MILAN — With a boost in Chinese, Korean and Russian buyers, Super closed its four-day show on Sept. 24 on un upbeat note. Organized by the Florence-based Pitti Immagine, Super featured 103 international brands, which attracted nearly 5,900 visitors, with a 25 percent increase in buyers compared to the edition last September.
International buyers totaled 1,200. Visitors from China increased 50 percent and 45 percent from South Korea. Russian visitors were up 25 percent and those from Japan gained 14 percent. Pitti Immagine’s general manager Agostino Poletto commented on the closing figures that the key to success was “combining different kinds of collections and focusing on innovative brands, but being close to other important fairgrounds was just as important,” referring to the proximity of White Milano in town.
A big installation created by The Nice Fleet welcomed visitors to the ground floor: the French brand featured its big cool chic inflatable float — water wings, balloons and mattresses. Inside Super, another French brand stood out: the Vieux Jeu, a sportswear label showing hoodies printed with the faces of famous tennis players.
Designer Alessandro Enriquez presented his two brands: 10×10 Anitaliantheory, launched four years ago, for spring was inspired by the world of bicycles, targeting young customers who choose a street-style look; and the namesake handbag collection, which at Super introduced the designer’s first women’s wear line. The inspiration came from the designer’s own roots — a Spanish-Tunisian father and a Sicilian mother. To wit, the collection showcased the typical Sicilian love for sun and colors, with lots of blue, red and yellow, which gave life to flowers, the sun and stars on both long and short dresses. A part of the collection was inspired by a modern Adam and Eve with joyful prints of the couple standing side-by-side, long hair covering Eve’s breast and Adam dressed in a green leaf, followed by the inevitable snake.
In front of that booth the visitor could find another joyful label, Peech, founded by Amedeo Piccione, and featuring the designer’s own artworks on colorful dresses, reminiscent of travels to faraway lands, with characters seemingly from the Middle or Far East.
Chiara Felici and Manuela Casella, founders of the Le Pandorine bags collection, presented Korean Sung Kim and his brand Dell’Est, which they will now start distributing in Italy. Some of the most interesting Dell’Est medium or high-end leather bags are designed by Kimu Studio, a Korean association that helps people with disabilities. “Being in a location in the heart of Milan has helped meet international buyers,” said Felici and Casella “and being near another trade fair has brought visitors, too.”
Norwegian brand Aphru — from Aphrodite — stood out for the simple elegance of overcoats and dresses. Founder Anita Godell, who’s in love with Tuscany and spends a lot of her time in her Montalcino house, merges the North European atmosphere of her collection with an Italian production. The favorite material is jersey and every item follows a sustainable process and fibers are eco-friendly: the polyester of a trench was 100 percent recycled, cotton was organic and plastic bags were biodegradable.
Young students of Italian fashion design schools contributed to Stephen’s high-end jackets collection, a brand based in Empoli, Tuscany, founded 30 years ago by Stefano Degli Innocenti. Leather and chamois is the core business of their spring/summer collection, while fur and mutton are the most used in the fall/winter line. “We are working hard to open our own shops chain, as now we sell all over the world in multibrand stores,” said Andrea Degli Innocenti, the son of the founder. “We will start from Italy,” he added.
Giovanni Scaglione, whose namesake brand was founded around 30 years ago, is banking on a modern, North European atmosphere to renew his women’s wear lines, using cold colors such as white and light blues, and setting up a new distribution. “We have an excellent return from Japanese and European buyers,” Scaglione underscored. The materials used for next spring/summer are all natural, from linen to cotton and silk, and the items play on overlaps and hidden slits.
On the first floor of the trade show, visitors could find two small areas dedicated to young Armenian and South American designers. The partnership with the Fashion & Design Chamber of Armenia brought to Milan four designers. Among them Vahan Khachatryan, who’s already well-known in his country and at Super featured a collection of dresses and shirts with prints inspired by his grandfather’s portraits and luxury brand Kivera Naynomis.
South America designers selected by Super had something in common: the attention to sustainability and functionality. Chilean label Docena 12 Na, founded by Mercedes Martinez, stood out for her designer’s choice of using upcycled garments only. Dresses, jackets and denim all came from old items which Martinez reused in the effort to give her contribution to build an eco-friendly fashion industry.
Argentinian brand Nous Etudions follows both a vegan and an a-gender philosophy. The new collection stood out for its very functional overcoats and jackets with multi-pockets studied to store cell-phones and tablets, while Colombian Laura Laurens featured Trans, a collection realized with the transgender native community of Emberá.