Alexandre Birman Fetes Capsule With Antonia With Plenty of Shoe Signing

MILAN — Add “sign now” to the see-now-buy-now format, at least when it comes to Alexandre Birman.

The Brazilian footwear designer was caught in plenty of shoe signing at the cocktail celebrating his namesake label’s partnership with luxury retailer Antonia here on Tuesday.

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Gathered on the opening evening of Milan Fashion Week at Antonia’s location in the former archbishop seminary on central Corso Venezia that also houses Ferragamo’s new Portrait Milano hotel, the fashion crowd seized the moment for some shopping. Guests and loyal customers of the retailer rushed to try on the exclusive sandals marking the tie-up and have their new purchases sealed with Birman’s signature.

The friendly and informal vibe suited both Birman’s relaxed attitude and the bubbly personality of Antonia Giacinti, who established Antonia Milano as an upscale accessories store in 1999. The retailer later expanded to include women’s and menswear, the latter steered by cofounder Maurizio Purificato.

“I’ve been friends with Antonia [Giacinti] for many years. I’ve basically started the Alexandre Birman brand with her, and she often comes to Brazil; she loves it,” said Birman in between sole signing. “We had this idea of the collaboration last year for the opening of this store, which is very special for the world, not only for Milan. This is going to be the place where fashion will breathe novelty, so we decided to design a special shoe style available exclusively here.”

Antonia Giacinti, Alexandre Birman, Anderson Birman at Antonia in Milan.

Antonia Giacinti, Alexandre Birman, Anderson Birman at Antonia in Milan.

As reported, last year Antonia unveiled its second outpost in the city inside the colonnaded courtyard of the Portrait complex. Covering around 8,000 square feet, the retail space carries a mix of established designers and new names for men and women, as well as offering branded concept corners in rotation and a

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Has fashion quietly dumped the plus-sized pioneers? Have again been sidelined by stick-thin models

It was just four years ago that Tess Holliday, the world’s leading ‘plus-size’ model, sent the fashion world into a frenzy when she took her 20st frame on to a New York catwalk in a daring, skin-tight dress.

Her all-white outfit, by US fashion brand Chromat, had flesh-baring cutaways and was emblazoned with the slogan ‘sample size’.

It was, she said, a ‘two-fingers up’ to a fashion industry obsessed with skinny models.

Yet judging by the slender figures who graced the catwalks at this month’s London, New York and Milan fashion weeks, those who are a size 12 or larger – known in the trade as ‘curve models’, but to the rest of us as normal – now appear to be so last season.

Holliday, who is a size 26, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Fashion people just aren’t interested in plus-size any more.’

ALL CHANGE: Tess Holliday walks for Chromat in 2019

ALL CHANGE: Tess Holliday walks for Chromat in 2019

A model walks the runway at the 16Arlington show during London Fashion Week in February

A model walks the runway at the 16Arlington show during London Fashion Week in February

Models and their agencies say that runway work has all but dried up. One London agency for plus-size models said catwalk jobs were so scarce, its girls were ‘better off stacking shelves’ in supermarkets than appearing at London Fashion Week.

Alex Haddad, owner of BMA Models, said: ‘They didn’t want the bigger girls and we decided that financially, it’s not worth it, especially with the cost-of-living crisis.’

According to activist Felicity Hayward, curve models made up less than three per cent of the 2,640 models booked at London Fashion Week.

The New York shows used just 31 curve models on its catwalk – down from 49 last season.

Several big-name design brands that had previously used plus-size models – including Fendi, Michael Kors and Roksanda, a London label once championed by Cefinn

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