Last spring, Giorgio Armani made a public appeal to fellow Italian designers to bring their shows back to Milan, amid concerns that the city’s Fashion Week was becoming, well, unfashionable. However, Armani declined to join the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (CNMI) which more or less was attempting to do the same thing.
In a reversal of his original decision, this week Armani announced he was joining the coalition, which seeks to promote Italy’s Fashion Week and the Italian fashion industry in general. Armani had originally refused to join CNMI until other prominent Italian designers agreed to go with him; perhaps he realized leading by example was the best course of action. At any rate, his decision to help the CNMI means many are speculating that the group will start seeing the success it hasn’t in the past. Moreover, Armani was partly spurred by one small triumph — Italian designer Ennio Capasa, who heads Costume National, brought the label’s show back from Paris to Milan.
Armani’s decision comes at a time when Finland, the Netherlands, and France are drawing attention for sponsoring educational programs, platforms and design awards that train and support young designers. For those initiatives to work, the support of established designers is paramount. Armani, in his way, is joining the ranks of Europe’s leading creatives paving the way for new talent to flourish.