May 22, 2019
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Milan faces a men's fashion week without Prada

May 22, 2019

Milan Fashion Week Men's, which kicks off on the afternoon of Friday, 14 June and will draw to a close on the evening of Monday, 17 June, has announced some big changes. For the first time, the Lombard capital will not feature a menswear runway show from Prada, one of the city's major players. The Italian fashion group has instead decided to show on 6 June in Shanghai to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the two cities' relationship as twin towns. The brand will nonetheless be presenting its collection at its Milan showroom during the upcoming Fashion Week and has also promised to host a musical event in the city on the evening of 14 June at the Fondazione Prada. 

Giorgio Armani will close Milan Fashion Week Men's at its historic headquarters, the Palazzo Orsini - © PixelFormula

N°21 has also deserted the Milanese catwalks,opting instead for a coed show in September, while MSGM has decided to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a runway show at Pitti Uomo on 13 June. These defections are, however, somewhat compensated for by some noteworthy comebacks and the arrival of new talents. Etro, for example, will be returning, after a number of seasons during which it decided not to host shows for its menswear collections, while Philipp Plein, who showed off calendar in January, will also reappear on the official programme, along with Palm Angels, making its return from New York. 
Italian fashion authorities are hoping to kick start the country's menswear industry, which only saw 0.2%s sales growth over the course of the first three months of 2019, while over the last decade (2008-2018), it has posted average annual growth of 3%. "Sales of Italian-made menswear are doing very well abroad, accounting for 39% of our total apparel exports. Outside Europe, menswear is outpacing womenswear, accounting for 55% of exports. It's a significant category," highlighted Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI).

A backstage shot from a Miguel Vieira show - miguelvieira.pt

New arrivals include Youser, the South Korean streetwear brand known for its customisable apparel, and Spanish label David Catalan, an innovative brand specialising in comfortable clothing, founded in 2012 by the designer of the same name and Almudena Bretón. The third newbie is emerging Italian gender-neutral fashion label Edithmarcel, launched in 2015 by Gianluca Ferracin and Andrea Masato. 

Finally, 53-year-old Portuguese designer Miguel Vieira, who, having founded his brand in 1988, cannot perhaps be classified as a newcomer, will be making his official runway debut on Monday, 17 June, the last day of Milan Fashion Week Men's, an event during which he has shown his luxe collections off calendar since 2015. Fay, Rolf Ekroth & Terenit and Brett Johnson will also make their first appearance as part of the official shows. 

The upcoming Spring/Summer 2020 Milan Fashion Week Men's will therefore host 25 official runway presentations, down from 27 last season. Programme highlights include the Ermenegildo Zegna show and a presentation from Stella McCartney during 14 June's opening party. Giorgio Armani will also be unveiling its Emporio collection at Armani/Teatro on 15 June, while its signature line will be presented at the end of the day on Monday, 17 June at its historic headquarters, the Palazzo Orsini on Milan's Via Borgonuovo, to which the designer is returning after 18 years. 
Several other large events will also be taking place during the week. Milano Moda Graduate, for example, will showcase talents from Italian fashion schools. This 5th edition of the event will take place on Friday, 14 June, and will involve a runway show featuring the work of the country's best student designers. Eight finalists have been selected with a winner set to be chosen by a jury headed by Renzo Rosso. This June will also see the debut of an event promoted by the fashion week's Japanese partner, zip specialist YKK, which will pick the best of 11 finalists seeking to create the most interesting "zipped" design. 

Another new addition is the CNMI Camera Club installation and party, which will showcase pieces created around a specific theme by young designers presenting at Milan Fashion Week Men's. The initiative, which was launched in New York last week, brings together four young Italian brands – M1992, Magliano, United Standard and Vitelli – to participate in a musical project. A series of cultural events will also be offered by Gucci throughout the week, which will draw to a close with a party organised by the CNMI. 

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