MILAN — Handbags and accessories trade show Mipel, which ran in Milan Sept. 17-20, saw a 17 percent uptick in visitors and a 10 percent gain in exhibitors year on year.Pop Art, jungle themes and strong colors were the main trends of the 112th edition, helmed by new chief executive officer Danny D’Alessandro. Inspiration also came from Andy Warhol as the fair was dedicated to the artist, with 2017 marking the 30th anniversary of his death.Colors and geometries reminiscent of Pop Art works defined the spaces of the pavilions and the companies’ layout, while the trade fair expanded its borders from Rho Fiera to the city with “Andy Warhol from New York to the Stelline,” an exhibition staged at Palazzo delle Stelline until Oct. 29. Warhol’s original canvas “The Last Supper” is on display at the venue, which is in front of Santa Maria delle Grazie, home to Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece of the same name.“Despite an improvement in the Italian leather industry in the first five months of the year, we have to be cautious,” explained Mipel president Roberto Briccola, who is also ceo of the family-owned firm Bric’s. Italian exports last year showed a nearly 15 percent increase, exceeding 3 billion euros. “But these numbers are often made by bigger groups, while Mipel showcases some of the numerous small Italian companies which need to be pushed forward.”According to Briccola, it is key is to push on internationalization and to mix tradition and innovation, investing on the most promising companies and on younger brands: The Glamourous and Scenario were Mipel’s two special areas, dedicated to the most innovative creations. The Glamourous was sponsored by Camera Nazionale Buyer Moda, Italy’s buyers’ association, which particularly emphasized young designers, while cutting-edge brands stood out in the Scenario area. Here the collections were made of uncommon combinations of materials such as feathers and wood combined with leather by brands including HMT Bags, Gianni Segatta and Harleq.“Trying to follow both the old and a completely new path means we will also keep developing our skills while trying to support our small companies more than ever,” said D’Alessandro. The goal is to allow them to compete on an international level by creating a team that will act like a broker, thanks to the partnership with managers from a fashion background.Of the same opinion was Riccardo Braccialini, president of Aimpes, Italy’s leather goods association. “We definitely prefer to leave room for the young and the new projects — we have done it during the most difficult economic years and now we’re reaping the rewards.”These rewards can be seen in Mipel’s numbers, lifted by Russia, whose market has started to show gains again with a 5 percent increase in Russian visitors, and from Ukraine, up 29 percent.Braccialini’s family company is going through some major changes following its acquisition by Tuscan Graziella Group earlier this year. Unlike his brothers, Lorenzo Braccialini is the only one who’s working in the new company and underlines that “the new collections follow the historical Braccialini mood” — a tropical mood to be precise, expressed through toucans and flowers, bees and leaves on satchels and cross-bodies, totes and backpacks. Colors are inspired by the jungle, too: green, fuchsia, yellow and black.A colorful and joyful mood was central at Massimo Braccialini’s new brand MBRC, which he just founded. The label targets a medium-range spender. The star logo stands out on many items while bags hand-painted by the designer are the most special looks.The jungle also inspired Cromia’s new collection. Flamingos, frogs and parrots peep out, matched with soft headscarves. The aim was again “creating something new,” underlined Cromia’s brand manager Danilo Pavon. The results: fun trendy bags and accessories.A candy shop inspired Ripani’s collection. The Italian company displayed accessories named after sweets, such as Meringa [meringue] and Waffle, Muffin and Glassa [glaze] collections. Soft shades of wisteria, pink and light green were seen on satchels, clutches and shopping bags together with brighter hues such as lemon and orange. “Cooking and sweets above all have a very strong appeal on everybody” said owner Gabriella Ripani. “We therefore decided to follow this trend combining the names and the colors of candies to our collections.” Ripani’s distribution goes from the U.S. to Japan, but the the most important signs of an uptick come from Russia, showing a recovery.Asian and China in particular are the most promising markets for Gabs. One year after the acquisition of the brand by Campomaggi & Caterina Lucchi, president Marco Campomaggi underscored how important for the company it is to expand in China. Its stand at Mipel was a trip through a rainbow — from turquoise and lemon to pink. There was also a capsule collection in a partnership with Fiat, presented earlier this year.The upbeat mood was evident in the luggage collections, too, from Bric’s, which is known for its pure, classical travel bags, to the handmade leather lineup created by Portuguese architect Ruben De Abreu, now based in Miami, or the new Spazio Tempo brand, born from master clockmaker Alessandro Msellati.
“I think what’s so interesting about the #MeToo movement and this whole new wave of feminism in general, is that women are finally seeing, ’Oh I can start my own company, oh I can lear to code, oh I can leave my nine-to-five job and do the thing I want to do,” said @brooklyndecker ahead of her @sxsw talk for @createcultivate. The former model took the stage to share wisdom about networking and female-driven entrepreneurship. #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.