By  on February 19, 2009

As part of a plan to centralize Italy’s fashion system, Italian officials have established a more compact calendar of international trade shows that will coincide with Milan’s fashion shows later this month.

Giovanni Bozzetti, president of the Lombardy Fashion Committee, discussed this Wednesday at a press conference at New York’s Rainbow Room. This week’s news builds on the success of the M.A.D.E. in Milano program, a reference to Milan fashion, art, design and events that was launched by the Lombardy Region and the Lombardy Fashion Committee last year.

“The M.A.D.E. project was born from the need to transform the Lombardy trade shows into not only exhibition fairs but also events that are capable of giving prominence to what we define as the Italian fashion system,” said Bozzetti, noting the move reinstates Milan’s role as “a strategic destination” for buyers.

Highlighting how fashion is an essential part of Italy’s economy, Bozzetti said there are about 70,000 enterprises that generate nearly $88 billion in sales annually.

Milano Moda Donna, Milanovendemoda, White, Micam, Mipel, Mifur, Mido, Touch!, NeoZone and Claudine will be held on select dates between Feb. 25 and March 9. With the new setup, Milano Unica, Proposte, Sposa Italia and White Homme are the only trade shows that fall outside the new calendar.

To broaden the reach of Italy’s fashion industry, officials behind the M.A.D.E. in Milano project have been on a “fashion road show” visiting Abu Dhabi; Dubai; Shanghai; Beijing; Mexico City; Guadalajara, Mexico; Miami, and New York. They will also visit Russia and India to promote all aspects of Italian fashion, various events and the prospect of investing, said Michele Perini, president of Fiera Milano.

Patrizio Piombi, representative of Milan’s Chamber of Commerce, noted that Italy’s fashion system represents the engine of the country’s economy. With that in mind, his group opened an office in Chicago with the hope of finding new opportunities and business partners with American companies, and promoting the elegance and creativity of Italian designers.

Novel as the M.A.D.E. in Milano project is, supporters do not expect other countries to copy their efforts. Beppe Modenese, honorary president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, said, “Italy is the only country where you find all the factories and designers. I believe we are inspiration for this and for what we can do. Of course, France has beautiful things and the U.S., too. But Italy has a very special atmosphere. That would be quite difficult to repeat in another country.”

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