After a recent article in the Business of Fashion: “CFDA Reveals New Strategy,” it’s an important moment to point out how much work there is to be done. The time is ripe for ideas that take us out of the box and reimagine the structure from the ground up.
“When [Steven and I] first started,” says Diane Von Furstenberg, ”the first priority was to become a family.” These are the values that the Runway Opening Act is born of, and why the CFDA’s restructuring of New York Fashion week is a perfect moment to reinforce that pledge. Fashion Week is a necessary tool, but it’s time to sharpen it.
I want to take a minute to point out one actor already playing his part in transforming the fashion system: In recent years, Georgio Aramani has been opening the Armani Teatro to emerging designers to show their collections. This to me solidifies the outlying factor that established designers must want to play a part in making this change.
Before considering myself too much of an optimist, I am a realist. But regardless of the skepticism that I’ve met regarding this point, I have a great deal of hope that designers on the main calendar will be eager to participate in this action.
“We need concrete actions to support Italian fashion, initiatives that give more strength and a feeling of novelty to Milan’s Fashion Week,” said Armani. “It is for this reason that I decided to make my theatre on Via Bergognone available for the fashion shows of some of the most promising designers, who can count on my building’s technical services.
Stella Jean, one of his laureates, In an interview with Vogue UK: “Armani is a great example of how a designer who made fashion history can provide concrete support to new generations.”
Armani is on to something, and through the Runway Opening Act we can bring this concept to full fruition.