Of course, Coronavirus epidemic is a health crisis, which triggers a social one. But, according to Re Giorgio, it is also an opportunity for the top of the range “while waiting to return to normal”, to reflect “on past mistakes, trying to build a better future”. Yes, because according to Armani luxury has been declining since before Covid-19 appeared. If not in numbers, in values. It has been since it started chasing the dynamics of fast fashion. This is why the designer hopes for a slowdown of collections, but not only: after announcing the endorsement of Milan, also of fashion weeks. All with the aim of finding the exclusivity and quality that should identify the segment.
The fragility of the system
“We must take the opportunity to change the system and restore the right value of things – says Armani to La Stampa -. The pandemic, with the forced shutdown of activities, forced us to deal with a system that revealed all its fragility and distortions. This is the time to slow down the mad rush, to do less and better, focusing on the product. In all sectors”.
Re Giorgio, we said, has also catwalks in mind. After announcing that he will present haute couture in Milan, and no longer in Paris, he explains that “next January” he will invite “customers and press to the historic Armani headquarters at Palazzo Orsini, in via Borgonuovo. And from June, I will make tailoring services available by appointment”. Social distancing challenges the usual pattern of fashion weeks. But these will not disappear: “Catwalks intended as moments of authentic confrontation – he continues – will be fundamental. But they must be set as real tests, with less busy calendars. Resizing this aspect would already be the first step of a path that will restore value to our work”.
Luxury has been declining since before CRV
The problems of the top of the range, meanwhile, did not start with Coronavirus. “For a long time, I have argued, going against the grain, that we should slow down our pace – argues Re Giorgio -. The excessive, and I would say false, need in recent years, to show and produce more and more has generated confusion and waste. Just think of the quantity of goods in the stores”. The pandemic, therefore, can serve the maisons to rethink their role in society: “The decline of the fashion system had already started before the epidemic, when the luxury sector adopted the operating methods of fast fashion – concludes Armani -, increasing deliveries to stores and hoping to sell more. But luxury takes time to be realised and to be appreciated”.