MILAN — Milano Unica is focusing on high quality and internationalization to deal with the difficulties of the Italian and European markets.

“The euro zone is slowing down but we approach this edition of the fair with a confident feeling towards international and global markets,” said Milan Unica chairman Silvio Albini, who highlighted the key role of textile in Italy during a presentation of the textile and accessories fair on Tuesday.

According to Albini, the industry, which he described as “an ambassador of Italian trade,” accounts for 40 percent of the country’s exports and 16 percent of the fashion industry’s sales.

Milano Unica, which will run in Milan from Sept. 11 to 13, will include 458 exhibitors — a slight drop compared with last season’s edition — but is expected to register a growth in international exhibitors.

“Our goal is to keep the quality of exhibitors high,” said Albini, who pointed out North Europe, Russia and former Soviet countries, along with the Far East and the U.S. as the most important markets for the companies showcasing their collections at Milano Unica. “We are not interested in selling the spaces to be bigger, but we want to maintain the level, because ours is a niche fair with high standards.”

Milano Unica, which will also unveil its second Chinese edition in Shanghai in October, will host the fourth edition of “On Stage,” the project dedicated to upcoming talents developed in partnership with Australia-based Woolmark.

On Sept. 11, 10 young international designers will hit the runway at the Milan’s Ippodromo del Galoppo: Italians CO|TE and Camo; Swedes Altewai Saome and Erik Bjerkesjo; Brazilian Barbara Casasola; Belgian Tim Coppens; Brit Matthew Miller; Michael Lo Sordo and Huishan Zhang, respectively from Australia and China, along with Omer Asim, the first African designer to take part in the project.

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