MILAN — The Moda Milano women’s bridge market show has split in two following a disagreement between its organizing bodies, Efima and Expo CTS.

Efima, the trade fair organizer for the Milan-based manufacturers’ association Sistema Moda Italia, is to present its Modit show alongside Efima’s trend-setting White fair from Feb. 28 to March 3. Bothwill be held at the Superstudio Più, an independently owned exhibition space in Via Tortona. Efima’s president, Luigi Ciocca, said that exhibitors at Modit and White, which was launched last September, are expected to number 200.

Meanwhile, Expo CTS, which organizes fairs for Milan’s Union of Commercial Enterprises, will present MilanoVendeModa on the same dates as Modit and White at the Milan fairground. So far, 329 exhibitors have agreed to take part in 97,000 square feet of exhibition space.

Modit and MilanoVendeModa began in the Sixties, but the two fairs united in 1990 to form the MoMi show. Since the split, MoMi’s promotional body, Promozione Moda Italia, has been dissolved.

"The marriage between Efima and Expo CTS was no longer working," said Ciocca. "Around Christmas, we came home to find a [metaphorical] note on the table. Our ideas about where MoMi should be heading were no longer compatible."

Armando Mammina, director of Expo CTS, said: "We believe that the Milan fairground must remain central to the Milan fashion system and did not want the fair to move elsewhere in the city. Buyers already have enough difficulty moving among the runway shows."

Expo CTS also organizes fairs for other business sectors, including travel and antiques, and has shares in the Milan fairground owner Fiera Milano Spa, which is quoted on the Milan stock exchange.

As the separation is so recent, Ciocca said that buyers and exhibitors must look to the fall 2003 edition to get a true picture of where Modit is heading. However, the February-March edition will offer a glimpse of what’s ahead.

"While White is a trend show, Modit will represent other aspects of middle- to high-end women’s wear, from sportswear to classics to formalwear," he said.

An agreement between SMI and the Florence-based manufacturers’ association, Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana, whose fair organizing body is Pitti, should also help to strengthen the new fair, Ciocca said. The Florentine manufacturers’ association now owns 15 percent of Efima, while the SMI has a 15 percent stake in Pitti.According to Mammina, MilanoVendeModa will continue along the same lines as last September’s MoMi show. Although around half of the stands featured classic, quality bridge apparel, the fair also hosted some edgier looks.

"We hope to double the number of exhibitors in our trend-setting Light section to 40," Mammina said. "In addition, 10 companies will show in the custom-made luxury section, The Closet, and 10 emerging names will show in a new section called 0-Zone. Buyers from Henri Bendel and Harvey Nichols have helped select these new names."

Collateral events will include an installation by U.S. fashion designer-artist Susan Cianciolo.

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