MILAN — ENK International is partnering with Italy’s M.Seventy Srl trade show organization, which schedules White, to hold joint exhibitions in New York and Milan eight times a year (four men’s and four women’s). The licensing agreement was signed for three years and the first show will bow in February 2012.

This story first appeared in the June 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The name of the collaboration and the number of exhibitors is still to be determined, but a press conference is to be held in Milan today to announce the partnership.

“White is a great show, one of the best trade show operations, with carefully selected bands,” ENK president Tom Nastos told WWD. “[White founders and owners Massimiliano and Brenda Bizzi] have done an amazing job, it’s well-managed and well-curated, and retailers have an amazing experience. It’s a very, very productive show,” he said.

Nastos described this as a “natural progression” for ENK, given that the city of Milan “is a fashion capital,” with “so many talented companies in men’s, women’s, children’s, footwear and accessories — and Italians love fashion.” In addition to ENKNYC and ENKWSA, the group lists Accessorie Circuit and Fashion Coterie among some of its shows.

Bizzi said the agreement offers White exhibitors the opportunity to approach the American market. “ENK has a huge organization, it’s a guarantee for us, as we need a strong partner,” said Bizzi at White’s headquarters in Milan. “This is a long-term business project, in line with our strategy to internationalize White.” The trade show, which was launched in 2002 with 90 exhibitors, counted 350 companies showcasing their ready-to-wear and accessories collections in February. “White is known for its extensive research, niche brands and Made in Italy quality. ENK and White are complementary and synergic, and the agreement will benefit both organizations,” added Bizzi, anticipating about 100 brands traveling to New York.

Nastos said ENK has teamed with government associations in the past, but “nothing of this kind. The level of collaboration is a first.”

Nastos and Bizzi are working on further expanding together in other countries next year.

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