France’s Chambre Syndicale, which remained silent through months of date negotiations between the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the British Fashion Council and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, has said that its members voted unanimously to stick with its original dates for Paris Fashion Weeks in 2013 and 2014.
In recent weeks, Italian fashion officials agreed that the spring-summer show season should start on the second Thursday in September, from 2013. The agreement would have delayed the opening day of Paris Fashion Week to 2 October in 2013 and 1 October in 2014.
Paris’s decision to stand by its preferred dates—starting on 24 September 2013 and 23 September 2014—scuppers compromise talks between New York, London and Milan. The move means that Paris Fashion Week would clash with Milan Fashion Week and nullify New York and London’s preferred second-Thursday decision.
Chambre Syndicale President Didier Grumbach told WWD that his organisation had not been involved in any of the negotiations.
‘It was perfectly open and clear and very obvious that our members could not accept this,’ he told the paper. ‘All of the member houses agreed that this would make them very late in taking orders, which in turn would be penalizing for deliveries. It’s an industrial reason: you are a manufacturer, you need your orders early.... We have had lots of meetings about pushing Paris show dates earlier as many brands really want that.’
The BFC, which already expects to see its dates squeezed between New York and Milan, called the step 'disappointing'.
‘This is a disappointing response when all other parties had been trying to work together to find a resolution that works for all,’ a representative of the industry body said.
CFDA head Diane Von Furstenberg described herself as ‘completely in shock’ over Paris’s decision. ‘I don’t understand why Paris completely and totally just ignored what all of us have worked so hard on,’ she said.
The latest wrinkle pushes the date clash back into the earliest stages of negotiation, with WWD suggesting that Milan will ally with Paris to force New York and London into agreeing with its preferences.
What’s the takeaway? Certainly not solid show dates. The main lesson we can extract from this comedy of mismatched calendars is that the decision makers should quit emailing already, and convene to hash out the dates in person.