He urges to “slow down and realign everything” defining a more meaningful landscape
For years, Giorgio Armani has firmly reprimanded designers who, in his opinion, were turning fashion into a circus. Last June, he reiterated once again that clothes should be the focus of a show, not the location, or the spectacular fashion shows. Last week, amid the health and financial crisis caused by SARS-CoV-2, Armani sent an open letter to WWD. It is a wake-up call to the fashion industry urging it to take the opportunity to slow fashion down with long-lasting designs and collections aligned with the season. A “unique opportunity to fix what is wrong, to regain a more human dimension.”
In the letter, the designer announces to extend the sales period of the Armani summer collection until September. He also expresses his dissatisfaction with the current fashion system: the overproduction of garments and the “criminal” and “absurd” rhythm of the commercial fashion seasons.
He remarks that the luxury segment has increasingly followed the influence of fast fashion – an accelerated production cycle, higher production volumes – and that this has caused a “decline of the fashion system.”
He points out the necessity to limit the offer and match the timing of collections with customers’ ”seasonal needs”. He writes: “I find it absurd that, in the middle of winter, one can only find linen dresses in the shops and alpaca coats in the summer. (…) Who buys an item to put it in the closet waiting for the right season?” Adding, “But this, driven by department stores, has become the dominant mindset, which I think is wrong and needs to change.”
In this context, Armani sees the SARS-CoV-2 crisis as an “opportunity to slow down and realign everything.” But he is not only talking, his group is also taking actions. “After the lockdown, the summer collections will remain in the boutiques at least until the beginning of September,” Armani announces, “and so we will do from now on.”
Armani ends the letter with a clear message to other fashion companies. “Enough with fashion as pure communication, enough with cruise shows around the world (…) enormous but ultimately meaningless wastes of money,” says the designer. He argues for a revaluation of “authenticity” and “a more human dimension.”
(Ilona Catani Scarlett)