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Milan men’s SS21 kicks off with a mix of physical and digital shows

Milan kicks off its first Digital Fashion Week
on Tuesday with two live runway shows, including from heavyweights Dolce &
Gabbana, to send out a message of “positivity.”

Running through Friday, this “phygital” fashion week — featuring both
physical and digital shows — will present the Men’s Spring/Summer 2021
collections, as well as men’s and women’s pre-collections.

This is the third such show after London and Paris and Italy’s first
fashion week after the coronavirus crisis.

Thirty-seven brands answered the call, including two who opted for real,
in-person fashion shows: D&G and the Italian house Etro.

Dolce & Gabbana opt for in person catwalks

“We decided to present the collections with a physical fashion show to give
a strong positive message, fundamental at this time for the fashion system and
the city of Milan,” wrote Kean and Veronica Etro in a statement.

“Real interaction is fundamental to fashion.”

Etro will be hold its show at the Four Seasons Hotel located in a converted
15th century convent while D&G has chosen the gardens of the university campus
of the Humanitas Hospital, which has been involved in coronavirus research and
which the fashion brand supports financially.

Last month, Sicilian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana announced
their return to the Italian Fashion Chamber (Camera Nazionale della Moda
Italiana) and to the official calendar.

Since 1998 they have shown their collections outside the official calendar,
due to differences with the management at the time.

The chamber’s president, Carlo Capasa, called it “a great return.”

“It comes at a difficult time for fashion and shows the strong bond that
the designers have with our country. Today, more than ever, it is important to
be united to safeguard our unique industry in the world”, Capasa said in a
statement.

Dolce and Gabbana said that “today, more than ever, fashion needs
positivity and strong unity”.

Digital versus physical shows: which one will prevail

The hybrid Fashion Week will be kicked off by MSGM at noon on Tuesday (1000
GMT), a day also marked by shows from Prada, Moschino and Philipp Plein.
On Wednesday Etro and D&G follow suit, with Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s and
Dsquared2 on Thursday. The week closes Friday with Gucci, Ermenegildo Zegna
and Missoni.

To accomodate buyers, the chamber will offer live appointments round the
clock over various time zones.

In addition to the fashion shows, brand presentations, interviews and
backstage sessions, there will be virtual “theme rooms” covering a wide range
of topics, from sustainable development to diversity and technological
innovations.

Two other digital events, International Hub Market and Together for
Tomorrow, are dedicated to upcoming designers.
It remains to be seen how buyers and the media react to Milan’s hybrid
fashion week.

Paris digital fashion week falls flat

The Paris shows that ended Monday were presented in video, with some
critics saying the new format was somewhat of a disapointment.

“Digital has a long way to go – light years – before it can replace the
live fashion event,” wrote fashion trade paper Women’s Wear Daily (WWD),
citing the “the genuine, enjoyable intimacy of actually ‘being there,'” for a
one-time-only fashion show.

Barring a new wave of coronavirus, Milan is expected to return, for the
most part, to its physical fashion shows for its Spring-Summer 2021 Women’s
collections from September 22 to 28.(AFP)

Photo credit: Dolce & Gabbana SS20, via Catwalk Pictures

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