MILAN — The Italian government will invest 40 million euros, or $45.5 million at current exchange rate, in the nation’s fashion industry in 2015, up from an average of 5.2 million euros, or $5.9 million, dedicated to the sector each year for the past five years, Carlo Calenda, Italy’s deputy minister of economic development, said here Wednesday.
The figure compares to 36 million euros, or $41 million, that was originally earmarked for 2015 and revealed last month at men’s trade show Pitti Uomo in Florence.
One of the main objectives is to attract more international buyers, who come from expanding markets, in contact with Italian manufacturers, Calenda said before industry leaders at the Milano Unica inaugural press conference. The crowd included Brunello Cucinelli, Pitti Immagine chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone, Paolo Zegna, Berluti and Loro Piana ceo and chairman Antoine Arnault and Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia.
Calenda added that the government is interested in boosting business with Chinese, American, Canadian and Japanese firms. In large part, the government aid will go towards helping promote Italy’s main trade fairs, including Pitti Immagine, Filo, Mipel and Lineapelle. Milano Unica alone will receive 6 million euros, or $6.8 million, for its Italian and Shanghai fairs, in order to solidify its image as the main textile reference point for the fashion industry.
Keynote speaker Arnault added that LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, with the addition of Loro Piana and Bulgari, sees itself as a company with “Franco-Italian” roots. “We will will invest in Italy’s savoir faire… We need the best artisans and the best artisans are in Italy,” he said.