MILAN — The Italian trade show White is gearing up for its upcoming edition, announcing a series of partnerships during a press conference held on Monday. Running from June 17 to 19, the show will showcase contemporary men’s lines and a preview of women’s collections for a total of 300 brands confirmed, 50 more compared to the previous year.
Massimiliano Bizzi, founder of White, underscored the importance of having women’s previews at the fair. “Our show is made of women’s brands for more than 50 percent,” he said, adding that “right now, even contemporary labels need to show the collections earlier due to the restricted time of sales campaigns.”
“White has hit the target,” said Mario Boselli, honorary president of the Italian Chamber of Fashion. “[The show] responds to a real need of the market,” he added, highlighting the difference between the fair and the decision of some big players of the industry, who are similarly presenting both men’s and women’s collections at the same time, but during women’s fashion shows. “The timing of men’s shows in January and June is perfect…but now the men’s fashion week is weaker: We have the same number of shows but lost some [big names],” Boselli said.
Even if the official schedule of the men’s fashion week hasn’t been released, one thing is for sure: London-based POAN will be included for the first time, thanks to White’s partnership with Italy’s fashion chamber.
Named special guest of this edition of White, POAN, which stands for Peoples of All Nations, was founded in 2015 by Austrian designer Georg Weissacher.
“What this brand really wants to do is to find beauty in diversity,” said Weissacher, explaining his creative process, which always starts from a short story he writes about a certain topic. Named “The Phenomenon of Man,” the brand’s upcoming collection is inspired by the book of French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and will focus on knitwear, graphic motifs and rich fabrics. The date of the show has not been set.
POAN will succeed Wood Wood in the role, the Scandinavian label that was showcased in White’s January edition and has now confirmed its participation to Milan Fashion Week for the second time, after seeing an exponential growth of its business in Italy.
“We not only got a lot of good publicity, but we increased our sales in Italy by 100 percent,” said Wood Wood’s designer Karl-Oskar Olsen. “We’re now sold in 45 doors here and we expect to increase at least 35 percent this season,” he added, revealing that the next collection will be inspired by a trip he took to the Amalfi Coast.
Wood Wood was one of the brands brought in Italy by White’s partnership with Copenhagen-based fair Revolver, which has been renewed for the third time. This time the ”Revolver Inside White” area will be expanded to showcase 40 Scandinavian brands, including Libertine-Libertine, Rains, Deadwood, Soulland and S.N.S. Herning, among others.
“The collaboration with Revolver is really strategic for us,” said Bizzi, underscoring how Scandinavian fashion is representing the best in terms of trends and relationship between quality and price in men’s wear.
The special guest of the “Only Woman” section of the fair will be Slovakian brand Nehera, founded in 1930 and relaunched in 2014 “to pay tribute to the rich tradition of textile industry in former Czechoslovakia,” said the label’s chief executive officer Ladislav Zdut. After joining the Paris Fashion Week in September 2015, Nehera decided to take part to White because “now it’s time to show we are worth [being] distributed in Europe and also in Italy.” In addition, the area will include labels of the likes of Aalto, P.E. Nation and VA Victoria Andreyanova, among others.
A significant partnership was also inked with a series of showrooms, originating the “Showroom Connection @White” program. “Milan is the real worldwide capital of distribution,” said Bizzi, explaining White’s goal to connect the city’s showrooms to the fair to exploit the incoming of buyers, increase the orders and allow showrooms to work better during the whole year. “It’s a new way of doing a trade show, but we strongly believe in [this approach].”
The project will be boosted with dedicated marketing and communication activities, as the promotion of the showrooms at the fair and on White’s official app, web site and magazine, in addition to logistic services, as dedicated transportation from the fair to the showrooms, in order to help buyers optimizing their time.
As part of the program, established footwear brands as Casadei and Fragiacomo will launch capsule collections at the show, while London-based Tomorrow showroom will host a special installation in the “Ahead — Ath-leisure for the Future” area, presenting a series of innovative ath-leisure labels.
In addition, the renovated “Wow” area will showcase 12 avant-garde designers, which combine experimentation with sportswear. The retail partner for this edition is the H. Lorenzo store in Los Angeles, which will choose a designer to create a capsule collection with.