Six Recycling Innovations that Could Change Fashion

Tackling fashion's waste problem has become a top priority. MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP
Tackling fashion's waste problem has become a top priority. MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP
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Six Recycling Innovations that Could Change Fashion

Tackling fashion's waste problem has become a top priority. MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP
Tackling fashion's waste problem has become a top priority. MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP

The fashion industry's enormous waste problem is pushing governments, particularly in Europe, towards ambitious recycling targets.
The problem is that recycling textiles is a highly complex task and technical solutions are still in their infancy, AFP said.
NGOs warn the real problem is over-production, and that tech innovations may just provide cover for brands to continue pumping out billions of new clothes.
But the pressure to start recycling at massive scale is happening now.
"Brands need to get to high levels of recycling at super-speed, and if they don't, the EU will be giving them massive fines," said circular economy consultant Paul Foulkes-Arellano.
AFP spoke to multiple experts to see which ideas could make a difference.
Many will fail, but here is a snapshot of current contenders that illustrate the different challenges in textile recycling.
MycoWorks: Mushroom leather
MycoWorks grows mycelium (fungus roots) that comes out like luxury leather, with early clients including Hermes and General Motors (for car interiors).
"The only input is sawdust and energy costs are extremely low because it's a fungus not a plant, so there's no need for light, and very little water," said CEO Matt Scullin.
While the makers of most new biomaterials are struggling to reach industrial scale, MycoWorks claims to have cracked the problem, billing itself as "the first and only biomaterials company to open a full-scale factory" -- in the US state of South Carolina -- with the first 1,000-sheet harvest coming off the line in January.
Circ: Unblending clothes
Most clothes are a blend of materials, making them hard to recycle. US-based Circ has invented a chemical solution to separate the most common blend, polycotton, into its constituent parts.
It uses a hydrothermal process to liquify the polyester and separate it from the cotton.
Both can then be turned into new fibers. Retail giant Zara used them for a clothing line released in April.
SuperCircle: Collecting and sorting
The world lacks the infrastructure to collect and sort large amounts of old clothes, which must be kept clean and separate from other waste.
SuperCircle brings together delivery firms, warehouses and tracking systems to streamline and cheapen the process.
They hope to change public attitudes with in-store drop-off bins, free shipping labels and other encouragements.
"We need ease, convenience and incentives for consumers so that when they are done with an item, the first thing they think is end-of-life recycling," said co-founder Stuart Ahlum.
They now handle all recycling logistics for multiple companies and sectors, including Uniqlo North America.
Saentis Textiles: in-house recycling
Saentis Textiles already helped solve one key challenge with a patented machine that can recycle cotton with minimal damage to the fibres, so it can make quality new textiles.
Its recycled cotton is used by brands including IKEA, Patagonia and Tommy Hilfiger.
Now it is selling its machine to textile companies so they can install one directly in their factories, allowing them to chuck in cut-offs and scraps for recycling on the spot.
Unspun: 3D weaving machine
Unspun claims to have invented the world's first 3D weaving machine, capable of creating a custom-sized pair of jeans directly from yarns in under 10 minutes.
Currently building its first micro-factory in Oakland, California to prove the concept, the machine could remove the need for brands to keep large stockpiles of inventory, cutting down on waste and transport.
Cetia: Preparing old clothes
Clothes must be prepared before they can be recycled, and this is the specialty of France-based Cetia.
Some of its machines are simple, like one that yanks the soles off shoes.
Others are more complex. One uses AI to recognise hard points such as buttons and zippers, and then a laser to slice them off without damaging the item.



