In February of this year, we reported Giorgio Armani’s blistering tirade about Anna Wintour when she skipped his Milan show to get to the Paris collections early. (She’s all about punctuality.) “She said she was sending her people,” he derided. “But if you go to see your dentist and he puts you in the hands of his assistant, what’s your reaction?” And that was one of the nicer parts of his polemic. Clearly, turning 80 hasn’t mellowed the maestro one bit.
For his next outing, in September, Armani moved the show up in the calendar. Wintour attended, graciously, thus no one resorted to ranting or name-calling. It seemed all was right in the world. But now, for fashion week in March, he’s returning to the last day, in another attempt to help smaller labels whose shows might otherwise be skipped by a majority of editors, following Wintour’s earlier example. (To be fair, it isn’t known yet if she’ll attend or not.)
What’s Armani’s obsession with that last day? Not only is it to help fledgling designers, but it’s also part of a larger effort to revive Milan Fashion Week, which has suffered from a serious lack of new blood. Holding on to that last day also lends credibility to the week’s larger governing body, Camera della Moda. “When we decided to show on the last day, other big brands were involved,” Armani said at that fiery press conference in February. “But currently this is an empty day. Is this protecting Italian fashion? Where is the Camera? I rejoined it, but I can always exit again. I can just put in a phone call.”