Emporio Armani to fuse its men's and womenswear runway shows
It seems inevitable that Men's Fashion Weeks are set to shrink considerably, as more and more fashion houses opt for coed runways. The latest addition to this growing list is Emporio Armani. Giorgio Armani's youth label, which has always presented its collections in Milan, is stepping away from the menswear calendar and moving to Women's Fashion Week in September, where the brand will unveil its men's and women's spring/summer 2019 collections at a single show in one of the Lombard capital's most iconic locations.
For the moment, the brand refuses to reveal any further details. Over the last few years, Emporio Armani has already chosen to give Milan's catwalks a miss, choosing instead to present its womenswear collection in Paris and then in London. This most recent move, however, signals a strategic turning point. The idea of presenting at Men's Fashion Weeks seems to have lost its draw, especially in Milan, where the calendar has been shrinking rapidly and 12 out of 28 shows are now coed.
Organizing runway shows is expensive and fashion brands no longer feel the same necessity to make this financial commitment, having learnt to communicate differently with consumers, particularly through digital media and by stepping away from the traditional fashion calendar. Haider Ackermann also recently announced his intention to leave Paris Men's Fashion Week, preferring to organize a single coed runway show during the womenswear schedule next September.
Following suit, leather-focused brand Furla has also decided to bring its presentations together, and will unveil its men's and women's collections at a single event to be held at Milan's Women's Fashion Week from September 2018 onward.
The same decision has been made by Ermanno Scervino, whose men's collections have not been presented on the runway since 2016. The Italian house will bring its menswear back to the catwalk in Milan this year – not in June, but September as part of a coed show slated to take place during the city's women's ready-to-wear week.
Other labels also seem to have got the message that, now more than ever, it's essential to set themselves apart from their rivals by exploring new initiatives and innovations that might attract the attention of consumers and the media. Change, it seems, is the new constant from season to season. Gucci too, which already presents its collections with a coed show during Milan's Women's Fashion Week, will abandon the Lombard capital for Paris in September, while Demna Gvasalia's Vetements is forsaking Men's Fashion Week to present off-calendar during Haute Couture Week.
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