MILAN — Italy’s fashion industry is thawing at last, according to the country’s Chamber of Fashion, following the “frost” that numbed the industry in 2008.
“While 2009 started off in the worst possible way, the past two months revealed better-than-expected retail sales, boosted by early summer weather and a newfound shopping drive,” said Mario Boselli, head of the chamber, during a presentation Monday of Milan’s four-day Men’s Fashion Week, which kicks off Saturday.
Boselli said the industry has been hit by a “U-shaped crisis, with an unimaginable and dramatic drop, and not comparable to any other period,” and, although not optimistic yet, he said there are some positive signs, such as sales of raw materials picking up and a 1.1 percent increase in industrial production.
Nonetheless, sales are expected to drop 3 percent in the second half of the year and 6.5 percent for 2009 to 62.17 billion euros, or $87.04 billion at current exchange. Boselli was cautious even about these numbers, however, saying they bar any “new negative surprises,” such as a steep rise in raw materials prices or the strengthening of the euro.
In 2008, the industry’s turnover slid 4 percent to 66.49 billion euros, or $97.74 billion at average exchange, for the period.
Exports in 2009 are expected to drop 5.5 percent to 38.1 billion euros, or $53.45 billion. In the first quarter, exports dropped 16.2 percent to 8.9 billion euros, or $12.4 billion. Russia, the U.S. and Japan showed signs of weakness, as shipments of apparel to Russia and the U.S. dropped 20.6 and 28.4 percent, respectively, and fell 15.8 percent to Japan.
Small and medium-size companies are “at risk” in the recession because of their “fragile and indebted structures,” Boselli warned. In April, the Italian government approved 1.6 billion euros, or $2.1 billion at current exchange, for small- and medium-size Italian companies to assist them in obtaining “credit lines to boost exports [and] further resources for companies that are part of the textile-fashion-footwear districts.”
In reference to the upcoming men’s fashion week, Boselli said he was satisfied with the number of collections showing in Milan, which will be 93 compared with 81 during January’s edition. After several seasons, Dolce & Gabbana and D&G are back on the calendar, on Saturday and June 23, respectively.
Ermenegildo Zegna will kick off and close the week with the signature brand showing on Saturday and Z Zegna on June 23. “Z Zegna has grown under[creative director] Alessandro Sartori and developed from its original young and innovative soul,” said image director Anna Zegna, explaining the decision to move the company’s sportswear collection to Milan after showing in New York for three seasons.
Marc Jacobs is a new name on the calendar, with all-day presentations by appointment June 22 and 23. This marks the designer’s new license with Staff International, but Jacobs is not expected to be present in the showroom. Other new brands on the calendar include Caruso, Romeo Gigli’s Io Ipse Idem, Jeckerson and Nero Perla.
Giorgio Armani and Prada are the only brands holding two shows, on Saturday and Monday, respectively.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion