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LA STAMPA

Giorgio Armani Pummels Prada, Says Fashion Is Now A Slave To Big Banks

Designer Giorgio Armani gave reporters an earful Tuesday following a fashion event in Milan, Italy.

Armani poses with Italian league Olimpia basketball players (br1dotcom)
Armani poses with Italian league Olimpia basketball players (br1dotcom)

Worldcrunch NEWS BITES

MILAN - 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.

Read the full story in Italian by Antonella Amapane

Photo - br1dotcom

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How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

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