The second edition of Milano Unica Prima — the two-day high-end trade show dedicated to textile pre-collections — opens on Wednesday under a cloudy sky, according to Milano Unica president Ercole Botto Poala.

“We are expecting a drop in the exports in the second semester of 2016,” he said, referring especially to a slowdown of the North American market.

Exports toward the U.S. dropped 5.4 percent in the first quarter of the year. Hong Kong also registered a negative performance with Italian exportations directed to the country down 12 percent, while exports toward China increased 17.3 percent.

In particular, the exports of Italian linen fabrics grew 28.9 percent, those of carded and combed wool raised 8.6 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively. The sales of cotton textiles declined 0.4 percent, while those of knitted and silk cloths were down 13.1 percent and 2.2 percent.

In order to face the difficulties of a troubling market, Botto Poala highlighted the importance of collaborating with the other key players of the fashion chain.

“We are collaborating with the Micam and Mipel, as well as the Italian Fashion Chamber, on a project for September,” he said, highlighting this will be partially financed by the Italian Ministry for Economic Development.

Botto Poala also admitted that due to the changes in the schedules, which are impacting the fashion industry, Milano Unica will decide by the end of the year whether to maintain its calendar unvaried. “We are considering the chance to host a single trade show in July or September,” he said.