Milan Fashion Week bans Armani, D&G from programme

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 May, 2013, 11:00am

They are two of Italy's top fashion houses, but Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana have been banned from the official programme of Milan Fashion Week. The reason? The pair are not due-paying members of the national fashion chamber, according to the head of the association.

"If they want to organise fashion shows they can do so on their own," Mario Boselli, head of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, says.

"They will not be on the programme," he says.

Following a reorganisation of the association this year, membership fees have been increased and major names, such as Prada, have joined the board to enjoy a more direct role in the commerce chamber.

For the biggest fashion houses, fees have risen to a maximum of €250,000 (HK$2.5 million) from around €27,000 previously.

Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, which were not members before, have continued to hold out and will, therefore, no longer be listed for Fashion Week, which kicks off with the men's collections next month.

"We want an association that represents all of Italian fashion," Boselli says. "It's clear that Armani is first-rate and it would be important to have him in the chamber."

The 78-year-old Armani issued a statement last week saying he would only join the association if fashion houses such as Prada, Valentino and Moschino, stopped showing their collections in other countries and returned to Italy.

"This is understandable, but we can't expect people to return after years away," Boselli says.