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Furstenberg’s Letter On Fashion Week Controversy

10 October 2011, 18.34 | Posted in Fashion Week | 2 comments »

Below via Papermag is an open letter Diane Von Furstenberg, head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, wrote to ”The Fashion Community” in response to the decision by the folks in charge of Milan Fashion Week to schedule the event during a period that conflicts with NYC and London Fashion Weeks for Autumn 2012.

From: DVF
Date: October 10, 2011 10:12:03 AM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: An Open Letter to the Fashion Community from Diane von Furstenberg

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!

–Diane von Furstenberg

Mario Boselli, who’s the voice for Milan’s side of the story is quoted in WWD as stating “Italian designers unanimously agreed on the schedule. They showed great solidarity and Italian pride. Let the best [city] win.”

I can’t see this turning out well for Milan. I remember not very long in the past when the WSA, a shoe trade show, decided to attack a competing show, FFANY, by scheduling its dates so there would be a direct conflict, and it was the beginning of the end of a long down fall in the WSA’s attendance numbers. These shows are about business and if there is a sense that Milan is putting “pride” ahead of what’s best for the clientele its serving then they will lose.  Besides, there are few people in the fashion community more charming than Furstenberg and it’s hard not to see her winning the public sentiment debate.


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2 comments
  1. Can’t wait to see how this plays out!

  2. fashion changes as the time passes by,like a life circulations,that’s what fashion is!

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