The Milan fashion week is barely behind us and already we are getting ready for the next event. The level of anticipation in the fashion industry never abates and thousands of brands, buyers, celebrities, artists, designers, and representatives of the media are already planning their presence at the next fashion week. If you too are interested in showcasing your collection, launching your brand or simply networking in Milan during the hottest event of the next season, you need to start planning now.
What you need to know about the Milan Fashion Week
There’s more to it than meets the eye – which arguably isn’t a phrase you hear often in the fashion industry, where appearances literally are the core business and clothes really do make the man (or, in the case of the September event, the woman). Behind the glittering façade, the superhumanly beautiful models, the outrageous catwalks, the excessive entertainment and the public frenzy, there’s a world of professionals working hard, round the clock, to make the whole machine of the Milan Fashion Week run smoothly. The first ever edition of this event was held in 1958 and it consecrated the city among the fashion capitals of the world, together with London, Paris and New York. Since then, several other cities got their own fashion week, but none of them ever raised to the same status as the Big Four. Every year, through September and October, the spring and summer collections for the following year are presented, with separate events for men’s and women’s fashion, with the latter generally drawing more attention than the former. The top events of the Women’s Fashion Week in Milan are Womenswear, Milan SS Women Ready to Wear and Milano Moda Donna.
Planning a corporate trip to Milan during the September Fashion Week
The spring and summer womenswear collections for 2020 will be presented in Milan from September 17th to 23rd. If you are thinking of googling the names of the designers and brands presenting their collections at the event, don’t bother: it’s all of them. Everyone in the business wants to be there and is going to be there. The city is going to be buzzing with creative energy and thousands of parties, events, fashion shows, press conferences and presentations will be taking place all over it, particularly in the fashion district. Getting noticed during that week is not going to be easy: you will need to plan carefully and in advance. The first thing you should do is book accommodation for your entire team right now. Like any corporate trip, your presence at the Milan Fashion Week will require you to be in the centre of the action: take your pick of the best hotels now and make sure you are within walking distance of all the meetings, major events and press conferences you are planning on attending. Make sure you also reserve any office facility you may need, including meeting and conference rooms, not to mention a suitable venue for your own presentation or exhibition, if you are going to host one.
Get ready to network!
One problem many small and medium brands encounter at major events is the virtual impossibility of getting noticed, among the crowd of giants hogging all the media coverage and diverting attention from any emerging brand names. It’s an uphill struggle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win it. While focusing on your own event and making sure you create a unique and memorable experience for your attendees, you should always be aware that networking at other people’s events is at least as important as concentrating on your own. Focus on a solid campaign to increase brand awareness and attend as many networking events as you can. You might also try to access some of the many existing programs for emerging brands and ensure your place on the official program of the event. More than anything, this is the perfect time to impress and astonish with unusual marketing tactics. Bear in mind that thousands of journalists, bloggers and influencers will be roaming the streets of Milan, asking nothing better than to be impressed. Even if you can’t afford or secure a major venue for your presentation, even if you can’t get an invitation to the top parties in town, you can still get your name out there, by investing in unconventional campaigns. Plan a guerrilla marketing event or a flash mob, make sure you get the kind of viral exposure that has bloggers talking about your for months until the mainstream media want to know more about you. In short: get creative! This is what the fashion week is about, after all.