In the world of fashion, competition is nothing new. Showing collections 2 times a year + 2 pre season presentations, designers fight for buyer budgets, mag covers and global retail space. It would be defying the laws of fashion physics if this competition did not rise to political levels.
In fact, I believe Condé Nast editors and Milan fashion week organizers just settled a dispute regarding overlapping NY & Milan schedules come this September, a possibility that would have compromised the already chaotic travel schedules of editor, model, buyer attendees and not to mention the “off broadway” economy that continues to extract business from the weeks’ enrichment of the local economies via after parties, retail celebrations and fringe transactions of fashion and textile trade. Designers have loyalty and pride in the week from which they represent and have taken decades upon decades of branding themselves as ethnic as the country for which they arose. Fashion brands go beyond the label and often define an entire culture. With their pearls, iconic fragrances and tweed suit separates, Chanel is more French than bread… Versace made plunging necklines, ultra tailored fits and color statements more Italian than holding a grudge.
“With their pearls, iconic fragrances and tweed suit separates, Chanel is more French than bread… Versace made plunging necklines, ultra tailored fits and color statements more Italian than holding a grudge.”
And nothing is more Italian than Giorgio Armani, or should I say nothing is more Giorgio Armanian than Italy… as the Armani was chosen to outfit the Italian team’s 2012 Olympic uniforms as well as will be retailing a collaboration line under his AE7 label.
A veteran of costume design, Armani debuted in the states by custom tailoring Richard Gere’s wardrobe in American Gigolo. The earthy palette, stone washed silks and lose pleats were a stylish side step to the disco dominated fashions of the time. The look not only had men running to Barneys to shop Armani, but set the bar in menswear, and was the socially elite’s mascot of taste.
As Stella McCartney unveiled her Adidas produced designs for team Great Britain last week, the competition in style is going for the gold… I’ll be watching!