Valentino is staying on its home turf for the spring 2021 season. The famed Rome, Italy–based label announced that it will decamp from Paris Fashion Week—where it presented its collections for the past decade—and present its now-coed show in Milan on September 27. The decision to change locations is a response to the global pandemic that has upended the fashion industry, leading companies to reevaluate the best courses of action that put safety first.
“In the current scenario, we need to make decisions in advance to protect our first resources, our people, and to allow our brand to remain relevant exploring alternative opportunities,” said Jacopo Venturini, CEO of Valentino, in a statement. “This is why we feel that it would be more ethical to produce the new show in Italy, in Milano. We strongly believe that this project will contribute to underline the importance of being part of a fashion system represented by both the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.”
Along with being a safer option for the company’s employees, Valentino’s choice to hold its runway show in Milan reinforces its Italian roots. Indeed, the brand’s creative director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, started on this journey during the fall 2020 couture season in July, when he presented a dreamy collection in Rome’s Cinecittà Studios virtually. And now, with the move to Milan Fashion Week for the ready-to-wear line, he is taking another step in that direction.
“Paris is the city where we have always hosted our shows and that truly embodies Valentino DNA,” said Piccioli in a statement. “The current situation has forced us to take an unusual decision. I believe that, in this moment in time, it is of paramount importance to stay grounded and focused and to work on tasks. I feel energized when I can work on ideas and this is the time for ideas to spread and grow. Milano is a new opportunity, a great project that I am developing with my teams with the aim of working around the idea of identity.”
According to WWD, Milan Fashion Week will be a blend of 50 digital events and around 28 in-person shows. Valentino will presumably follow the latter format, along with other headliner brands, including Fendi and Prada. Also on the official calendar are Versace, Max Mara, Alberta Emporio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Etro. All this conveys that, even in the midst of COVID-19, the Italian fashion industry is doing its best to sustain commerce—while adhering to safety measures.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s Bazaar US.