The 'Tavolo della Moda' roundtable held in Rome on Oct. 9.

MILAN The first “Tavolo della Moda,” or roundtable on fashion, under Italy’s new government took place on Tuesday in Rome.

The last meeting was held in March before the new government was elected, and after a seven-month hiatus the country’s Minister of Economic Development Luigi Di Maio summoned a number of representatives from Italy’s institutions to sit down and discuss the upcoming agenda for the country’s fashion industry.

They include Claudio Marenzi, president of Confindustria Moda, the Italian association that regroups around 67,000 companies operating in the fashion, textile and accessories sectors; Carlo Capasa, president of Italy’s fashion chamber Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana; Silvia Venturini Fendi, president of Altaroma; Fabio Pietrella, president of Confartigianato Moda and representatives from Altagamma and Pitti Immagine, among other institutions.

Along with Di Maio, the roundtable was hosted by Michele Geraci and Alberto Bonisoli, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Italian Minister of Culture, respectively.

“Summoning the Comitato della Moda [Fashion Committee] proves the importance the government attributes to a key sector for the country’s economic development and promotion of Made in Italy worldwide,” said Di Maio in an official note underscoring the country’s fashion industry’s ability to accept the “market’s challenges banking on quality and innovation.”

“The government is committed to supporting fashion, contributing to growing exports and dealing with risks and challenges of the sector, starting from eco-sustainability through the digital transformation of Italian companies, especially of those in Southern Italy and of small and medium-size enterprises,” he added.

In an interview with WWD, Capasa was optimistic about the meeting noting that “although it was an exploratory meeting, the new government has already demonstrated its willingness to listen to the industry’s players and expressed its commitment to pursue the initiatives started [under the previous government],” he said. “The government acknowledges that fashion plays a key role as it delivers a positive message expressing our country’s values at their best.” Although the ministers have not revealed the amount of funds designated yet, they “should be in line with the past,” said Capasa, who had been vying for such a meeting with the government.

Following the roundtable, Marenzi expressed his confidence in the continuity with the past. “The positive collaboration with the Ministries of Economic Development and Culture confirms the fundamental role of Confindustria Moda in the country’s economic-cultural debate” he said. Marenzi also underscored that the fashion industry as a whole generated 94.8 billion euros in 2017, up 3.9 percent compared to the previous year and that net exports totaled 27.7 billion euros, “representing the third biggest industry in the country.”

Michele Scannavini resigned from his role as president of ICE, Italy’s trade agency, last month and no representatives from the institution attended the roundtable. The decision of Scannavini to step back from his executive position — one that he took on in 2016 — was acknowledged by ICE’s board of members on Sept. 26.

A date for the next roundtable has yet to be announced.

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