Italian Luxury Goods Makers Unite to Promote Milan Fashion Week

Prada SpA, Tod’s SpA and more than a dozen Italian luxury goods makers pledged to work together to promote Milan fashion week amid concern it’s losing out to New York, London and Paris.

“The name of the game is unity,” Ermenegildo Zegna, chief executive officer of the suit maker of the same name, said in Milan today at the unveiling of the Italian chamber of fashion’s new board. “We are at the forefront of the world fashion system. We want to maintain our leadership.”

Burberry Group Plc, after about a decade of showing its menswear collections in Milan, last week hosted its runway show in London, fueling concern the Italian fashion capital is losing its appeal. By strengthening the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana’s board, the so-called “senators” of Italian fashion aim to raise Milan’s profile, said Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli, who was named the chamber’s vicar vice president.

Everyone should have more respect for Italy’s fashion industry because without it “international fashion wouldn’t be as strong,” Bertelli said.

While the new members of the CNMI, which include Tod’s CEO Diego Della Valle, pledged to increase spending on marketing, Bertelli ruled out bringing back Prada unit Miu Miu’s runway show to Milan from Paris. Miu Miu, like fellow Italian women’s brand Valentino, shows its collections in the French capital.

“We want to be democratic and not nationalistic,” said Bertelli.

Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who were last week convicted of tax evasion, declined an invitation to join the chamber because they don’t want to be linked to any association, said CNMI president Mario Boselli. Giorgio Armani “is with us,” even if he isn’t a member of the CNMI, Boselli said.

Milan’s menswear fashion week began yesterday and ends Tuesday.