Fashion Bytes

Anna Wintour was the first to criticise Berlusconi during Italy’s Fashion Week in Milan, quoted as saying “How can Italy tolerate Silvio Berlusconi and his bevy of girls?” in the Guardian. Then came the “Italian fashion industry”, according to the Wall Street Journal.  In actuality the challenge came from one man, Diego Della Valle, the founder and CEO of Tod’s, a main shareholder in Saks Fifth Avenue, and the owner of Florence’s football team, Fiorentina. In a public statement, Mr Della Valle said that “[e]nough is enough”.

There have been angry criticisms of Italy’s president before in multiple newspapers and opinion columns. Even the Vatican has criticised “Italy’s elite”, if not the president directly.  But this seems to be the first time that major names and stakeholders in Italy’s fashion industry have spoken out against their president and his policies and conduct. What is extremely striking is that they chose to do it during, or very shortly after Fashion Week in Milan.

What sort of impact do you think the criticisms of the fashion “elite” will have on Berlusconi, or the Italian public’s opinion of him? Do fashion executives, designers, and editors have more impact and power in Italy than elsewhere?

Please share your thoughts.

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