In a move that annoyed the bejeesus out of CFDA head Diane Von Furstenberg and delighted her Italian counterpart, CNMI's Mario Boselli, French fashion officials have just voted on a fashion week schedule which would conflict with the just-proposed international runway calendar.
The Parisian fashion body, the Chambre Syndicale, voted on a 2013 and 2014 fashion week schedule that interferes with the tentative agreement New York, Milan, and London had made to reconcile their fashion weeks. Paris' agreed-upon dates would directly overlap with Milan's, under the current international calendar.
Paris defended its move by citing tight production deadlines, the same reason that Milan launched a crusade against the standing fashion week schedule.
In a conflict that had thus far pitted New York against Milan, with London as a sort-of younger sibling dragged along through the muck, the move from Paris changes the terms of the disagreement. Paris has major clout but it had been staying out of the scandal, seemingly willing to let the other cities resolve the dispute on their own. But now, with France quibbling over show dates, Milan will likely reneg on the proposed solution and return to the controversial schedule with overlapping Milan and New York runway shows.
Diane Von Furstenberg is not amused. The designer and fashion industry leader made a passionate and off-the-cuff statement to WWD which clearly indicated that France's move has left New York scrambling:
“I don’t understand why Paris completely and totally just ignored what all of us have worked so hard on. I am speechless…I just e-mailed [the French fashion body] and said that I was completely in shock."
Boselli had his own smug remarks to add to the dramatic cesspool, suggesting that New York was backed into a corner, and would have to cut down its nine day fashion week by two whole days:
“I am not critical and I don’t want to judge Paris’ decision. One thing is sure: it’s unthinkable for Milan and Paris to overlap. We were very clear, we tried to find a solution, but we didn’t succeed. We were going to move if Paris was also moving. As Paris is not moving, we won’t either. Perhaps the only way out would be for the Americans to reduce their fashion week to seven days, as nine days is too long, and start a couple of days after Labor Day.”
Because they're used to bossing everyone around and getting their way one hundred percent of the time, New York's fashion heavyweights won't back down so easily, but I find it hard to imagine that New York and London are strong enough to face Milan, now that the Italian city will likely have French backup. New York is a mighty fashion capital, but it's the new kid on the block, compared to storied cities like Milan and Paris. I have no idea how this will end. It looks like the seemingly monolithic fashion industry is coming undone.
Image via MyStyleDiaries