Milan Fashion Week buyers seek bold designs to spark spending

Global retailers say they are hoping to place orders for bold, eye-catching styles for the autumn 2024 season

Elisa AnzolinReuters
Published : 20 Feb 2024, 11:19 AM
Updated : 20 Feb 2024, 11:19 AM

Global retailers said they were hoping to place orders for bold, eye-catching styles at Milan Fashion Week for the autumn 2024 season, despite a recent trend for so-called "quiet luxury" designs characterised by understated elegance.

The clothing trade show, which starts on Tuesday, following New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week this month, includes big names such as Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace.

Global luxury demand has settled down after a strong post-pandemic rebound, with consultancy firm Bain forecasting a "probable scenario" of a 1% to 4% growth in sales this year.

"After a period where brands were focused on classicism and simplicity, on 'quiet luxury' and timeless products, I expect a move towards more pronounced creativity," said Federica Montelli, fashion consultant and former head of fashion at Italian high-end department store chain Rinascente.

"Given smaller retailers' budgets, I hope they can find a push to go further (over that budget)," she added.

The National Chamber for Italian Fashion said this year's event is expected to attract more international buyers than it did before the pandemic, but did not provide figures.

Among those buyers will be Bosse Myhr, director of womenswear at British luxury department store chain Selfridges.

Myhr said he hopes to see a "fashion moment" for Belgian designer Glenn Martens of Diesel. The Italian streetwear brand sells shimmery denim jackets for $995 and stretched leather bootcut trousers for $950.

Some shoppers are tightening their spending on luxury goods amid an economic slowdown and rising prices, said Federico Giglio, chief executive of, an Italy-based retailer of high-end looks from Versace and Valentino, among other brands.

Given that, "what we expect from the collections is that designers come up with something new, which can motivate people to spend," he added.

Retailers may direct their spending to big-name labels that make the biggest splashes on the runway. "This is a difficult time for emerging brands ... because they need strong investments and it takes a risk appetite on the part of buyers that is not there at the moment", Giglio said.

"Quiet luxury" remains the dominant fashion trend, implying higher-priced products and a more affluent customer base, according to a Bank of America research report released in January.

"We believe that throughout the year brands should focus back on fashion content and newness in order to re-engage customers and drive traffic," the report said.


Gucci parent Kering is planning a relaunch of the brand this year as it prepares for creative director Sabato De Sarno's third show since he took on the role last year.

British designer Peter Hawkings will present his second collection for Tom Ford, after being named creative director at the fashion house last April, taking over from founder Tom Ford.

Matteo Tamburini will present his first collection as creative director of luxury shoemaker Tod's.

Adrian Appiolaza will debut as creative director of Moschino, controlled by Italian fashion group Aeffe. Its previous director, David Renne, died in November at the age of 46, only a month after taking up the role.