A reflection, a redefinition of priorities, an overthrow of those dogmas that seemed granite and indestructible and that instead, the pandemic that the world is facing has implacably subverted.
These, in essence, are the ideas that Giorgio Armani expressed in a letter sent last week to Women’s Wear Daily, better known as WWD (the fashion bible).
Re Giorgio lays down the guidelines that must, of necessity, guide the fashion industry towards a new reality made of priorities, slowing down the mad pace that fashion has had for years. An outburst full of awareness but at the same time looking to the future to design a new beginning.
The beauty of Giorgio Armani’s words lies in the fact that they can be declined for so many aspects of life that we will face once this emergency is over, a life of reconsideration and revaluation, because, most likely, we will never return to what everyone calls normality but which, perhaps, was the only habit.
Here is the text of the letter:
“The decline of the fashion system, as we know it, started when the luxury sector adopted the fast fashion operating mode with the continuous delivery cycle, hoping to sell more…I don’t want to work like this anymore, it’s immoral. It doesn’t make sense that one of my jackets, or one of my suits live in the store for three weeks, become immediately obsolete, and are replaced by new merchandise, which is not too different from the one that preceded it. I don’t work like that. I find it immoral to do so. I’ve always believed in an idea of timeless elegance, in making clothes that suggest only one way to buy them: that they last over time. For the same reason I find it absurd that in the middle of winter, in boutiques, there are linen clothes and in summer, alpaca coats, for the simple reason that the desire to buy must be satisfied immediately. Who buys clothes to put them in a closet waiting for the right season to wear them? No one, or a few, I think. But this system, driven by department stores, has become the dominant mentality. Wrong, we have to change, this has to stop. This crisis is a wonderful opportunity to slow everything down, to realign everything, to draw a more authentic and true horizon. No more spectacularization, no more waste. For three weeks I’ve been working with my teams to ensure that, after the lockdown, the summer collections remain in the boutique at least until the beginning of September, as is natural. And that’s how we’re going to do it from now on. This crisis is also a wonderful opportunity to restore value to authenticity: no more fashion as a communication game, no more fashion shows around the world, just to present bland ideas. No more entertaining with great shows that today reveal themselves for what they are: inappropriate, and I also mean vulgar. No more parades all over the world, made through the journeys that pollute. No more wasting money on shows, they’re just brushstrokes of enamel on top of nowhere. The moment we are going through is turbulent, but it offers us the unique opportunity to fix what is wrong, to remove the superfluous, to find a more human dimension… This is perhaps the most important lesson of this crisis”.