Fashion Week Feud Pits London and New York Against Milan and Paris

Forget competing designers, next year’s spring fashion shows are shaping up to be a competition between the fashion capitals of the world! With Paris fashion week over and all the spring 2012 styles having already had their 15 minutes of runway fame talk is moving on to the Spring 2013 collections, however it is the schedule, not the styles that have been generating all the buzz.

For years the spring fashion shows, which are held in September of the year before, have gone in a particular order: New York fashion week goes first, then London, then Milan and finally Paris fashion week finishes the cycle. However next fall the fashion weeks featuring the Spring 2013 collections have begun overlapping each other and with none of the organizers showing any signs of compromising we have quiet the showdown shaping up.

The conflict began earlier in the month when the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the organizers behind New York fashion week,  announced that they would be pushing back their runway shows until September 13th through the 20th to avoid conflicts with the Labor Day holiday which falls later than usual in 2012. In response the British Fashion Council (the CFDA’s English counterpart) announced that London Fashion week would be held from September 21st until the 25th. The problem is that the Camera Nazionle della Moda (Italy’s version of the CFDA) had announced that the Milan Fashion Show would be scheduled from September 19th to the 25th and according to reports from Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) and The Guardian, Mario Boselli, head of the Milan Chamber of Fashion is adamant that Milan will not move back their dates. Now Paris has confirmed that their shows will begin on September 25th and fighting words have already been exchanged!

Both the CFDA and the British Fashion Council are crying foul saying that Milan is violating a 2008 agreement between the four cities to ensure that their fashion shows are scheduled sequentially, but the Camera Nazionle della Moda and the French Chambre syndicale argue that the agreement was only set to last for three years and is therefore no longer in effect. With designers and editors facing a serious bind as to which shows they will choose to attend certain fashion publications have already weighed in with Jonathan Newhouse chairman of the Conde Nast corporation, which publishes both Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily telling WWD “[all Vogue editors] will not under any circumstances abandon the London or New York shows if the Milan shows are moved earlier.”

Meanwhile Mario Boselli has told WWD that Milan has heard and decided to deny the requests coming out of New York and London, saying that if the fashion shows compete then “Let the best one win.” An anonymous source in London told the Telegraph “If we have to go head to head, then we will.”


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