Giorgio Armani on His Distaste for Crazy Fashion and Extending Milan Fashion Week

MILAN — Giorgio Armani has over the years voiced his disapproval of the “craziness at all costs,” as he put it on Sunday, of some looks on the runways and on the streets during Milan Fashion Week. After his namesake brand’s fashion show, Armani reiterated his distaste and expressed his frustration over seeing exaggerated designs picked up by the media that had “no reflection in real life.”

“I detest the world that is laid out this way,” Armani said. Turning to the press seated in front of him, he said he wished the media “would clarify and underscore how difficult it is to put together a collection, while anything today is accepted as long as it’s in the name of extravagance and forced.”

He admitted it’s “an effort” to stay true to his own vision, often “clashing with collaborators” on different ideas for the collections. “It’s hard work and I am never satisfied,” he said, conceding that he would still want to make last-minute changes to the fall 2024 lineup for the second show scheduled after the press conference. “And I would cancel the definition ‘it’s fashionable,’” he said feistily.  

Armani’s show closed Milan Fashion Week — which was not really a week but actually only five days — and which saw plenty of traffic jams, made worse by heavy rains, civil and social protests on the streets and a tightly packed schedule with shows that were on opposite sides of the city from one another. This followed a spring season that was equally tough and the designer said he had written to the Camera della Moda about the need to extend Milan Fashion Week.

Asked to comment, Carlo Capasa, who heads Italy’s fashion association, said Armani had written “a beautiful letter” that underscored how much “the system, our industry, the conditions of all the fashion community and giving space to the younger generation is close to Mr. Armani’s heart.”

Writing to the Camera, Armani “wishes the extension of fashion week through an additional day and the strengthening of the last day. He reiterates his will to continue to give his contribution — enormous, I add — by showing the Giorgio Armani collection on Sunday. This letter is for me and for CNMI [Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana], an important basis for the negotiations with the other international fashion weeks and I confirm that we are working in the sense indicated by Mr. Armani. Making our calendar more balanced and extending it must be a priority for all those involved in this magnificent adventure that is Milan Fashion Week. I thank Mr. Armani, who is one of the main founding fathers of this week for the contribution that he has always given and that he continues to give,” Capasa said.

Armani is not one to shy away from sharing his opinion and from trying to change the status quo. In 2020, the designer penned an open letter to WWD reflecting “on how absurd the current state of things is, with the overproduction of garments and a criminal nonalignment between the weather and the commercial season,” asking for a “courageous and necessary” shift.

“I have always believed in an idea of ​​timeless elegance, which is not only a precise aesthetic code, but also an approach to the design and making of garments that suggests a way of buying them: to make them last,” he wrote at the time.

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