Italy’s Trade Shows Get in Step.

The winds of change are in the air in Italy.

For the first time, Mipap and Mifur, the trade shows dedicated to women’s ready-to-wear and fur, respectively, merge in one international exhibition called The One Milano. Introducing a “haute à porter” concept of fashion, the show will display top-end women’s rtw and accessories, including fabrics, fur, leather and jewelry, in the single venue of Fiera Milano City fairgrounds from Feb. 24 to 27.

This story first appeared in the November 30, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

More than 300 collections will be presented to international buyers. The U.S., South Korea, France, the U.K. and Germany have been identified as specific target markets, along with China and Russia. The latter is considered a main target for the fur segment, in particular. Running together with Milan Fashion Week, scheduled for Feb. 22 to 28 — will also be a draw for buyers, already present in the city, according
to organizers.

Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, running March 17 to 20, will celebrate its 50th anniversary. For the occasion, a new area called Cosmoprime will be launched at the same time as Cosmoprof’s sibling fair Cosmopack, dedicated to the beauty supply chain, running March 16 to 20.

Cosmoprime will include: “Extraordinary Gallery,” showcasing beauty trends and the most innovative brands; “Cosmoprime Forum,” which will offer analysis regarding retail distribution and market trends to professionals, and “The Perfume Factory,” focused on the process steps in developing a fragrance. This will also be the setting of the annual Accademia del Profumo awards’ celebrations. A limited-edition scent will be created as a tribute to the fair’s anniversary. Organizers will also provide an International Buyers’ Lounge.

Milano Unica last season gathered 442 exhibitors from 139 countries and confirmed its leading role in the textile segment despite the change of location from Portello’s fairgrounds to Fiera Milano Rho, just outside the city. The venue is confirmed for 2017. The next edition will run Feb. 1 to 3, but the fall collections will be moved up to July 10-13 from the traditional September dates.

Massimo Mosiello, general director of the exhibition, said, “The new course that began last September [is] not to follow the fashion industry’s demands but to anticipate them with concrete activities and timing.”

Yarn fair Filo is also changing dates, moving from March to Feb. 22 and 23, but keeping the usual location of Palazzo delle Stelline, in central Milan.

“We decided to anticipate…the dates of Filo’s 47th edition to answer the market needs of our exhibitors, altered by Milano Unica’s change of dates to July,” said Filo’s manager Paolo Monfermoso. “The slight anticipation also confirms our commitment to work in an industry that has to be more and more united,” noting that the fair will run during Milan Fashion Week. “The first and last link of the chain will be presented to the world at the same time, leveraging excellence and professionalism.”

Leather trade show Lineapelle also announced a shift in dates from September to Oct. 4 to 6, while the Feb. 21 to 23 edition will continue to run during the women’s fashion shows in Milan. Last season, Lineapelle saw a 9 percent increase in visitors to 21,184, coming from more than 110 countries, a record number, said director Fulvia Bacchi, underscoring the show’s historical global appeal.

Lineapelle is enforcing strict criteria in the selective process as organizers highlight sustainability, for example, as a strong discriminating element.

Changing dates in October, said Bacchi, was a way to “avoid overlapping with other fairs and women’s fashion week. [In the past] it cost us some visitors, busy with the fashion shows, so we decided to postpone our fair.” The uncertain economy also prompted the change, as clients will have more time to see the collections, said Bacchi, who did not expect a recovery in the market in the short term.

White founder Massimiliano Bizzi said, “I see the fashion industry being lively, if we consider that we are going through a moment of changes.”

The Milan-based trade show involves small- to medium-size contemporary companies that are “showing a great wish to emerge in the market, also through marketing tools and new web strategies,” Bizzi explained.

His goal for the upcoming edition, slated for Jan. 14 to 16, is to exceed the 7,000 visitors registered last June, “increasing the presences coming from Asia, the U.S. and European countries. We want to take the opportunities [offered by] this moment, when Milan is going back to be superattractive and more international and to consolidate White’s position as an international leader show in order to spotlight the contemporary segment.”

Si Sposaitalia Collezioni’s exhibition director Simona Greco stressed the importance of exports. In 2016, the Milan bridal fair registered a record number of buyers to 7,766, up 6 percent on the previous edition, 33 percent of which are coming from abroad. The next edition, running May 19 to 22, is expected to keep up the pace, with a boost of international visitors from the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Turkey, Russia, China, Japan and the Middle East. Italian companies, said Greco, “have recognized the centrality of our fair as an international stage,” to also show fashion trends and new designers.

Running Jan. 10 to 13 at the Fortezza da Basso, Pitti Immagine Uomo will be the first appointment of the year.

Paul Smith will be a special guest, unveiling his PS by Paul Smith men’s and women’s contemporary collection through an installation, while New York-based Tim Coppens will be the men’s wear guest designer and present his fall 2017 collection for the first time in Florence.