MILAN — After surviving another rocky year brought on by Europe’s economic woes, textile firms continue to face uncertainty as they prepare for the Milano Unica textile fair that begins a three-day run here on Feb. 6.
“The times we live in are very difficult,” said Silvio Albini, president of Milano Unica and chairman of the Albini Group textile company. “I must say that I have to look at 2012 as a cup that’s half empty and half full.”
According to Italian textile and fashion consortium SMI Sistema Moda Italia, the value of Italian textile exports sank 5.7 percent in the first nine months of 2012. But Albini and other textile executives were more upbeat about 2013, as they saw sales pick up toward the end of the year.
The last three months may limit 2012 losses to 4 to 5 percent, said Pier Luigi Loro Piana, president of the Ideabiella fine fabrics fair at Milano Unica, who cited the Italian statistical body ISTAT.
“Fortunately, growth in exports toward non-EU markets intervened, with China, Japan and the United States in the lead,” Loro Piana said.
Milano Unica will see the number of exhibitors fall 5 percent to a total of 415.
“Milano Unica is increasingly specialized in the medium-high and high-quality exhibitors,” said Albini.
It is also branching off to China. The second edition of Milano Unica China, which will take place at Beijing’s Intertextile in March, will have 128 exhibitors, an increase of 35 percent over last year’s debut.
“We closed 2012 at the same level as 2011, but the geography has changed, with the Far East and America in the lead,” said Mauro Bellini, marketing manager for Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna & Figli SpA, the textile division of the luxury apparel and textile maker Ermenegildo Zegna Group.
Bellini said Zegna’s new fabric collection at Milano Unica will be all about “color, color, color.”
Zegna is also relaunching mohair in wool and cotton blends, and promoting its line of cashmerelike, carded silk.
Cotton specialist Larusmiani SpA will present a series of new blends — cotton and silk for precious garments, cotton and linen for luxury casualwear and a blend of cotton and bamboo.
“Milano Unica is the most important fair in the world for luxury textiles,” said Larusmiani chief executive officer Guglielmo Miani, who added that company’s sales to the U.S. increased 24 percent in 2012.
Women’s stretch fabric specialist Lanificio Europa will present Super Stretch for legwear, which defies the appearance of an elastic fabric, yet has “perfect recovery and excellent expansion” and is resistant to washing, said Lanificio’s owner, Luigi Guarducci. Lanificio Europa will also show a special printed jacquard and an anticellulite stretch denim called Reman that uses the Solvay Group’s Emana fiber.
Alcantara, known for its soft trademark material used largely in accessories and interiors, will present four collections: the romantic and ethereal Nebula, the nautically inspired Sevenseas, the pop-geometrical Spirograph and the digitally reinterpreted Twenties Tropichic, as well as its first knit line.
Matteo Ramundo, a principal of Serates Srl, said his company would feature stretch fabrics that combine sportswear performance with high-fashion elegance.
“There are also technical fabrics for outerwear with matelassé (quilting effect) made with prints and jacquard,” Ramundo added.
“We are very much aiming at fabrics with polyester and natural fibers, particularly a printed jacquard” with unusual background brilliance, said Claudio Taiana, owner of Tessitura Taiana, which makes fabrics for men’s and women’s fashion apparel.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion