GFC gloom surrounds Milan Fashion Week

No longer is Europe the place to be…

If you’re not showing your collections or having a presence in China, you’re probably falling behind.

Milan Fashion Week used to have the fashion follies bobbing around in the front row and then mingling with the fashion pack after a show, but that could be a thing of the past with doom and gloom reported for the event that kicked off Wednesday this week (22 February).

With Italy still suffering from a blues of the GFC, the National Chamber of Fashion said the situation was “worse than in 2008″ when the global fashion crisis began.

AFP reports that Italian fashion’s hopes that last year’s revenue trend — up 5.5 per cent from 2010 — could be sustained, were dashed last week when the industry forecast a 5.2-per cent drop for 2012 to $US79 billion.

Revenues went down 4.0 per cent in 2008 and a record 15 per cent in 2009.

“It has become essential to focus attention on Asian and American markets,” said Mario Boselli, head of the chamber which organises fashion week.

A manager at a top fashion house said, “The situation is dramatic. The Italian market is a disaster, just like the French market. No one is buying anything! In Europe, there is a real crisis.”

The National Chamber of Fashion is trying to make the most out of a bad situation with first time buyers attending the shows and fashionistas unable to attend the whirlwind of parties this year will have access to the fashion chamber’s website in a Chinese language version.

Seventy-two fashion houses will be showing their latest collections across Milan, with Gucci opening, followed by the other fashion heavy hitters.

With luxury taking a dip in the European markets, it’s not just the luxury houses feeling it with the head of international textile association Milano Unica seeing the slowdown in orders.

“This year will be complex and full of uncertainty, while 2011 was positive overall. This is a time for our companies to have a global vision and to focus on exports to countries where the values of Made in Italy count a lot.” Unica said.

Whilst consumer spending is expected to slow down in China this year, there is no sign of that just yet.

The MO Down only hopes that Europe returns to it’s stellar self soon.

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