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Who’s in and who’s out at Milan Fashion Week | The week ahead, BoF Professional


Missing in action

  • Mainly physical Milan Fashion Week starts September 23

  • Two of Kering’s Italian brands, Gucci and Bottega Veneta, are out of the program

  • Emporio Armani celebrates its 40th anniversary and Prada hosts its first in-person show with Raf Simons as co-creative director

Milan Fashion Week is back in its pre-pandemic form, with two exceptions: Bottega Veneta and Gucci remain off the schedule. At the start of the pandemic, most of Kering’s fashion brands announced they were leaving the calendar behind to show when and where they wanted. But Saint Laurent and Balenciaga will be back in Paris later this month, as Kering’s two hottest Italian brands, Gucci and Bottega Veneta, hold their own. Milan has plenty of other prints, including Prada’s first in-person show with Raf Simons on board. After a debut show that carried over to Fendi’s legacy, Kim Jones could put her own spin on the brand. And Armani’s 40th anniversary comes as the designer has pushed back takeover offers.

The bottom line: The shows in New York and London offered an intriguing and often retail ready preview of the post-pandemic dress-up. Among the designers featured this week, Miuccia Prada in particular had a lot to say about the role fashion played during the pandemic.

No shirt, no shoes, no sales

  • Nike releases quarterly results September 23

  • Covid-linked factory closures in Vietnam hampered the brand as well as other sneaker sellers

  • In June, Nike posted record sales as direct purchases of its sneakers skyrocketed

Nike’s strategy of selling most of its sneakers through its own ecosystem of websites and apps is going exactly as planned, with one small problem: the company is struggling to find enough shoes to sell. According to Cowen, Nike makes 51% of its shoes in Vietnam, which was blocked in August. Factories have been closed longer than originally planned, and brands ranging from On Running to Adidas face leaner inventory as the holiday season approaches, analysts say. Cowen predicts that the supply chain crisis could cut Nike sales this year by $ 1.3 billion. There is an advantage: fewer shoes means less product left over at the end of the season, which means fewer promotions and higher margins. Nike, which has directed much of its sales to its own channels, is in a better position than some competitors to control inventory and prices accordingly.

The bottom line: Supply chain issues aside, Nike is way ahead of the pack. But On Running’s impressive IPO – and the constant number of elite athletes leaving Nike for other brands – is a sign that the competition could have a second wind.

The third time is the charm

  • Savage X Fenty to air their third fashion show on Amazon on September 24

  • Rihanna’s lingerie brand was valued at $ 1 billion in a February funding round

  • According to Tribe Dynamics, last year’s Amazon fashion show boosted brand talk on social media by 78%.

Rihanna and her friends are back. This Friday, some of the world’s greatest musicians, models, drag queens and TikTok stars will appear in the third Savage X Fenty special, again airing on Amazon. The brand used its annual runway shows to contrast with Victoria’s Secret, which stubbornly held onto a long-outdated view of sexuality. The strategy worked: Savage X Fenty now has a $ 1 billion valuation and ambitious plans to expand into retail. But that first window of opportunity may be closing. Victoria’s Secret, now an independent company freed from its former rulers and much of its old baggage, is banking on inclusiveness, including a diverse roster of top brand ambassadors. The incumbent giant’s turnaround raises the stakes for Savage X Fenty, which will have to find new ways to keep a grip on its customers now that even the most traditional lingerie brands are modernizing their image, and a host of even newer labels. push the limits category further.

The bottom line: Savage X Fenty is no longer the new kid on the block, and has $ 115 million in funding from L Catterton and other heavyweights to take on Victoria’s Secret, Aerie and other big contenders head-on .

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