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2024 will be a complicated year, “certainly not the best” under the weight of geopolitical unknowns, of “70 elections and two ongoing wars: resilience will be needed”. But the horizon is encouraging: «The demand for made in Italy is strong and in the next five years Italian fashion will grow by around 20%. It means we have five good years ahead of us.” Years in which we never stop investing in what is considered excellence throughout the world.
Exports of 90 billion drive the accounts of Italian fashion
Carlo Capasa, president of the National Chamber of Fashion (Cnmi), on the occasion of the presentation of the next Milan fashion week, where the women’s collections for autumn-winter 24-25 will be presented, underlined the potential of an industry which (in its meaning broadened to include glasses, beauty, jewellery), after emerging from Covid with its head held high, according to Fashion economic trends it closed 2023 with revenues of over 102 billion, up 4% on 2022. Almost 90 billion went to abroad: «Exports from the fashion sector rose by 4.2% in 2023 – commented Matteo Zoppas, president of Ice Agenzia, CNMI partner for the fashion week – in a note – and the import-export trade balance reached 40 billion. The main destination countries are confirmed as France, Germany and the USA; the most significant growth was recorded in France and Japan, both at +16%”. Capasa recalled that «export is a consolidated figure at industrial prices: at retail it is much higher and tells us that Italian fashion is a commodity of primary importance for the whole world. However, we must not lull ourselves into the fact that we are the largest high-end industry in the world.”
The appeal to the government: support for investments and training
The industry must continue to invest to remain competitive, but in a historical moment like the current one, with the high cost of money and numerous unknowns, companies – especially SMEs – often cannot do it alone: «The duty of the institutions is to accompany the evolution of an important sector, with 600 thousand employed in industry and the same number in the tertiary sector, an area that has also been underestimated – underlined Capasa -. I participated in the Fashion Roundtable meeting, bringing a series of requests to the Government: increased support for investments in Research & Development; measures, as part of the Industry 5.0 plan, designed for small-sized companies. Finally, training: we need not only to attract new talent but also teachers and we would like to involve those who have retired for a few years in the academies.”
The Milan women’s fashion week with 161 events
While the Government is called upon to examine the sector’s requests, Italian fashion (and not only) is warming up its engines for the next Milan fashion week, from 20 to 26 February, with 161 events of which 56 physical shows and 5 digital ones (all concentrated on Monday 26th): «We know that the week is very eventful and we asked for an extra day from the other fashion capitals that host the fashion shows before us. I believe that within the next two months we will have approval”, concluded Capasa. The event confirms itself as an important showcase with a mix of famous names – Gucci, Armani, Prada, Dolce&Gabbana and Fendi just to name a few – returns such as those of Marni and Elisabetta Franchi and young Italians (Marco Rambaldi, GCDS) and internationals (Sunnei , Sagaboi or Feben supported by Dolce&Gabbana), who choose Milan as their international stage.
The related industries also for small shops: revenues estimated at +10%
The data on the economic impact on the city are added to demonstrate the role of the fashion week: Confcommercio estimates an impact of 70 million euros in Milan, up 22% compared to 2019, with 100 thousand presences expected (+10%) of which 65 thousand foreigners.