Leather at Acne Studios, Shaggy Coats at Dries Van Noten for Paris Fashion Week

A model presents a creation by designer Dries Van Noten as part of his Fall-Winter 2024/2025 Women's ready-to-wear collection show during Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France, February 28, 2024. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
A model presents a creation by designer Dries Van Noten as part of his Fall-Winter 2024/2025 Women's ready-to-wear collection show during Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France, February 28, 2024. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
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Leather at Acne Studios, Shaggy Coats at Dries Van Noten for Paris Fashion Week

A model presents a creation by designer Dries Van Noten as part of his Fall-Winter 2024/2025 Women's ready-to-wear collection show during Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France, February 28, 2024. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
A model presents a creation by designer Dries Van Noten as part of his Fall-Winter 2024/2025 Women's ready-to-wear collection show during Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France, February 28, 2024. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

For his fall/winter runway presentation, Acne Studios creative director Jonny Johansson showed slick, all leather looks and long, tailored jackets on Wednesday at Paris Fashion Week.
The collection was "rooted in toughness and human form, leather and denim," said the show notes, affixed to each seat.
"A celebration of uncompromising femininity." Leather bodysuits had high necks and voluminous sleeves and were left unzipped in the back, while floor-sweeping trench coats were tightly fitted.
Softening the lineup were all-white looks, including a long gown with buttons running down to the navel as well as an earth-coloured dress worn with a thick, furry scarf.
Dries Van Noten, who showed earlier on Wednesday, also featured thick scarves in his catwalk show, including one with sparkles that framed the model's head like a pillow.
The Puig-owned label's lineup came in pastels, grey and light browns, and included coats and bomber jackets with rounded shoulders, as well as tailored suits embellished with shimmery beadwork.
"It’s the way that he drapes, it’s the way that he styles, it’s the way that he designs these clothes — there’s always a woman in mind," said fashion commentator Hanan Besovic, known for his Instagram account @ideservecouture.
French-Moroccan creative director Charaf Tajer also held a runway show on Wednesday, for his label Casablanca's collection called "Venus as a Boy."
Held in the historic Paris Bouglione circus house, models walked the circular runway showcasing sporty tracksuits, cheerleader skirts and sheer, fitted skirts with slits.
Paris Fashion Week runs through March 5, with upcoming shows from Chanel, Hermes, Kering-owned Balenciaga and LVMH's Louis Vuitton.


Maria Grazia Chiuri Draws on Origins of Dior’s Ready-to-Wear Line for Show

 A model presents a creation by Christian Dior for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on February 27, 2024. (AFP)
A model presents a creation by Christian Dior for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on February 27, 2024. (AFP)
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Maria Grazia Chiuri Draws on Origins of Dior’s Ready-to-Wear Line for Show

 A model presents a creation by Christian Dior for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on February 27, 2024. (AFP)
A model presents a creation by Christian Dior for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on February 27, 2024. (AFP)

For her fall-winter collection, Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri turned to the roots of the upscale fashion label's ready-to-wear line, drawing on the spirit of the late 60s with feminine, tailored looks sent down the runway on Tuesday.

Models marched around a room lined with thick bamboo canes, parading neatly belted trench coats, flared miniskirts, long mesh dresses sparkling with beadwork and trim jackets. Handbags came in all shapes and sizes, as did the shoes, which included tall riding boots, scrunched at the top.

The challenge for Dior, when its late designer Marc Bohan branched out from intricately-crafted haute couture styles into ready-to-wear designs, was to create a new silhouette, easier for women to slip on as they ventured into the work force, Chiuri told Reuters before the show.

"I think that Mr. Bohan understood very well this new generation," said Chiuri.

"At the time it was very unusual for a couture house to move into new territory," she added, also noting Bohan's foray into homewear designed by Italian artist Gabriella Crespi.

Graphics from the era, introducing the new line dubbed "Miss Dior", appeared on the clothing as starkly outlined paintstrokes on khaki-colored coats and split skirts.

Dominating the center of the space were elaborate armor-like sculptures made of cane, works by Indian artist Shakuntala Kulkarni evoking rounded, female shapes, their rigidity contrasting with the slightly loosened, polished looks shown on the catwalk.

Paris Fashion Week runs through March 5, with upcoming shows from Chanel, Hermes, Kering-owned Saint Laurent and Balenciaga and LVMH's Louis Vuitton.


