Cities Battle Over Fashion Week Schedule

Posted Monday October 10, 2011 3:47 PM GMT

It’s quite a feat to pull off multiple fashion weeks all over the globe each season, and it seems the 2012 dates are the subject of disagreement with the cities that will hold them.

The problem seems to be the Spring/Summer 2013 run of shows that start in New York City in Septembe r- the NYC folks want to push their week back so as not to conflict with the Labor Day holiday. The problem is, Milan wants to hold their fashion week September 19-25 which will conflict with both NYC and London.

But the Italians say they’re not budging. Mario Boselli, head of Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda declared, “Let the best one win. Italian designers unanimously agreed on the schedule, from the smallest brand to the biggest. They showed great solidarity and Italian pride.”

He continued, “We proved that there was no agreement with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the British Fashion Council regarding the three years 2012-2013-2014, and that, in any case, the postponement of a week for the dates of September 2012 was not on the table.”

However, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) president Diane von Furstenburg wrote an open letter to the fashion industry to state that there will be no playing dirty or stepping on toes when it comes to the dates of New York City, London, Paris, and Milan Fashion Weeks.

She stated, “Fashion shows are meant to allow designers to show their collections and vision for the following season. Everyone goes through huge efforts at a large expense to make it easy and pleasant for the editors and retailers. The market has expanded greatly in the last years with Asia, Middle East, Russia and Brazil growing so fast. It requires a lot of coordination and planning. Editors, retailers and designers like the consistency of every designer always showing on the same day of the week season after season. It makes it so much easier for everyone to plan and attend shows. Clearly, year after year, the calendar changes. There are 7 days in the week and every new year the calendar advances 1 day. Some years it will be better for some cities, some years not.

That is what is happening in September 2012. I believe our friends in Milan did not understand that. We did not change from the decision when we agreed to start Fashion Season in New York on the same day every year, which is on the second Thursday of February and September. It is the nature of the calendar.

I also believe this conflict is a misunderstanding. I am convinced it will be resolved and that the agreement that was made 3 years ago at great cost and effort is valid and will be kept. As the President of the CFDA, I represent my fellow designers. We share the same goals as Milan, Paris, and London. Everyone at the CFDA has great respect and admiration for the designers working in those cities Our shared goal is that we want the editors and retailers to see our work and to do theirs.

At a time of great uncertainty in the world, we are lucky to be part of an industry that is flourishing and that provides an enormous amount of jobs. We should not jeopardize that by being apart. It is most important that we show unity, fairness, and that we work together to ensure everyone is given equal benefit from our work.

As we say in fashion, the show must go on!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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