The fur is flying once again on Milan’s catwalks with two of the city’s most iconic brands Armani and Prada taking swipes at each other over the former’s refusal to pull its weight in the national fashion trade association.
Patrizio Bertelli, president of the Prada Group and vice president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, effectively said the Armani group ought to be licking some stamps as well as enjoying the benefits provided by being listed on the trade group’s official calendar.
Giorgio Armani, the notoriously touchy king of taupe, retorted that before they start giving him lessons, companies such as Prada ought to spend less time flitting to New York, London and Paris, and instead make more effort to present their collections first in Milan, Europe’s ready-to-ear capital.
The Armani-Prada spat is the latest in a succession of cat-fights between the top designers. Last year fashion rock’n’roller Roberto Cavalli had a cheeky pop at Armani over the latter’s aesthetically challenged five-star hotel in Milan, which he said resembled a “psychiatric hospital”.
In 2009 Mr Armani accused Dolce and Gabbana of copying one of his designs and appeared to call the rival designers “cretins” after a pair of quilted D&G trousers in the January menswear shows resembled a pair Armani had previously sent down the runway.
Later that year there was more sniping from Mr Cavalli and Miuccia Prada when Dolce and Gabbana upset fashion week schedules by changing the date of a key show to avoid clashing with the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur. They said they wanted to ensure coverage from a top American Jewish fashion writer. But the extra publicity probably didn’t hurt, either.