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Milan defends Fashion Week dates clash

Milan Fashion Week organisers have hit back at claims they moved forward the start of their 2012 catwalk shows to clash with New York and London, saying the fault lies with the other two cities.

Controversy has surrounded the overlap in dates for the September 2012 fashion shows after New York and London organisers claimed Milan pushed forward their start date more than a week.

But Guilia Pirovana, general manager of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, which runs Italian fashion shows, said organisers in New York are to blame for misinterpreting the way the start dates are set. The four main fashion week capitals - London, New York, Milan and Paris - sat down in 2008 to agree when the events would run each year but while New York and London organisers believe the start date is the second Thursday of September for the spring shows, Milan’s understanding is that the shows’ start date moves forward by one day each year.

She said: “If anybody changed the dates it was New York and London - not Milan. They postponed their dates by one week. We had an agreement.

“There was no discussion, no sharing the decision with others.”

She denied there was any plan by Milan to sabotage New York or London’s September 2012 shows by creating an overlap in dates, forcing fashion buyers, journalists and production to choose one over the other. “It’s not true. We published our 2012 dates two years ago,” she added.

The 2008 deal, as interpreted by New York and London, would mean that in 2012 New York Fashion Week would start on September 14 and London on September 21.

But Milan announced its show would start on September 19 (instead of on September 28, if it were to fall in line with the other two cities).

New York and London are reported to be preparing an appeal to big Italian fashion companies to reconsider.

The final decision may likely come from Paris, where LVMH and PPR, the two largest luxury goods groups, reside.

The two conglomerates own many of fashion’s biggest brands, including Gucci, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, giving them major clout with magazines and fashion production.

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