Ever since Milan stated its intention to move its Fashion Week ahead on the calendar, such that it would overlap with both New York and London's Fashion Week shows, there has been more than a little verbal sparring between the opposing sides.
On one side is Milan, arguing that the current calendar is untenable for its designers and manufacturers. On the other is New York and London, arguing that the current calendar was developed with an eye toward the concerns of all, and should be left as-is for the benefit of both the designers and the press looking to attend.
After the verbal sparring reached a fever pitch with Milan issuing a statement saying, "Let the best one win" on Friday, designer and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg took matters into her own hands in writing an open letter addressed "to the fashion community," which appeared in WWD over the long weekend. In the letter, Furstenberg re-states her case and says she believes the whole thing is just "a misunderstanding":
Editors, retailers and designers like the consistency of every designer always showing on the same day of the week season after season. It makes it so much easier for everyone to plan and attend shows. Clearly, year after year, the calendar changes for there are 7 days in the week and every new year the calendar advances 1 day. Some years it will be better for some cities, some years not.
That is what is happening in September 2012. I believe our friends in Milan did not understand that. We did not change from the agreement we reached of starting Fashion Season in New York on the same day every year, which is the second Thursday of February and September. It is the nature of the calendar.
I also believe this conflict is a misunderstanding. I am convinced it will be resolved and that the agreement that was made 3 years ago at great cost and effort is valid and will be kept.
Furstenberg goes on to point out that the fashion industry itself "provides an enormous quantity of jobs" -- noting that in the current climate, the leaders of the industry should not be doing anything to "jeopardize" that.