Twinning Outfits Not a Fashion Faux Pas in Milan

Logos are on display outside the Gucci show at Milan Fashion Week. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
Logos are on display outside the Gucci show at Milan Fashion Week. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
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Twinning Outfits Not a Fashion Faux Pas in Milan

Logos are on display outside the Gucci show at Milan Fashion Week. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
Logos are on display outside the Gucci show at Milan Fashion Week. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

You enter a room and - gasp! - someone across from you is wearing the same outfit.
Relax, it happens. It's Milan Fashion Week and guests have sported the same outfits in runway shows running from Wednesday to Sunday, AFP said.
More than 50 catwalk shows on the women's Fall/Winter 2024-2025 calendar from Diesel and Dolce & Gabbana to Gucci and Versace draw guests from all over the world but many of them end up looking near identical.
At Fendi on the opening day, two influencers from Dubai stood toe-to-toe chatting and wearing the exact same animal print lace-up boots.
Meanwhile, the color-block print shirt adorned with the Fendi logo that 29-year-old Fatma Husam sported was the one chosen by multiple other women.
Did that bother her?
"It's completely normal," Husam said. "Because after all, how many clothes do these brands make anyway?"
Her friend, Deema Alasadi, 35, agreed.
"At a party I would be a bit busted, but at Fashion Week it's totally normal."
Japanese musicians Aya and Ami, known collectively as Amiaya, took it to the next level as only twins can with matching cherry red bob hairstyles and identical high black Fendi boots with gold heels.
Later Wednesday at Roberto Cavalli, a blonde woman in a long flowy gown printed with lemons from designer Fausto Puglisi's 2024 Resort collection smiled coyly for the cameras.
Nearby, another guest pouted and posed in a bodysuit sewn of cheetah fabric -- a mainstay of the brand -- that left little to the imagination.
But those are not the only lemons and animal prints in the room.
'Herd instinct'
Luxury brands personally dress the A-list celebrities who attend their fashion shows in up-to-the-minute looks -- such as the all-black-clad Uma Thurman and Sharon Stone at Tom Ford Thursday night -- making sure not to duplicate looks in the front rows.
But influencers -- who are sometimes sent the most coveted "it" items by the labels -- and other guests are left to rummage through their own closets, making duplications from past seasons inevitable.
But the devil is in the details, said Husam at the Fendi show.
"Everyone may be wearing the same pieces, but styling them differently," she said.
Copycat looks are most obvious when it comes to brands with in-your-face logos, such as Gucci and Versace, but harder to detect with those taking a subtler approach, such as Prada and Armani.
It is common among fashion editors who attend shows, said Godfrey Deeny, global editor-in-chief of FashionNetwork.com.
"If you're an editor you're always looking for the new, but you also have a herd instinct that you want everyone to know you know what the new thing is," he said.
"So you c
Many in the industry take comfort, he said, in knowing that "when you go, you'll all be wearing the same absurd sneaker."
Of course when it comes to the brand's employees, security guards and ushers at fashion shows, it is standard to wear the same thing: black.


Puma Sees Softer First Half as Currency Effects Weigh 

The logo of German sports goods firm Puma is seen at the entrance of one of its stores in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. (Reuters)
The logo of German sports goods firm Puma is seen at the entrance of one of its stores in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. (Reuters)
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Puma Sees Softer First Half as Currency Effects Weigh 

The logo of German sports goods firm Puma is seen at the entrance of one of its stores in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. (Reuters)
The logo of German sports goods firm Puma is seen at the entrance of one of its stores in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. (Reuters)

Puma on Tuesday said it expects a soft first half of 2024 as negative currency effects continue to put pressure on the German sportswear company, but stuck to the annual targets it gave in January.

"Going into 2024, we see that the market environment remains challenging," CEO Arne Freundt said in a statement.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Puma's currency-adjusted sales in the Americas fell by 6.4% to 846 million euros ($918.5 million), hit by a slump in the value of the Argentine peso, the sportswear maker said.

Revenue in the Asia-Pacific rose 2.8% on a currency-adjusted basis to 468.3 million euros in the quarter, helped by strong growth in the Greater China region and India, Puma said.

