Catwalk, runway or fashion show in Italian: 15 minutes or so to impress the vision of a brand in people’s memory. From a private sale for a few wealthy clients to a grandiose show promoted on a global scale, the fashion show has thus become one of the most powerful communication tools of the Fashion System. In short, the intimate performances of the 1950s hosted in Coco Chanel’s atelier have little in common with the supermarket recreated by Karl Lagerfeld in 2014 at the Grand Palais.

The history of fashion shows dates back to more than a century ago when, to communicate the latest fashion news, France (the undisputed capital of the sector) sent doll-models, the so-called poupées de France, to various countries of the world. But it is only thanks to Charles Frederick Worth, father of haute couture, if the first fashion shows with real models, the famous mannequins, enlivened the stylists’ ateliers. They were private, informal exhibitions, with models walking around the room while hand-picked guests ate appetizers and sipped tea. On the other hand, Paul Poiret, another great couturier who, thanks to his innate theatricality, organized grandiose fashion parades in Europe and the United States, deserved to have taken the fashion shows outside the ateliers.


Today the most important fashion shows take place four times a year to present the new autumn/winter and spring/summer collections for both women and men. The first fashion week took place in 1943 in New York. ”But wasn’t Paris the city of fashion at the time?” you may be wondering. Absolutely yes, but due to the outbreak of the Second World War, it became impossible to reach it or import clothes from Europe. After the war, however, the initiative was also adopted by Paris, London and Milan, which earned the title of fashion capitals.


Starting from the 80s, the golden age of rap, streetwear began to approach fashion. A partnership sanctioned in 1996 by Tupac and Versace right on the catwalk. In fact, the American rapper was the first in history to walk the catwalk for a luxury brand. The then stylist of the maison, Gianni Versace, had understood the importance of figures such as Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. not only in the music industry but also in the fashion industry. The bond between urban artists and fashion brands has grown over the years and is destined to last over time; just think of the capsule collections by Pharrell Williams for Chanel, the collaboration between Kanye West and Gap, the film project by Gucci and GQ Magazine with Ghali and, if that weren’t enough, the image of Anna Wintour sitting alongside the American rapper Cardi B during at the Chanel S/S 2020 fashion show.


Also for MFGA, the fashion show represents the key event to tell, through new clothes, our vision
of the future. This year we presented a preview of the new collection at HOAS – History of Style, a
fashion event hosted at the Lingotto Fiere in Turin from 25 to 28 November 2021.
Are you Curious? For the moment we can only tell you that the upcoming collection takes the
name of Wilberia because of the references to the first novel of Nicolai Lilin’s Trilogy: Siberian

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Giorgia Ribaldone

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