Italy’s fashion week gets a rather English makeover
She was headhunted by Egon Zehnder to become the first chief executive of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana. It seems fair to suggest that Ms Jane Reeve, who originally hails from Bowden in the UK, has already made a truly massive impact on the Italian fashion industry.
Despite its high profile and successful past, it seems Milan is now in for a good shake-up after years of the city being shadowed by the recession – and Ms Reeve, 54, is certainly determined to get it back on track.
An English Rose
Having lived in Italy for almost 30 years, Ms Reeve enters the fashion industry from an international communications background and has quite literally got everyone talking when it comes to her recent appointment. But what makes her so desirable?
Aside from being powerful, tall, English and blonde, Reeve has already been named as the new “Thatcher of Fashion” – a title she happily shrugs off on the basis that she doesn’t wear pearls and needs more than three hours of sleep.
Renowned for previously working at a very high level, and complete with a real no-nonsense attitude, it seems she’s the perfect ‘man’ for the job in a predominantly male-led and naturally glamorous industry.
When questioned as to her long-term plans for the role, Reeve insists that she already has a number of key priorities to tackle which she considers to be the core weaknesses of Milan. Already impressed by Armani for lending his theatre free of charge to young designers such as Stella Jean, she now wants to further encourage the presence of upcoming young designers whilst also concentrating on Expo 2015, which is to be staged in Milan from May until October.
And it certainly doesn’t end there. Reeve is also determined to up the game when it comes to throwing more of a party, and this includes streaming catwalk shows across several screens in the city, not to mention showcasing some of Milan’s other talent such as its unique art, film, food and music.
The Future of Fashion
Her recent appointment in the industry – into a role especially created for her – is bound to have an impact on the global fashion market. Her ideas and dreams are quite simply boundless and certainly extend well beyond Fashion Week itself. Reeve excitedly speaks of her determination to both protect and promote what she considers to be recession-endangered clothing whilst also ensuring that the quality Milan is capable of producing is in no way compromised during the process.
There is little doubt that this remarkable woman will have a massive impact on the future of fashion, and she certainly isn’t afraid to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead. When asked how she felt about inevitable remarks about an English woman being recruited for such a high profile Italian role, she simply replied: “I have a global perspective. I’m an English person but I’ve lived here for 26 years and all my English friends think I’m Italian.”
For Milan, the future most certainly looks bright.