However, it flagged sales in the rest of Asia were softer, impacted by consumer sentiment and warm weather conditions.

The group reiterated its 2024 projection for mid-single-digit percentage growth in currency-adjusted sales, and earnings before interest and tax of 620 million to 700 million euros.


Christian Dior Postpones Much Anticipated Hong Kong Show 

Logos of Dior brand are seen outside a Dior store in Paris, France, March 3, 2017. (Reuters)
Logos of Dior brand are seen outside a Dior store in Paris, France, March 3, 2017. (Reuters)
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Christian Dior Postpones Much Anticipated Hong Kong Show 

Logos of Dior brand are seen outside a Dior store in Paris, France, March 3, 2017. (Reuters)
Logos of Dior brand are seen outside a Dior store in Paris, France, March 3, 2017. (Reuters)

French fashion label Christian Dior has postponed its planned mega fashion show in Hong Kong due to be held in March, the government said on Monday, without giving a reason for the decision.

The event was widely anticipated by many in the luxury sector after a high profile show from Louis Vuitton helmed by singer Pharrell Williams last November, which was an attempt to put the Chinese city back on the luxury map and attract wealthy spenders.

Dior did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment on why it postponed the show.

"We have just received notification from the organizer that the event will be postponed. In fact, postponements of large-scale events often happen. We continue to welcome large-scale events to be held in Hong Kong," the government said in an email.

Hong Kong's luxury retailers are adapting to fewer wealthy Chinese shoppers visiting the city and a shift towards tourists flocking to Instagram-coveted spots in trendy districts rather than splashing out on pricey branded gear.

Before the pandemic, the Chinese special administrative region had bucked global trends of declining demand for multi-brand department stores and ultra-luxury brands largely due to its attractiveness to high-spending mainland visitors.

But the rise of competing shopping hubs like China's Hainan island, changing consumer preferences and a rise in online shopping have fundamentally changed demand for luxury goods in Hong Kong and are starting to reshape the city's visitor economy, according to industry experts.


Giorgio Armani Catwalk Blooms with Florals at Milan Fashion Week

A model presents a creation from the Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection at Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 25, 2024. REUTERS/Claudia Greco
A model presents a creation from the Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection at Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 25, 2024. REUTERS/Claudia Greco
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Giorgio Armani Catwalk Blooms with Florals at Milan Fashion Week

A model presents a creation from the Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection at Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 25, 2024. REUTERS/Claudia Greco
A model presents a creation from the Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection at Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 25, 2024. REUTERS/Claudia Greco

Florals bloomed on the catwalk at Giorgio Armani on Sunday, adorning winter outfits and accessories as the veteran Italian designer presented his latest collection for his main line at Milan Fashion Week.
Armani, affectionately known as King Giorgio in Italy, opened the autumn/winter 2024 womenswear show, called "Winter Flowers", with fluid looks in light grey and brown - jackets and trousers, accessorized with floral blue scarves or sashes.
The floral theme was omnipresent in the show with floral prints or embroidery adorning jackets, dresses, blouses, hats and bags.
Floral prints or embroidery in pink, blue and green added color to dark creations in blue or black.
"The flowers are a sign of a better season coming and I really liked the contrast - there are no flowers in winter, I created them," Armani, 89, told reporters.
For the evening, sequined floral embroidery shimmered on jackets, sheer tops and dresses.
Armani closed the show with a selection of strapless frocks with sparkling flower decorations.
The designer presented the latest collection for his second line, Emporio Armani, on Thursday.


Dolce & Gabbana Play with the Tuxedo for Womenswear at Milan Fashion

A model presents a creation from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 24, 2024. (Reuters)
A model presents a creation from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 24, 2024. (Reuters)
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Dolce & Gabbana Play with the Tuxedo for Womenswear at Milan Fashion

A model presents a creation from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 24, 2024. (Reuters)
A model presents a creation from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 24, 2024. (Reuters)

Dolce & Gabbana offered an array of looks inspired by the tuxedo at Milan Fashion Week on Saturday, where the Italian luxury label presented a mainly black womenswear collection for next fall.

