How Yom Kippur Spoiled Gucci's Milan Fashion Week Kick Off

Scheduling conflict between Jewish holiday and Milan fashion week leads to many no-shows among major industry figures.

Gucci kicked off the Milan women's fashion week season on Wednesday with their 1970s inspired colorful collection. And critics reacted well to the brand's new line.

That is, the critics who were there.

This year, Milan fashion week's opening day coincided with Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, and quite a number of major industry figures were missing, the New York Times reported - whose own fashion critic Vanessa Friedman was also absent, though she was honored with a personal sneak preview the day before.

Many other Jewish fashionistas were no-shows, including Vogue's editor Suzy Menkes, and other major figures from the business side of the fashion industry.

This is not the first time such a scheduling conflict occured in the fashion world. Earlier this month, shows by Tommy Hilfiger and Carolina Herrera in New York were off many people's calendars as they coincided with Rosh Hashanah.

But many designers did cut back on their events and parties on the holiest day of the Jewish year or reschedule those - even if they still ran their shows.

Such occurrences happen regularly, but it seems in past years designers and the fashion weeks were more willing to be flexible and plan around such events. Now, as the financial pressures are growing, the expense of switching a show date has become more of an issue, said the Times. In fact, the situation is only expected to get worse, say industry sources - but there are those in the industry working to try to make Yom Kippur a day off from the fashion scene nonetheless.

People certainly knew about the conflict since the shows are scheduled years in advance.

“This goes way back as Yom Kippur generally falls during one of the fashion week legs and this time it’s Milan’s turn,” said Mario Boselli, honorary chairman of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, told Women's Wear Daily.