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7 things You Missed at Milan Fashion Week FW19 | by Jessica Michault

Jessica Michault

Milan Fashion Week just came to a close and Jessica Michault, our VP Industry Relations, is brining you this quick summary of the buzziest moments. Not only will you get a run down of the all the must-know stats from #MFW, Jessica also has the scoop on the top ranking brands according to Media Impact Value™ algorithm (MIV®).  Read below for the full update:

7 things you missed at Milan Fashion Week FW19

1: A Fendi Farwell for Karl Lagerfeld

The iconic designer Karl Lagerfeld passed away just days before the Fendi fw19 show was about to take place. In the show notes (which held the last sketches the designer would ever do for the house that he began working at in 1965) was a personal message from Silvia Venturini Fendi. She grew up watching Lagerfeld design for her family company for decades before she ended up working alongside him creating the accessories for each Fendi collection. She said “The bond between Karl Lagerfeld and FENDI is fashion’s longest love story, one that will continue to touch our lives for years to come. I am profoundly saddened by his passing and deeply touched by his constant care and perseverance until the very end. When we called just a few days before the show, his only thoughts were on the richness and the beauty of the collection. It’s a true testament to his character. He shall be so missed”.

Her sentiment was shared by all who attended the show, which was evident through all the social media and online publications around it, making Fendi the most impactful brand during #MFW according to Media Impact Value™ algorithm (MIV™).

2: A Strong Debut for Designer Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta

The hot ticket to have at Milan Fashion Week was a seat on one of the woven intrecciato leather benches at the Bottega Veneta show. Presented inside a transparent tent framed by the Arch of Peace at the Sempione Gate the designer produced a collection that took the house in a bold new direction. One where the interiors of cars inspired the designs of the leather pieces while the neckline, and specifically exposing the collarbone, became a leitmotif of the lineup.

Lee also smartly presented both his menswear and womenswear designs together. A choice that, our report, The State of Menswear, has been proven to be very effective, particularly when presenting co-ed shows during the womenswear shows. Co-ed catwalks was the direction that more and more brands in Milan took this season with houses like Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Missoni, Roberto Cavalli, Antonio Marras and Salvatore Ferragamo all blending their two collections together.

 

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3: Etro’s Multigenerational Vision for the Future

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the Etro brand. And instead of resting on its laurels designer Veronica Etro shook things up this season; and not just by showing in a new location for the first time in decades. Even before the event took place Etro cleverly used her invitations to build up a social media buzz by personalizing each thick paisley envelope with the name of the guest hand painted on the front. It resulted in lots of Instagram stories promoting the show. The Investment banking company UBS reported that “Instagram is a crucial tool for investing in luxury brands – not because it represents sales, but because it represents intent,” and in this way the Etro invitations showed the brand’s intent to groom future generations of clients.

Etro also presented her paisley motif collection on a lineup of cross generational top models from Edie Campbell, Hanne Gaby Odiele and Gemma Ward to Tatjana Patitz, Violetta Sanchez and Farida Khelfa. Her inclusive catwalk smartly underlined the broad appeal of this Etro collection, that was filled with boho chic maxi dresses, fringed knit sweaters and upholstery inspired separates. So Etro might be grooming the millennial generation via a super smart invitation strategy, but she has not forgotten her current customer base.

4: Gucci’s Blazing Show

Designer Alessandro Michele presented his latest co-ed Gucci collection in the round. With the tiered seated audience facing a wall of lights that flashed on and off during the entire presentation. Much was made of the spiked eyewear, face masks and sneakers carried like handbags on social media, and they were designed to generate a visual buzz that was perfectly adapted to the ethos of Instagram (making Gucci the second most impactful brand during Milan Fashion Week according to MIV).

And, more than a few stories featured people putting on sunglasses (á la Anna Wintour) to watch the retina searing show. But in a subtle change of direction Michele moved away from more logo centric clothing and instead went in a more understated direction, relatively speaking…this is Gucci after all. But, this shift by Gucci away from logos might be an early indicator that the logo trend that has dominated the industry for the past couple of years is finally starting to fade from favor. Check out the full collection on GPS Radar via this link.

5: Moschino Finds the Right Price

Nobody does camp better than designer Jeremy Scott. But he out did himself this season with his latest Moschino ready-to-wear collection. Scott took inspiration from the famed American game show, The Price is Right, and had his catwalk loop around a multiple center stage vignette that featured models with sky high Barbarella wigs doing their best impressions of “Barker’s Beauties,” presenting everything from a treadmill or skis to a washer dryer and a Ferrari.

Once again social media lit up with images of the bonkers collection (eventually leading to Moschino ranking 4th in top brands at Milan Fashion Week, according to MIV). How could it not when you have dresses worn with coats designed to look like a proverbial TV dinner. But the timing was perfect for such an OTT show, seeing as the theme of the next big  Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition is titled “Camp: Notes on Fashion”. Count on a number of looks from this collection showing up on the red carpet for the famed Met Gala in May.

6: Missoni’s Smooth Transition.

There is a big debate about the future of fashion show invitations. There are some who cherish ever paper invitation that they have ever received. Others love to try and suss out the theme of an up-coming show by interpreting the meaning behind an original invitation. And then there are those that love the expedience of having a bar code they can just get scanned from their phone, or an email invitation that is more friendly to the environment. At Missoni designer Angela Missoni came up with a “best of both worlds” option. Her invitation was the home to both a beautiful silk scarf for her guests and a small pull away bar code piece of paper that could be carried separately and simply scanned easily at the door as late arriving guests dashed in to get their seats the co-ed show.

7: Paula Cademartori’s Private Presentation

There is a lot of luxury data out there today that supports the fact that millennial and Gen Z consumers are more interested in spending money with brands that create experiential environments for them. They don’t just want to buy a luxury product because it bears the name of a famous fashion house. Instead they prefer to have a deeper connection to a brand before purchasing any big ticket items. And, I would argue they are not the only generation looking for this more personalized approach.

One designer who has excelled at creating fashion moments with her presentations is the accessories designer Paula Cademartori. But, this season she took the idea to a new level. She showed her collection of luxury bags and shoes inside a dusty old Milanese antiques shop and offered up the chance to her guests to not just look over the products, but also get their fortunes told by not one, but three different kinds of fortune tellers. I am guessing that more than a few of the buyers who visited Cademartori during Milan Fashion Week found big orders of her accessories in their future.

Want access to downloadable pictures of all the fashion shows from this FW19 season? Log into the only dedicated online community for fashion professionals: GPS Radar.

Jessica MichaultSVP of Industry Relations

Jessica Michault is the Senior Vice President of industry relations at GPS Radar by Launchmetrics. She is also the editor-at-large for ODDA magazine and contributes to publications like the New York Times, the Business of Fashion, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Mixte magazine.

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