MILAN — Top government and association brass on Tuesday unveiled a new project called Milano XL, dubbed “The celebration of Italian creativity,” and scheduled to be held in Milan Sept. 16 to 26 during Milan Fashion Week.“This is a tribute to know-how,” said the city’s mayor, Giuseppe Sala. “Innovation is Milan’s distinctive trait, which fuels the city and its events. We want to maintain the positive mood in Milan as a more international, more unique and more open city.”Ivan Scalfarotto, the deputy minister of economic development, emphasized the importance of the fashion industry and its production pipeline, with sales of 104 billion euros, of which 64 billion come from outside Italy, and employing 600,000 people at 70,000 companies. “It’s a pillar of the economy. Whether we make a highway, a car or wine, each is tailor-made, a fundamental piece of our identity,” said Scalfarotto.Michele Scannavini, president of Italian trade agency ICE, underscored that overall exports in the first five months of the year were up 8 percent, with a pickup in China, Southeast Asia and Russia. Last year foreign investment in Italy rose 50 percent. In 2016, fashion contributed to 14 percent of exports, totaling 59 billion euros. Also, Scannavini said that government investment in the sector this year will total 45 million euros compared with 35 million euros last year. In particular, the investment in Milano XL will reach 3.3 million euros. “The contribution of associations represents 25 percent of the total, with the rest channeled by public investments,” he explained.Milano XL is conceived under the artistic direction of Davide Rampello with sets by Margherita Palli. Seven installations will be created in the city’s landmark locations, from Piazza Scala and luxury shopping arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to La Rinascente department store on the side of the Duomo Cathedral, the church of San Carlo (St. Charles), Via Montenapoleone and Via Croce Rossa (Red Cross) flanking the Emporio Armani megastore, and the medieval Sforzesco Castle.Partners in the project are the city of Milan, the Ministry of Economic Development, Fondazione Altagamma, Confindustria and ICE, with the support of Anfao with Mido (eyewear); Cosmetica Italia with Cosmoprof; Federorafi (jewelry); Milano Unica (textiles); SMI Sistema Moda Italia; Unic and Lineapelle (tanneries); Fiera Milano; and Sì Sposaitalia Collezioni (bridal fashion). The event is “the tangible sign of the collaboration between institutions to emphasize our Made in Italy craftsmanship, production and creativity,” said Milan’s fashion and design councilor Cristina Tajani.Rampello emphasized the theatrical aspect of the installations, which include the reproduction of shelves filled with fabrics, from silk to cotton and linen, in a building opposite the La Scala theater, and 3-D jewelry displays on magnified historical paintings from 15th century artist Antonio del Pollaiolo to Belle Epoque painter Giovanni Boldini.For example, Academy Award winner Alessandro Bertolazzi will create 30 different makeup concepts for 900 masks to be displayed on La Rinascente’s façade, while videos that enhance the production of eyewear and scenes from movies such as “Lolita” or Billy Wilder’s “Some Like it Hot” will be central in San Carlo square.As reported, for the first time, industry trade shows from Micam and White to Vicenzaoro and Super will take place during Milan Fashion Week in September, signaling the different associations’ alignment.
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