Ups and downs of fashion scene in Milan and London

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 10:22am

The global fashion markets shift quickly and although Paris remains the undisputed centre, the two other major European cities on the agenda seem to be in a constant power struggle.

In a move to be seen as another boost for London, the British label Burberry just announced that it will move its menswear shows from Milan back to London.

Since the re-energisation of the young designer scene in London, and the British Fashion Council's appeal to British brands to show back home, many brands have listened.

The edgy appeal of London's young creative class has been drawing top editors in for several seasons now. There is a buzz, an energy and excitement that is missing from Milan even if, in commercial terms, Italian houses still beat most of these hip London brands hands down.

Although Milan used to have easy dominance over London, with its heritage houses and luxurious Italian sophistication, there is a sense that things are moving a little too slowly in the Italian fashion capital. Editors are cutting short their visits there to spend more time in Paris and London.

But being in Asia, we see another side, where heritage and classic fashions have great appeal in some more conservative developing markets. The "Made in Italy" label is still highly coveted in markets like China and India. Perhaps Milan might not get as many column inches these days, as fashion media tends to celebrate the wild and the new, but commercially it is scoring where it counts.

One problem that it needs to face, though, is the lack of support for younger designers on its circuit.

This is a crucial way in which Milan could energise its style industry, and it would allow key figures to emerge when the old hands are ready to pass on the baton.