally in presence, from the official come-back on the Milan scene of big brands like Gucci with its “Exquisite Gucci” collection, to the debut of emerging brands like Marco Rambaldi, Andrea Adamo,AC9…, to promising debuts, like that of Matthieu Blazy at Bottega Veneta. A range of proposals and trends varied and full of creativity, both for the big brands that will dictate the fashion for 2023 on international magazines and for the small emerging brands, more identified with innovative trends and interpreters of social messages. In short, everything is in line with the expectations of the global market that loves Made in Italy.

The streets, hotels and restaurants of Milan were once again crowded with international buyers, crowds of influencers, trend-setting VIPs like Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Rita Ora, A$ap Rocky, journalists and icons of the Fashion System, from Anna Wintour of Vogue and Vanessa Friedman of the NY Times to Suzy Menkes of the Herald Tribune. In Milan, finally, the atmosphere full of energy and vitality that the global pandemic seemed to have swept away, was back.

Everything seemed to confirm the long-awaited rebirth of Italian Fashion post-pandemic, even the numbers released by Confindustria Moda were optimistic, although still not quite aligned with those of 2019/2020. True, a gap of about 6% still persists in the Italian Fashion sector, meaning that about 5 billion are missing to return to pre-pandemic turnovers, but forecasts until a few weeks ago were optimistic for 2023, at least as far as the big groups are concerned.

And then, when the MFW 2020 catwalks were still in the spotlight around the world and JUST LIKE THAT…a war exploded!

A word that in Europe we have practically removed from our vocabulary, lulling ourselves into the illusion that it would never affect us again.

In Milan a tragic contrast was suddenly perceived: on the one hand the glittering world of fashion with its sequins, the glamour of the exclusive Milanese parties, and the images on the Media of tanks advancing relentlessly in the vast plains of Ukraine. An absurd polarization, especially if we think that fashion in Italy employs more than 1 million people and generated a turnover of about 80 billion euros in 2021 alone.

Therefore, “the show must go on”, as it should be: King Giorgio (Armani, of course), moved and excited, closed the Milan Fashion Week by dropping the silence on his show. No music, just the rustle of silks on the catwalk. Great Armani! Just a sign of participation and respect, but so much meaning!

So the colorful fashion circus flew to Paris,wondering what the effects of the war in Ukraine will be on the global market. In the meantime, the tragic images of the bombings and of women and children fleeing from their homes crowd our social media.

Alessandra Serafini

Alessandra Serafini

ISBG's President

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