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Milan Fashion Week Storm

Feb 26th, 2010 | By | Category: Italian News

(ANSA) – Milan, February 25 – Organizers of the Milan fashion week were still seething on Thursday after the editor-in-chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour’s announced she would cut short her stay, effectively curtailing showings to four days.

In the past, the Milan fashion week lasted a full five days but Wintour had made it very clear well before her arrival she would not stay an entire week. The British-born fashion maven, who inspired the book and subsequent film The Devil Wears Prada, is widely thought to be the most influential person in the industry.

But her detractors accuse her of being aloof, of having a prickly persona and wielding too much power. “Anna Wintour has no power. Once in a while we should just say no. Italian fashion rules the world and no one can ‘snatch’ that away from us,” the deputy chairman of the Italian Fashion Association Saverio Moschillo told reporters on Thursday, after she failed to show up for his Haute collection.

“Our creativity, culture and artisans are unique,” he added, blaming Italian politicians for not providing the same support that French authorities dedicate to the Paris fashion week. Designer Luciano Soprani ended his show on a provocative note, unfurling a banner which read: “Anna Wintour, where are you?” Milan Mayor Letizia Moratti berated the Vogue editor for seeking “to do and undo our fashion calendar” but economic daily Il Sole 24 Ore lashed out at the Italian fashion industry for caving in to her demands.

Though the Italian fashion industry is stronger than its French and American competitors, when “faced by Wintour’s bob and huge sunglasses it transforms itself into Cinderella,” the daily said.

Shoe tycoon Diego Della Valle joined in the fray, blasting his colleagues for bowing to Wintour’s pressure and stressing that Paris designers had not budged an inch when asked to revise their schedule.

“We should not allow this to happen again. We’ve got to maintain our leadership and it shouldn’t be sold out just because three people are scared down like this. It’s scandalous,” he told reporters last week. Polemics were rekindled on Wednesday, on the first day of the shows, after the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italy Franca Sozzani rushed to the defence of her American colleague.

“It’s a mistake to blame Anna Wintour or me. Trying to find a scapegoat is a way of deflecting attention from the real problem faced by Italian fashion: no-one has robbed it of its authoritativeness, we’ve done that on our own,” said Sozzani.

Sozzani shrugged off talk of an anti-Italian plot, urging designers and the Fashion Association to “learn how to sell themselves better”.

But she did admit that the Milan showings deserved a “full five days” considering that the New York Fashion week lasts seven days and that “there are only four shows worth seeing”.

Sozzani also railed against the eight days needed to see the Paris collections, saying the schedule was “absurd” for most fashion editors.

“Who can afford to stay away from their newsrooms that long?”.

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