Last updated on September 11, 2023
The Milan Fashion Week is THE event happening in the city. It is actually a set of events that take the city by the storm. Each and every fashion designer welcomes to its headquarter celebrities from the world over. Read the most interesting facts about the Milan Fashion Week. Check this link for the full calendar of the fashion shows.
The Milan Fashion Week: how it all started
The history of the most sought after fashion event goes back to mid fifties. The fashion week was originally held in the city of Florence. At that time the wealthy entrepreneur Giovanni Battista Giorgini decided to gather the major Italian designers under one roof. He also welcomed to the shows journalists and buyers. The idea was to replicate what the famed Eleanor Lambert had done for American fashion.
The success was great. Maybe too much. Twice a year hundreds of fashion enthusiasts were flocking to Florence to see the collections. Palazzo Pitti, the headquarter of the Florentine fashion shows, wasn’t able to accommodate so many guests and events anymore. In the meantime the economic boom and the fast industrialization were making of Milan the perfect city for business and trade. The solution seemed kind of obvious. In 1975 the very fist Milan Fashion Week took place.
Milan was a city were hotels were larger, event venues were more modern and the international accessibility was just easier.
The main headquarter of the Milanese edition of the fashion shows has been the Fieramilano for decades. It was then decided to move the events to the fashion hub, managed by the Italian Chamber of Fashion.
While some of the designers do prefer to welcome their guest at the iconic venues throughout the city, the fashion hub is the place to be for young designers and buyers.
From the mid seventies Milan became the home of Italian fashion and the pret-a-porter collections. Giorgio Armani started its company in the capital of the Lombardy region in 1975. Gianni Versace founded the House of the Medusa in 1978. While Gianfranco Ferrè started its venture in 1978.
5 Things you need to know about Milan Fashion Week
The dates of Milan Fashion Week
The Milan Fashion Week happens four times a year. The women collections are usually presented on the third week of September (Spring/Summer collections) and on the third week of February (Fall/Winter collections). While the men’s shows happen on the third week of January (Fall/Winter) and on the third week of June (Spring/Summer).
Milan Fashion Week is not open to public
The shows are not open to the public. The main fashion designers invite only buyers, journalists and celebrities. There might be some designers who decide to reserve some seats for the fashion enthusiats out there but you will need to check their social profile or websites.
Events at MFW
The so called after-parties are actually very popular here in Milan. The fashion houses usually host events after the shows. Some of the events might be open to the public but a registration is always required. Check regularly the Chamber of Fashion Website to see who is throwing the best party and where.
Milan during Fashion Week
Milan is not particularly busy during the fashion week. There are a lot of people coming to the city but given the exclusivity of the events the non-fashion professionals or enthusiasts can enjoy the city as usual. There might be some higher costs for the accommmodation but if you pick a decent hotel not in the very city centre you will be just fine.
The tickets for the Milan Fashion Week
There is not any tickets on sale to see the collections. The MFW is not open to the public and the access to the shows is by invite only. There might be some events who welcome the general populace and they require pre-registration.
Venues of the Fashion Week
The main venue where journalists and buyers go and see the collections is the Milan Fashion Hub. It is at Palazzo Giureconsulti a historical palazzo in the heart of Milan. The Giureconsulti used to be the Milan Stock Exchange and its sits right in front of the Loggia dei Mercanti, a few steps from the Duomo Cathedral.
Another important venue for the Milan Fashion Week is for sure the MiCo Milan Convention Centre. Right in front of the new skyscrapers of the city the convention facility hosts every year three or four shows. Versace, Philipp Plein and Marcelo Buron have previously chosen this venue for their shows.
Some other designers like Giorgio Armani or Prada have their own venue where to show the latest collections. While others tend to pick always the same venue because it matches with their image. It is the case of Max Mara which regularly has its show at the Rotonda della Besana.
This venue used to be back in the 17th century a burial site connected to the main hospital of the city of Milan. It was then acquired in 1958 by the Milan municipality and turned into a venue for events and art exhibitions.
Ferragamo has instead opted to use for its fashion show its brand new hotel in the city centre of Milan. The Portrait has opened its doors last year and it has already acquired the fame of one of the best hotels in the city. It used to be the main seminary of Milan and its was then re-adapted by the Ferragamos into a hotel with meeting facilities and excellent dining opportunities.