Designer Giorgio Armani gave reporters an earful Tuesday following a fashion event in Milan, Italy
Top Italian designer Giorgio Armani has denounced the current state of the fashion industry for being "in the hands of" high finance rather than the fashion houses themselves. Speaking after the last day of Milan’s menswear spring/summer fashion week, Armani’s comments were also a not-so-subtle swipe at rival Prada, which was recently quoted on the Hong Kong stock exchange. "I’ve wanted to say something about this for awhile, and now’s the time: fashion is in the in the hands of the banks (and) the stock market," Armani told reporters Tuesday. "It no longer belongs to the owners, but to those above them. I still haven’t been able to understand how the banks influence our line of work -- it’s a mystery." Asked if the comments were a reference to Prada’s move earlier this month to become the first top European fashion house to be listed on the Hong Kong exchange, Armani, 76, declared: "I don’t have debts. Instead, Prada’s problem is that they have to pay back the money that the banks spent to build up the brand." Armani said he preferred to remain independent, and had no plans to sell the company. "There are thousands of ways to make money. But for me, I don’t want to wind up having to knock on the door of some Thai managers to explain myself." He said that Prada chief Miuccia Prada was "ingenious" for her "irony...and bad taste that becomes chic." But he complained that certain collections that are "sometimes ugly" always get positive coverage in the press. "You know why..."
Prada refused comment.