Milan Responds, Steven Kolb Weighs In On Fashion Week Scheduling
The Fashion Week scheduling drama continues to rage on! Let’s take a look at the latest round of statements.
We know what CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg thinks, but what about CEO Steven Kolb? Kolb spoke with Business of Fashion‘s Imran Amed a couple of weeks ago (read: before things got really awkward) for an interview that was published yesterday. This is what he had to say about the whole mess:
“No one agreed to a short term [agreement], why would we? Since we negotiated the second Thursday start, the idea was to get it as far away from Labor Day as possible. 2012 is the first year that we actually benefited from [NYFW] not being the Thursday after Labor Day, but the following Thursday.
So, we are pretty clear on that. I know that the Brits are really clear on that. I feel that 20 years ago, Milan and Europe could really dictate and New York had to follow, but I feel like it’s time for us to stake what’s important to us. We have enough strength; we have a strong market; we have a lot of really talented designers. Milan might be surprised where editors and buyers decide to go.”
Milan, obviously, doesn’t share the same sentiment. On Friday, Camera Nazionale della Moda president Mario Boselli issued a statement, along with documents supporting the Italians’ case. Here’s the letter, obtained by Racked:
In these past few days you must have certainly read the statements by Diane Von Furstenberg, Harold Tillman and myself about the dates of the New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks.
In this connection, I wish to personally explain to you in this letter of mine the position taken by all members of our Board of Directors and of the Italian Designers’ Roundtable.
First of all, I would like to make clear that Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana never meant to create a problem of overlapping dates between the four major fashion weeks. We were very much surprised by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and British Fashion Council’s decision of postponing by one week the usual date of its fashion week, despite the agreement made in London on September 15th 2008 for the following three years (2009-2010-2011), which was fully and correctly complied with by all the four fashion weeks.
The documentation relating to the dates of Milano Moda Donna September 2012 was examined by our Board of Directors and by the Designers’ Roundtable and it was demonstrated that no agreement had been made with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the British Fashion Council about the years 2012-2013-2014 and, in any case, the postponement of the September 2012 dates by a week had never been at issue. Only the extension of the London Fashion Week from 4 to 5 days had been dealt with (see the Press Release dated September 16th 2008 sent by the British Fashion Council and agreed upon by everybody).
Furthermore, it must be added that CNMI, with the communication of March 17th 2010 (attached) sent to the all the press and the players of the national and international fashion system—including the editorial offices of Vogue-Condè Nast—had made known that in September 2012 Milano Moda Donna would have been held from Wednesday 19th to Tuesday 25th, in line with the previous three years, since no different agreement had been made and no objection had been raised by anyone.
The Chambre Syndicale in Paris had followed a similar course by indicating the dates of the Paris shows in sequence with those of Milan.
As a result, we must rebut the accusation leveled at CNMI by New York and London of not having complied with the agreement. Such an accusation, besides showing an arrogant and aggressive attitude towards Milan, was supported by unfair arguments aimed at—unilaterally—imposing decisions that had not been agreed upon.
Unfortunately, even after talking with our French friends, I have to confirm what was stated above and, therefore, I believe the representatives of the four fashion weeks will meet to discuss the dates from 2013 onwards.
Will this ever get resolved? We have no clue, but we’ll keep you posted!