Milan Fashion Week to Proceed With Digital Runways Again in 2021

Milan Fashion Week 2021 will go ahead early next year with shows likely to continue employing virtual catwalks because of the coronavirus, organisers announced earlier this week.

While the men’s shows will run from January 15 to 19, women’s Fashion Week will be held from February 23 to March 1, the Italian Chamber of Fashion announced. The fashion shows “will become more digital or more physical, depending on the evolution of the pandemic”, chamber president Carlo Capasa told the Pambianco Summit, a conference for the fashion industry held online this year.

Fashion is Italy’s second-largest manufacturing industry and has been hard hit by the fallout from the global pandemic. Fashion houses have had to rethink their marketing strategies and boost their digital offerings, and event organisers have been forced to innovate.

Last month, the British Fashion Council cancelled its men’s Fashion Week in London, which had been scheduled for January, because of the pandemic, Brexit and what organisers said was a desire to rethink the event. Instead, they are encouraging men’s designers to take part in the women’s week from February 19 to 23.

milan fashion week 2021
Milan’s last fashion week in September saw 156 collections presented, between online presentations and physical fashion shows. (Image: Miguel Medina/ AFP)

Milan’s last fashion week in September, in which 156 collections were presented between online presentations and physical fashion shows, resulted in some 45 million views, Capasa said.

“This has been an Italian resilience operation,” he said, adding that organisers “hope to be able to return soon to the moments of physical encounters”.

milan fashion week 2021
Designer Nora Bourelly (R) poses with friends with her creations in a street outside Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2021 women’s and men’s show, during Milan Fashion Week 2020. (Image: Miguel Medina/ AFP)

According to a survey by Confindustria Moda, the sector’s main employers’ group, the industry in Italy lost 29 billion euros (HK$266 billion) in global revenue in the first nine months of the year.

In the third quarter, those companies surveyed recorded a 27 percent drop in sales, following decreases of 39 percent and 36 percent in the second and first quarters, respectively, said Confindustria Moda President Cirillo Coffen Marcolin.

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