Finding young design talent with commercial potential in Italy is about as difficult as finding a table at Bice in Milan during the women’s collections.

Inordinate start-up costs, manufacturers reluctant to take a chance on an unknown name and a less-than-supportive show calendar are just some of the obstacles new labels encounter. Throw in a world economy where even the major brands are losing market share, and the prospect of carving out a niche seems at times insurmountable.

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