Memo Pad: Balenciaga Ad Breaks Online... Giorgio Armani Writes Missive...

This time around, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière has decided to feature Balenciaga’s fall campaign first on the company’s revamped Web site.

FIT TO PRINT: The war of words among two of Italy’s most prominent figures continued over the weekend, this time black on white. In response to recent accusations by Tod’s Group’s chief, Diego Della Valle, Giorgio Armani wrote a three-quarter-page missive to Corriere della Sera, Italy’s top newspaper, to elucidate the benefits of not going public and remaining independent: Because he would never compromise the creativity and freedom of his fashion conglomerate. “I don’t need alliances, complicity, or need to surround myself with international jetsetters,” he wrote. “I have too much respect for myself, for the public, and for the people that work both with me and the fashion industry to renounce any sort of intellectual honesty that influences and orients my life, even at the expense of attractive economic opportunities….I don’t need any of the money from the stock exchange — not for growth, not for globalization, not to aggregate my brand.” The bickering began a couple weeks ago when Armani, after his spring men’s wear show in Milan, criticized fashion houses such as Prada and Dolce & Gabbana for creating ridiculous fashions, dictated by the fact that fashion today is in the hands of the banks and of the stock market and not of their owners. His comments didn’t go unnoticed by Della Valle, who lashed back, blessing IPOs and suggesting Armani should invest in Italy’s crumbling cultural landmarks.


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