The autumn/winter 2024 show, called "Tuxedo", opened with cropped jackets and tied skirts slit at the front, followed by outfits and coats inspired by the formal wear.

Models wore sashes with knee-length shorts or cigarette trousers, halternecks and waistcoats inspired by tuxedo jackets and embroidered lace dresses.

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana put bows on black sheer blouses as well as shoes, sometimes sparkling.

The looks were mainly all in black, with dabs of leopard print, a few shimmering silver creations and a chiffon blouse and dress adorned in large gold polka dot prints.

Models, including Naomi Campbell, wore black hats with netted veils.

Earlier at Ferragamo, designer Maximilian Davis looked to the 1920s for inspiration, presenting dresses with dropped waistlines, feather embellishments or sequins.

Wool jackets and coats with broad shoulders were contrasted with organdie dresses and sheer skirts in the collection called "Spirit", and which featured autumnal hues, bright red, mustard and black. Footwear consisted of thigh-high boots, stilettos and shoes adorned with feathers.

"The 1920s used clothing as a way to celebrate freedom,” Davis said in show notes.

“And that expression of freedom is something which resonates with me, with my heritage, and with Ferragamo.”

Milan Fashion Week runs until Monday.


Anti-fur Activists Target Max Mara, Fendi at Milan Fashion Week

Activists say fur farming is cruel and better alternatives are available. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
Activists say fur farming is cruel and better alternatives are available. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
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Anti-fur Activists Target Max Mara, Fendi at Milan Fashion Week

Activists say fur farming is cruel and better alternatives are available. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
Activists say fur farming is cruel and better alternatives are available. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Animal activists have fashion brands squarely in their sights this Milan Fashion Week, hoping to pressure Italian brands Max Mara and Fendi to give up fur in future collections.
An activist from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) stormed the Fendi runway on Wednesday brandishing a sign saying "Animals are NOT clothing".
And a coalition of pro-animal groups stepped up their campaign on Thursday against Max Mara.
Over 1,500 international fashion brands, including some of the most prestigious, have renounced fur in recent years, due to concerns about animal cruelty, changing trends and new synthetic alternatives.
On Thursday, a hot-air balloon with the message "Max Mara Go Fur-Free" floated above the company's headquarters in Emilia Romagna for the second day running.
The stunt was backed by the Fur Free Alliance -- a coalition of over 50 global animal protection associations, including the Humane Society International and Italy's LAV (Anti-Vivisection League) -- which has been targeting Max Mara since earlier this month.
The campaign, involving protests, social media posts, telephone calls and emails, corresponds to the season of fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris running until March 5.
Max Mara -- whose runway show on Thursday did not feature fur -- did not respond to requests for comment from AFP.
Unlike Fendi, which began as a fur line, Max Mara is best known for its luxurious wool and camel hair coats, using fur occasionally as trim on hoods and cuffs.
That means the company could easily stop using fur without affecting its core business, said LAV's Simone Pavesi.
"It's really a question of total indifference. They could resolve it from one season to another," he told AFP.
He added that the fashion house had refused to sit down with animal welfare groups, as many other brands have done.
'Smell of death'
Outside the Max Mara show, Anna Kirichenko, 32, sported a black ski hat prominently decorated with the company's logo, combined with an oversized black faux fur jacket.
"There are so many alternatives, so many young designers who can give us cheaper and better alternatives (to real fur)," Kirichenko said.
"I want to be an example... I don't like the smell of death."
At Fendi, fashion student Elke Orth, 21, said top brands still using fur have oversized influence, even though attitudes among young people have changed.
"They have all the power because everyone wants to be inside that world," she said.
"But if a famous actor or singer says 'I won't go to that show', that would make a big change," she said.
Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Valentino and Versace, are among several prestigious fashion houses who have renounced fur.
"All these companies have seen how unethical and unsustainable fur is," Pavesi said.

