Gucci to Open Milan Men’s Fashion Week in January

MILAN — The men’s pack is gearing up for a new season kicking off just after the holidays at Pitti Uomo in Florence and then in Milan, where men’s fashion week will run from Jan. 13 to 17.

The long fashion weekend will comprise 72 events, including 21 runway shows and 31 presentations, and it’s poised to be a season of confirmations and a few additions to the city’s fashion.

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The most notable add-on is Gucci, which will open the season on Jan. 13 with a live show at 2 pm CET.

The luxury brand will present its first stand-alone men’s collection after three years of coed runways, and the first lineup since the sudden departure last month of Alessandro Michele. The show is expected to be a design team effort, as the brand has yet to name a new creative director.

Other brands on the Milan calendar in January will include JW Anderson, 1017 Alyx 9SM and Jordanluca, all of whom decamped to the city over the past few years. A new addition from the international scene is Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, who attended Milan Fashion Week twice in the past, with an event and digital show in January 2020 and last June, respectively, but is hosting his first physical runway show this season on Jan. 15.

Among the other new brands joining the calendar for the first time are Carlo Sestini’s eyewear brand Sestini; chic footwear specialist Charles Philip; Valstar, a storied outerwear player credited with manufacturing the first waterproof jacket in 1911; streetwear players Luther, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2022, and Bonsai.

A few events are sure to add extra buzz to the men’s week. Outerwear specialist Colmar is marking its 100th anniversary by unveiling a new collaboration — still undisclosed — for its Colmar Revolution luxury line, while Marni is celebrating the spring 2023 drop of its tie-up with Carhartt WIP with an in-store cocktail reception.

Capping off physical shows that include Prada, Etro’s first men’s effort by Marco De Vincenzo and Giorgio Armani, among others, is Zegna, which is presenting its men’s fall 2023 collection at a still-undisclosed location on Jan. 16. The last day, Jan. 17, will be made up of digital shows and presentations only.

Carlo Capasa, chairman of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, touted the tight collaboration with Pitti Immagine, describing it as an asset for the country’s fashion, especially in menswear.

“We have always been able to present the world with the best fashion content, packaged the best way we could, between Florence and Milan. I’m really convinced that the two cities are a single entity showing how good Italians are [in fashion] through two different souls,” he said.

“We are really close and our rapport is fundamental; we have a responsibility toward the industry, especially in menswear,” echoed Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine.

Backed by a strong performance, including in menswear, Italian fashion is on track to reach a turnover of 96.6 billion euros this year, up 16 percent compared to 2021. It tops previous estimates of a 12 percent increase year-on-year.

Although inflation is doing its part in fueling revenue growth, Capasa explained that prices of end products have increased by only 3 percent, meaning that the 16 percent gain in 2022 sales is attributed to growing volumes of fashion goods sold.

The US was confirmed as the strongest market for the sector, with exports there skyrocketing 54.1 percent in the first nine months of the year. This compares with lower-than-expected growth in China exports, which grew 18.8 percent.

“We’re unable to make predictions for 2023, as there are too many variables at play and volatility in the market,” said Capasa, mentioning the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The executive also unveiled that the Camera Moda Fashion Trust has launched applications for the 2023 edition of its grant, the first open also to men’s and genderless fashion brands. The three winning brands will receive 40,000 euros each in funding, while a fourth winner will receive 15,000 euros by Max&Co.

Capasa also said the fashion governing body has teamed up with Salesforce and DiRe, an association fighting violence against women, for the Empowering Women in Fashion Retail mentoring program, geared at women aiming to jumpstart a career in fashion. Additionally, in March the fashion council will host its inaugural “Changemakers in Luxury Fashion” roundtable inviting representatives of the fashion sector.

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