Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana plan for live shows amid mostly digital Milan Fashion Week

MILAN — Milan Fashion Week will remain mostly digital for menswear previews in June, with just three fashion houses opting to host guests in their showrooms as international travel just begins to resume amid the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Etro plan to present live shows with guests during fashion week, which is scheduled for June 18-22. A total of 63 brands are preparing new collections for the spring-summer 2022 previews.

The Milan fashion chamber on Tuesday projected a 15%-20% increase in 2021 revenues compared with 2020, when revenues for clothing generated by Italian fashion houses plunged by nearly a quarter to 51.5 billion euros ($63 billion) due to the effects of the pandemic.

Adding in eyewear, jewelry and cosmetics, Italian brands are expected to generate over 80 billion euros ($98 billion) in income, an increase of 17% over 2020.

Giorgio Armani and two other designers will present live shows during Milan Fashion Week. (Photo: ANDREAS SOLARO, AFP via Getty Images)

“It is a good sign, better than we expected,” Italian National Fashion Chamber President Carlo Capasa said. “We should close 10% lower than 2019, but it looks like a net recovery, and we hope to return to our usual levels in 2022.”

While luxury was one of the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic, Capasa underlined that fashion was one of the most dynamic in March among Italian industries. He noted that orders still had not reached hoped-for levels, indicating a level of “prudence” in the market.

Another designer staying true to in-person live fashion shows in era of digital runways is Christian Sirano. Siriano has held two in-person shows since the pandemic. His second show debuted during the Fall/Winter New York Fashion Week in February. 

“If you take this away, and the glamour, then it’s like I’m just at the office talking about money all day, and that’s not what I want,” he told The Associated Press after the fall-winter show attended by about 75 in-person guests. “I wouldn’t want to do this job if I couldn’t have this world.”

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