Last week Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, released an interview, expressing his thoughts about the current situation and the future of Milan fashion weeks. His intervention was necessary, not only because of his position, but also in order to close the loop and put an end to all the questions and suggestions that have been flourishing around the topic in the last month. Capasa declared that the CNMI will stay faithful to its DNA and to its calendar, hoping to go back to the previous familiar schedule as soon as the pandemic will let us. In the meantime, events and shows will benefit of the digital platforms, which are extremely useful: still, Capasa wish to be able to propose few, controlled, real events already in September.
To consider his decision rash or pointless, in todays situation, is superficial. Capasa knows very well the system he works in and his talk tries to warn us and use caution. He himself said that “in this moment, everybody wants to change everything” but reckless decision are not going to help us in the long period. As we had already underlined in previous articles, a slow down means first of all a reduction in jobs together with a general erosion of the market. The aftermaths on small business and designers would be heavy and the production/sale/advertisement system would be brutally interrupted, if deprived of its normal timing.
Capasa knows a change must take place. In the interview he speaks about fast fashion and the influencers’ market, and also about the excessive sales which create a devaluation of the products. He is aware but it is important, for him, to help us understand the differences between problems and positive sides of the business, which have to be preserved. First of all, it is important to maintain two different events, for menswear and womenswear: they are “two different markets, with different buyers, sellers and producers”. In the same way, the schedule must stay unvaried. Collections are presented and sold to the retailers six months in advance (more or less) before the products come to the shop, and this is because buyers need time to decide what to buy, and journalists need time to present new trends and ideas to the public. To show the collections shortly before the starting of the new season cannot work at a very basic level, because it would be pure merchandising where the clothes have already been sold. Lastly, coming to the sustainability topic, Capasa thinks that to put together several fashion shows in the same city and in the same time, according to an organized calendar, is the best way to reduce waste. If each brand would organize its own fashion show, in different locations and at different times of the year, it is logical that the situation would turn out worst, with people and resources going around the globe incessantly.
In the end, we find ourselves on a rather uncertain ground. Dialogue is anyways the best way to face a situation and we are on the right track. It is important to distinguish: what works must be preserved in the future, what is faulty could be fixed. Especially, if we want our system to finally be taken into the right consideration, it is important for us to work as a whole, thinking about fashion as a proper business. Capasa is indeed a businessman and, as such, summarized: “we do not believe in pure marketing. And, probably, our French friends in Paris agree with us. The future is not marketing, marketing, marketing. It is about giving shape to a dream. Moreover, we do not accept the concept of see now buy now, even if it could work for some brands”. And he added: “our goal is to create better opportunities for designers and brands to express themselves, either physical or digital”.