The Italian fashion chamber – Camera della Moda Italiana (CNMI) – celebrated its 50th anniversary during Milan Fashion Week (Milano Moda Donna) and took the opportunity to announce some exciting new initiatives.

At a press conference last week CNMI ( revealed it will add two new important projects to its existing portfolio. The ever-increasing business of pre-collections will be given a new platform held twice a year along with a fashion show event entitled Milano Moda Pre-Collections . This new event, held within the two weeks each year in May and November will invite fashion houses to show their collections with sales appointments and present exclusive in-house catwalk shows for the cruise and holiday lines. The dates for the coming year are:

For Spring 2009 season, the sales period is: 20th May to 6th June, catwalk shows will run: 26th to 30th May;
For Fall 2009 season, the sales period is: 25th November to 12th December, catwalk shows will run: 1st till 5th December.

The Italian Fashion Chamber will advertise these dates in the upcoming weeks in magazines and newspapers worldwide.

The second new project is called Milano Moda Design and will be held during the city’s important Furniture Week (Salone del Mobile) in Milan from 16th to 21st April 2008. The Fashion Chamber will coordinate a schedule with all presentations of the interior product presentations of the various fashion designers.

And last but not least the Fashion Chamber was pleased to announce an alliance with Maven Corporate Ltd to organize the Abu Dhabi Fashion Week ( to be held from 15th to 18th March in the Arabian Gulf. There, the next wave of designers from the SAMEA region will present their collections to buyers and press on a professional platform.

Back to Milan Fashion Week: During the packed 8 days of catwalk shows, 223 winter 2008/09fashion collections were shown. Among them designer biggies such as Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and Versace as well as cool, but equally big brands like Albino, Burberry Prorsum and Bottega Veneta.

A total of 103 catwalk shows were held for 95 labels, 47 of which took place in the Milan Fashion Center, a location especially constructed for the shows. There were also 137 additional presentations held in various showrooms all over town. During the final 2 days mostly young international designers – such as Milia M., the first Arabic designer to show outside her country - presented the best of creativity and new materials. Milan Fashion Week attracted more than 15,000 buyers from all continents and approximately 2000 representatives of the press.

Along with the fashion presentations lots of parties and exclusive dinners took place, as well as cultural events including the exhibitions “Art of the Women: From the Rinascimento to the Surrealism” and “Giacomo Balla: modernità del Futurismo” at Palazzo Reale. The city of Milan organized also four maxi-screens in the city center which transmitted the current Spring/Summer collection shows.

In collaboration with the Milan commercial department, The Fashion Chamber continued it’s commitment to young designers with the project New Upcoming Designers which offers young talents the opportunity to present their own collections under two different titles - Next Generation and Regeneration. Andrea Turkish and Archivio Privato by Alberto Zambelli (pictured above) are two small labels which were part of CNMI project Fashion Incubator. Today these two designers are successfully continuing their entrepreneurial path and the launch of their brands more independently. Andrea Turchi presented his collection in 2007 in Parigi, Tokyo and Istanbul. Archivio Privato’s women’s and men’s collections were shown in Tokyo and Mumbai. The spirit of these two new designers is marked by a great passion, professionalism, humility and accessibility, but also their talent for research, materials, quality and attention to detail. The Milan fashion show was for them an important milestone and a great opportunity for development and realization.

Upcoming Milan catwalk dates 2008:
men’s collections: 21-25 June; women’s collections: 20-27 September

- Michaela Schmidinger | fashion features editor