Major recalcitrants include France's Louis Vuitton and Hermes.
Activists cite the cruelty inherent in fur farming, in which foxes, minks, chinchillas, rabbits and raccoon dogs are crammed into tiny wire battery cages before being gassed or electrocuted.
Undercover operations have brought to light deplorable conditions in fur farms, sick and stressed animals, and episodes of self-mutilation and infections.
An outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in Dutch mink fur farms in 2020 hastened the scheduled closure of the farms by three years to 2021.
Ethics and 'sustainability'
The fur industry markets its products as environmentally friendly renewable resources -- claims that anti-fur activists refute, citing higher carbon footprints.
Within the European Union, there is no ban on sales of fur, nor any specific animal welfare legislation covering these animals.
California, Israel and certain US cities have banned fur sales.
As of December, 17 of the EU's 27 member countries had adopted full or partial bans on fur farming, with others in the works.
There are currently more than 1,000 fur farms in the EU -- most of them in Finland, Greece and Poland -- which amounts to about 7.7 million animals.
Fur Free Europe collected 1.7 million signatures last year to petition the European Commission to ban fur farming.
In response, the EU's executive asked its food safety agency to conduct an independent review on the protection of fur production animals by March 2025.
By March 2026, the Commission will rule on a potential ban on fur farming and the sale of farmed animal fur products within the EU.
Alternatively, it could adopt "appropriate standards" for better animal welfare practices.
LAV's Pavesi said that as of Wednesday, Max Mara had begun to block critical comments about its use of fur from its Instagram page.
"We have no interest in a pressure campaign," he said.
"We'd prefer to talk with the company, explain our reasons... and convince them to stop using fur."


De Sarno Pursues Gucci Reset with Embellished Coats at Milan Fashion Week

A model presents a creation from the Gucci Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 23, 2024. (Reuters)
A model presents a creation from the Gucci Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 23, 2024. (Reuters)
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De Sarno Pursues Gucci Reset with Embellished Coats at Milan Fashion Week

A model presents a creation from the Gucci Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 23, 2024. (Reuters)
A model presents a creation from the Gucci Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 23, 2024. (Reuters)

Gucci creative director Sabato De Sarno showed a lineup of ornately decorated wool coats on the catwalk in Milan on Friday, building on his approach for reigniting Kering’s prized label with sensual, pared-back styles.

Models marched down a slightly elevated runway in a sparse, window-lined space parading soft wool coats, long bustier dresses and trim suit jackets cinched with thin belts.

Adding to the chunky loafers, mini-shorts and glossy Jackie handbags that have become label signatures under the new designer's direction were thigh-high riding boots, small purses shaped like half moons, towering platform heels and delicate, see-through dresses with lace.

De Sarno's designs, which have begun trickling into stores, are key to reigniting sales at Gucci, Kering’s largest brand, accounting for half of the French luxury group’s sales and over two thirds of its profit.

The French group recently overhauled top management, sending longtime executive Jean-Francois Palus to Italy to manage the label as it pushes Gucci upmarket.

This consists of emphasizing more classic styles and leather goods in a bid to regain traction after losing ground to rivals like LVMH's Dior and Louis Vuitton.

Stores will not be fully stocked with De Sarno’s styles until later in the year - perhaps by June - but early signs are “very encouraging”, Kering deputy CEO Francesca Bellettini said earlier this month.

The group cautioned that margins will be lower this year as it continues to invest in Gucci.

UBS analysts have flagged early signs of "improving brand heat", noting Gucci is "in a much better place than before,” earlier this month.


New Designers Make a Splash at Moschino, Tod’s and Blumarine during Milan Fashion Week

 Models present creations from the Moschino Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 22, 2024. (Reuters)
Models present creations from the Moschino Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 22, 2024. (Reuters)
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New Designers Make a Splash at Moschino, Tod’s and Blumarine during Milan Fashion Week

 Models present creations from the Moschino Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 22, 2024. (Reuters)
Models present creations from the Moschino Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 22, 2024. (Reuters)

Designers are giving their first impressions at their new fashion houses during Milan Fashion Week.

In a game of musical chairs, Matteo Tamburini showed his first collection for Tod's on Friday just hours before his predecessor there, Walter Chiapponi, made his debut as creative director of Blumarine.

