Milan menswear shows to start amid gloomy context

Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:02am EST
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Designers will show off their menswear creations for next winter starting Saturday in a shortened Milan fashion week with expectations of another downturn in Italian sales casting gloom on the glitter.

Luxury brands have not been spared by the credit crunch and the National Chamber of Fashion said on Friday it expected turnover for Italy's fashion industry to fall 5 percent this year to 63.2 billion euros ($83.78 billion).

Although the chamber said the forecast could change because of the uncertain context, it added that the decline followed a 4 percent fall to 66.5 billion euros in 2008.

Models will strut down the catwalk in more than 40 shows during Milan's menswear Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 fashion week. It runs until Tuesday and comes as the economic recession begins to bite hard in the United States and elsewhere.

"The cupboards are full and to provide incentives for people to buy, you need to propose new and creative things," Mario Boselli, the chamber's chairman, was quoted as saying in Il Giornale newspaper.

"(Fashion week) will provide evidence of efforts to overcome the economic situation."


Originally planned for five days, the Milan shows have been squeezed into four, after a diary clash with Paris fashion week.   Continued...