Claudio Marenzi

MILAN — A new fashion body has been born.

Confindustria Moda, a new federation collecting 67,873 companies operating in the fashion, textile and accessories sectors, was presented on Tuesday in Milan. Confindustria Moda merges fashion and textile consortium SMI Sistema Moda Italia and FIAMP, which used to represent the companies working in the accessories industry, including leather goods, eyewear, fur and jewelry. As reported, the new association had been in the works for a few months.

“The only actual competition is the one on a global scale, a domestic competition cannot exist,” underscored Ivan Scalfarotto, Italy’s deputy minister of economic development, who also revealed that in 2017 the Italian government will invest a total sum of 200 million euros, or $217.3 million at current exchange rate, to support Italian exports. Of this, 45 million euros, or $49 million, will be in the fashion and textiles sector.

Claudio Marenzi, current president of SMI and chief executive officer of Herno and newly elected president of Pitti Immagine, is to be Confindustria Moda’s first president. Cirillo Marcolin, who holds the post of president of FIAMP, will become Confindustria Moda’s vice president. Each will hold the roles for two years.

Gianfranco Di Natale and Astrid Galimberti, general directors of SMI and ANFAO, respectively, will also be general directors of Confindustria Moda.

According to Marcolin, the offices of all the associations grouped in the federation, as well as of the industry’s trade shows, will be located in a revamped townhouse in Milan’s Sempione area, due to open at the end of the year.

Highlighting that the creation of the federation is the fruit of a two-year process, Marenzi also explained that choosing its name emphasizes a tight link with Confindustria — the confederation of Italy’s industrial companies — and its industrial spirit.

“Each association took a step back giving priority to the interests of the whole system,” said Marenzi. “But, actually, this step back enabled us to make two jumps ahead.”

As shown in research presented by Marco Fortis, vice president of the Edison Foundation, turnover of the companies represented by Confindustria Moda, which employ 581,662 people, totals 88.4 billion euros, or $96 billion, with exports of 54.7 billion euros, or $59.4 billion. Fortis also underscored that Italy, the second-biggest manufacturing country in Europe, produces 34 percent of the fashion goods made on the Continent.

The research also showed that Italy is the international leader in exports of a range of fashion products, including leather bags, leather shoes and eyewear. In addition, fashion and accessories products represent a significant share of Italy’s total exports. For example, fashion accounts for 30.6 percent of exports to Japan and for 25.6 percent of exports to the United Arab Emirates.

“If a country wants to attract wealth, it has to focus on the industrial business,” said Confindustria’s president Vincenzo Boccia, who highlighted the importance of stimulating Italy’s economy by being more positive and proactive.

Putting the accent on the country’s manufacturing leadership in Europe, which is boosted by the presence of the entire production chain in the country, Scalfarotto stressed the relevant role of the fashion industry in its economic development.

“Italy is famous for its individual genius but its power can be strengthened by a collaboration among the different players,” he added, citing, for example, the rescheduling of all the fashion, textile and accessories trade shows, which from September will be held in the same period, as an efficient demonstration of cooperation within the system.

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