Adrian Appiolaza premiered his first collection for Moschino Thursday evening in a bittersweet moment just a month and a half after being named. His appointment followed the sudden death of David Renne just 10 days into his tenure.

Here are highlights from designer debuts during Milan Fashion Week of mostly womenswear previews for Fall-Winter 2024-25.

TAKING A STAND AT MOSCHINO Having just six weeks to pull together a collection forced Argentinian Appiolaza to be very decisive, creating a collection that he said "didn’t feel too overthought."

He plunged into the archives, taking inspiration from fashion house founder Franco Moschino’s sense of subversion, love of archetypes and trompe l’oeil playfulness.

Appiolaza’s vision invoked a dreaminess. Looks were as if being roused from sleep, and the garments were at times surreal — folded newspaper boat hats, turbans created from shirt sleeves, or a cowboy hat that was unfinished in the back, like a piece of stage scenery seen only from the front. A top was constructed out of men’s ties; a golden bowtie hung sideways as a necklace. Extravagant strands of pearls were worn under a sheer dress.

The feminine silhouette was defined by ruffles, bustles and slip dresses, complemented by men’s vests fitted with garters, oversized cloth shirts and masculine trousers.

"The idea was trying to convey Franco’s universe. It was not really about creating a ready-to-wear collection, but something that told a story," Appiolaza said backstage after the Thursday evening show.

While many brands made circumspect reference to global conflicts, responding mostly with comfort collections of cozy clothes, Appiolaza was more direct, with garments emblazoned with peace signs or the word PEACE written capitals. "I thought it was a good idea to bring peace as a universal message," the designer said.

Closing the show, a Black model wore a top of the Italian tricolor, green, white and red, which Appiolaza said was part of the collection’s message of inclusion. Some social media commentors read it also as a statement about the war in Gaza: the Palestinian flag is green, white, red and black, the black reflected in the closing look’s monochrome skirt and collar detailing on the tricolor top with a trailing tassel. The model carried a piece of bread.

TOD’S FOR THE TRAVELER Matteo Tamburini’s journey with Tod’s departed from a Milan tram depot, with the city’s distinctive vintage orange trams serving as a backdrop.

"We selected this location because it speaks to dynamism, which is closely linked to Tod’s aesthetic. The collection was thought for people who travel, who move in the world," Tamburini said backstage, citing the daytime workhorse Di Bag and the trademark driving moccasin as key starting points.

The mostly monochrome looks featured rich leather dresses, skirts and overcoats, made cozy with layered, twisting knitwear. Trenches were oversized; button-down cotton shirts were layered one over the other; trousers featured deep cuffs, while jacket shoulders were slightly enlarged. Bags were soft, molding into the body. Belts had oblong buckles resembling a vehicle grating. The driving shoe featured long tassels, for movement.

Tamburini said the collection reflects the duality of Milan, at once an expression of the bourgeois and Italy's industrial power.

Tod’s group recently announced an operation to delist the company. Speaking on the sidelines of the show, chairman Diego Della Valle told reporters there was no reason to sell the business after the operation is complete. "We have a family business with young people who want to do this job. What could be better?’’ he asked.

Front-row guests included Chinese actor Xiao Zhan, US actor Larsen Thompson and South Korean singer Jungwoo.

BLUMARINE’S NIGHTTIME PLUNGE Walter Chiopponi took Blumarine back to its romantic rebel days of the 1990s when the star vibes of Chloe Sevigny and Mila Jovovich aligned with the fashion house.

The creative director assembled an array of female codes for his debut collection: bows and lace, animal prints and florals, kitten knits and silk.

The Blumarine girl was wandering home after a night out, at times disheveled in an animal print coat, silken shorts and floral pumps with a tattered bow that looked well walked-in. Full of the emotion of the evening, she held it together in soft pastel knits and floret applique tops and dresses that epitomized femininity. A velour slip dress with lace gloves, and a black lace dress over animal print tights gave boudoir looks the final say.

"The clothes are made by the city," Chiopponi said.