MILAN — The fall 2018 edition of Milano Unica will now be held in July rather than in September 2017, organizers said Monday.
Organizers said that edition of the fair will unite two key events: the main, three-day Milano Unica trade show dedicated to high-end textiles and Milano Unica Prima, the two-day exhibition for pre-collections.
Milano Unica’s president Ercole Botto Poala said the choice was made in “rapid” response to changes affecting the fashion industry. Over the past few months, the industry has been grappling with the see-now-buy-now challenge and the growing pressure to satisfy more urgent commercial requests. In the face of the burgeoning phenomenon, fashion companies here have been reticent to embrace it, saying that true luxury goods take time.
“It won’t be easy for companies to be ready with their collections two months early,” Botto Poala said.
He said one main reason for the move is to better compete with France’s Première Vision Paris fabric fair, normally held after Milano Unica in mid-September. The other primary reason is to give U.S. customers more time to work on their collections. Italian fabric makers will now be pressed to produce the entire collection two months early, as opposed to showing an incomplete pre-collection in July.
“See-now-buy-now means we need to be ready and we are really trying to meet the market’s needs,” Botto Poala said.
Ivan Scalfarotto, undersecretary of the Ministry of Economic Development, said that the government is confident that the calendar change will strengthen Italy’s textile industry.
Revenue for the Italian textile industry fell 0.9 percent to 7.91 billion euros, or $8.8 billion at average exchange, in 2015, with exports registering a drop of 1.4 percent from the previous year, a report compiled by Sistema Moda Italia and Statistics office ISTAT said. In the first half of 2016, industrial production was down 1.6 percent, while exports inched up 0.5 percent.
Since being appointed president last year, Botto Poala, who is also ceo of Reda 1865, has been working on making practical changes to the fair, like exploring the idea of digital partnerships for mills to sell their textiles online.
Earlier this month, Milano Unica registered about 6,000 visitors, which was in line with the same edition a year earlier. The event was held for the first time at the new, more expansive Milan-Rho fairgrounds instead of the traditional venue Fieramilanocity in order to open on the last exhibition day of the Micam and Mipel fairs. There were 442 exhibitors, of which 139 were foreign — 79 from Europe, 39 from Japan and 21 from South Korea.
Under Botto Poala’s leadership, Milano Unica also lent space to the exhibition “Origin Passion and Beliefs,” showcasing high-end finished and semifinished products made by Italian artisans and emerging designers. The showcase is a product of online talent incubator and e-commerce platform Not Just A Label and Fiera di Vicenza SpA.