The Milan-based White trade show is gearing up for its next edition, encouraged by the growing interest of visitors and buyers. Running Jan. 14 to 16 and focusing on men’s and women’s contemporary ready-to-wear and accessories collections, White will showcase 270 exhibitors, registering an 18 percent increase compared to January 2016.
Replicating the successful formula of showing both men’s and women’s collections at the same time, the upcoming edition will count 197 women’s labels, 63 of which will preview their collections in the fair’s “Only Woman” area.
“The numbers confirm the success of our [format],” said White’s founder Massimiliano Bizzi at a press event on Dec. 15, also highlighting the positive moment Milan is currently having in terms of attractiveness.
Bizzi underscored the importance of the Only Woman area as a chance to preview women’s collections two months ahead of other shows and reiterated the modern approach of the fair in presenting men’s wear and women’s wear concurrently.
“[This approach] plays also an important economic role, because men’s wear globally represents a relatively small percentage in the industry,” explained Bizzi, stressing how aligning the presentations reduces the costs for the companies.
Only Woman area’s special guest will be the Finnish brand Aalto, designed by Tuomas Merikoski. French accessories label Repetto will also show its fall pre-collection of shoes and bags in the section. This year, this section labels’ visibility will be boosted thanks to the partnership signed with the renowned digital platform “The Blonde Salad di Chiara Ferragni,” which will showcase the most interesting pieces in a dedicated online editorial.
To further enhance the fair’s social feature, the “Wow — White on Web” area will present avant-garde brands which have been offered the opportunity to have visibility both off and online, thanks to the editorial and communication support of Highsnobiety and Luisaviaroma web destinations. This section will include labels such as House of Nomad, Curtis Li Studio, Zddz, Mazinyi, Tonsure, among others, while Liam Hodges will also create a capsule collection to be exclusively launched on Luisaviaroma.
“We invest a lot in scouting new designers and we’re happy to give our support to those who are [starting] in the industry,” said Luisaviaroma’s founder and chief executive officer Andrea Panconesi. “We believe in synergies between different realities of the industry and every edition…there are newborn collaborations and projects aimed to create something innovative,” echoed White’s general director Francesca Cella, strong supporter of the cross-media approach.
The new “Friends of White” corner will highlight the synergy between emerging labels and showrooms, presenting the Self-Portrait and Solace London brands, introduced by BaltimoraStudio and Polly King & Co showrooms, respectively.
White’s partnership with Copenhagen-based fair Revolver has also been renewed for the second time. The “Revolver Inside White” project will bring 12 brands of Scandinavian fashion in Milan, including the fair’s special guest Wood Wood.
Founded in 2002 by designers Karl-Oskar Olsen and Brian SS Jensen, the brand will show its new collection on the runway during Milan Fashion Week, thanks to White’s collaboration with Italy’s fashion chamber. Scheduled on Jan. 16, the fashion show will feature the men’s line and preview some women’s pieces.
“I’m deeply honored and excited at the idea that my brand is going to be the protagonist of a fashion show included in Milan men’s shows’ official schedule,” said Olsen.
Inspired by youth culture, the brand counts more than 16 collaborations with labels including Adidas, Eastpack, Barbour and Champion and is globally distributed through e-commerce, in addition to five standalone stores in Germany and Denmark.
Revolver founder Christian Maibom praised the brand, also highlighting the current changes in the fashion industry. “Low prices are going lower and in the luxury segment [these] are going even higher, so there’s a gap in between,” he noted, adding how Scandinavian fashion labels manage to combine quality and innovative design delivering a competitive and salable price. “Looking at the Italian market specifically, which is very classic, in all humbleness, I believe that Scandinavia actually might have a little role to play and might have something interesting for [Italian customers,]” he concluded.
White’s other partnerships include the one with Confartigianato Imprese, the Italian association gathering 25,000 small and medium-sized fashion companies that will pay tribute to the value of craftsmanship through an installation at the show. In 2015, the export of apparel, leather goods and fur pieces produced by said companies totaled 19 billion euros, or $19.8 billion at current exchange.
White’s next edition will also offer a corner to center-Italy’s select food companies to provide visibility and economic opportunities to small enterprises damaged by the tragic earthquake and aftershocks that hit the area at the end of August.