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Milano Unica Lowers Cost for Exhibitors

Milano Unica is lowering its prices for exhibitors and introducing a runway show featuring young designers.

MILAN — Milano Unica is lowering its prices for exhibitors and introducing a runway show featuring young designers that will take place during the exhibit’s upcoming edition.

This story first appeared in the June 9, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Industry sources said Fiera Milano SpA, Milan’s trade fair organizer, along with some of the associations under the Unica brand, will give a 10 to 15 percent discount on the cost of booths next season. Additional services will be provided where discounts are not offered.

“The industry will be more pleased with the service and the quality of Unica,” said Luigi Loro Piana, president of Milano Unica.

The trade fair also will launch its first fashion show, dubbed On Stage and featuring 15 looks from 10 emerging designers. Australian Wool Innovation has signed on as a sponsor of On Stage, which will take place on the evening of Sept. 8, the first day of the three-day exhibition.

The designers were chosen by Unica’s management committee and Vogue Italia editor in chief Franca Sozzani. Designers picked for the debut show include Sara Lanzi, Ilaria Nistri, Emilio de la Morena, Todd Lynn, Charles Anastase, Limi Feu for women’s wear, and Thomas Engel Hart, Blaak Homme, Maurizio Miri and one yet unnamed designer for men’s wear.

“We wanted to bring creativity to life and a fashion show is still the best and most immediate means,” said Loro Piana.

The designers will be available to meet visitors at their own stands for the duration of the exhibition.

Loro Piana downplayed the recent departure of Pratotrade, a group of textile producers from the Prato area that is disengaging itself from Unica and will show two months earlier. The new show will be called Prima Moda Tessuto and will run at the same time as yarn show Pitti Filati.

“The turnover of exhibitors is physiological, and, during uncertain times, there are some who feel the need to change at all costs,” said Loro Piana.

He said the winter season could be the first to show an improvement. For 2008, estimates by SMI, the Italian Federation of Textiles & Fashion, show revenues for the Italian textile industry falling 4.6 percent to 8.8 billion euros, or about $12.9 billion at average exchange for the period, compared with 2007.