Giorgio Armani rounds off Milan Fashion Week and ends speculation about succession

Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2016

A resurgent Milan Fashion Week has ended. Not long after the industry had been wondering whether the event still had the ability to surprise and lead fashion, it did. So what more fitting a finale than Giorgio Armani to stage his latest show?

The event coincided with his 40th anniversary celebrations and – as usual – lots of speculation about succession planning given Armani himself is now 81.

But while he left the industry in no doubt the house is staying in his hands as long as he’s alive to control it, he admitted it could be difficult for it to stay independent after he’s gone.

For now though, he told reporters he’s not about to sell or list the company any time soon which must have pleased his celebrity clients who included Sophia Loren in the front row.

So that left the clothes. The notes that accompanied the show talked a lot about the colour red (a key feature of the collection) and “new femininity: it is strong and powerful, without relinquishing the possibility of soft understatement”.

Worn solo or mixed with grey, cream and black, it ran throughout, as did the giant wavy brim hats, the organza pieces, the Bermuda-length shorts suits and the understated beading.

But in some ways all that took second place to those anniversary celebrations. Immediately after the show Armani unveiled his hefty autobiography that funnels money to the United Nations Children’s Fund and includes previously unpublished photos.

The pictures it contained – including many showing just how powerful an impact he’s had on fashion in the past four decades – were perhaps the most fitting answer to anyone who questions whether Armani is still relevant to fashion today.

MFW FIX: The latest shows. The most detailed catwalks reports. Every. Single. Picture. From. Every. Single. Show. Sound good? Join WGSN.

NEED TREND INFO FAST? Check out WGSN’s YouTube for our latest episodes of Trend Minute.

STAY UP TO DATE: You want the need-to-know news, right? Our journalists deliver a daily curation of the most important industry happenings. Sound good? Join WGSN.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.