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The New York/London vs. Milan/Paris Fashion Week Scheduling Battle Heats Up: CFDA Throws Down (a Press Release, That is)

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So the other day we told you how New York, Paris, Milan, and London are all in a fight over whose fashion week gets to happen when in September 2012. The deal is this: New York is starting late next year, on September 13th, which means London, Milan, and Paris get pushed super-late—with Paris fashion week not scheduled to even kick off until October. Milan and Paris are upset because this means their production schedules get all screwed up and their designers possibly won't be able to deliver spring 2013 on time. So Milan went ahead and scheduled its fashion week for September 19th, which overlaps the end of New York and completely overrides London. Paris would follow Milan.

Right now, it's New York and London versus Paris and Milan. Today, the international battle-line drawing heated up when the CFDA released a statement citing the International Fashion Week Dates Agreement of 2008. Check out the full release after the jump.

To: All Members of the New York Fashion Community—designers, show producers, public relations companies, press, retailers, model agencies

From: Diane von Furstenberg and Steven Kolb

Date: October 6, 2011

Re: International Fashion Week Dates Agreement of 2008

When we started together at CFDA, the Members and the American fashion industry asked us to stabilize the dates of New York Fashion Week, which were being pushed earlier each year. Given the international schedule, this was no easy accomplishment—but we were successful.

In 2008, the four leading global fashion week organizers—the Council of Fashion Designers of America, British Fashion Council, Chambre Syndicale, and Camera Nazionale della Moda—met and agreed to adhere to what is now informally called the "Second Thursday Rule" whereupon New York Fashion Week will always start on the second Thursday of February and September.

New York: 2nd Thursday – 3rd Thursday
London: 3rd Friday – 4th Tuesday
Milan: 4th Wednesday - following Wednesday (1/2 day)
*since this agreement, Milan has become one day shorter, now finishing on Tuesday each season
Paris: To commence the same final ½ day of Milan and continue for 9 days

All four fashion capitals have kept to this agreement, to date, and the U.S. will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

As you may have read, the dates for showing the Spring/Summer 2013 Collections are now being disputed. Milan is claiming that the agreement was for three years only. This is not the case; the agreed-to schedule was always meant to be a long-term/permanent one.

By nature of the calendar, some years the second Thursday of the month occurs early in the month, other times it is later. For September 2012, the second Thursday start provides New York with extra time since the shows will start the week after Labor Day.

Thus, Spring/Summer 2013 Collections will be as follows:

New York: Thursday, September 13– Thursday, September 20, 2012
London: Friday, September 21 – Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Milan: Wednesday, September 26– Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Paris: Tuesday, October 2– Wednesday, October 10, 2012

While the Camera Nazionale della Moda in Milan has expressed displeasure with the late start for September, we do not feel that New York should shift earlier. Our colleagues at the British Fashion Council support this decision, as they cannot change their dates either.

At this time, Milan currently plans to organize their shows from Wednesday, September 19 – Tuesday, September 25, which is in direct conflict with New York and London show dates.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, as well as the British Fashion Council, will continue to honor the agreed upon dates through the 2012 calendar year. We are in discussions with all parties involved and believe that it is only fair that we all honor the existing agreement.

· What a mess [Racked]