• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Renzi struts his stuff at Milan fashion week opener
Fashion week has kicked off in Milan. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Renzi struts his stuff at Milan fashion week opener

AFP · 24 Feb 2016, 14:51

Published: 24 Feb 2016 14:51 GMT+01:00

Three-quarter length raincoats came in floral and other vibrant prints while the collection for the younger sister to Molinari's Blumarine brand was also dotted with bright Nordic-inspired knitwear.
   
Molinari declared last year that it was time for Italian fashion to loosen up a little and have some fun after years of gloom created by a triple-dip recession and a sense that Milan was losing its edge creatively and in terms of its rivalry with Paris and fast-rising London and New York.
   
That pessimism appears to have been banished this year with commentators talking up a new generation of younger designers emerging to pick up the baton from veterans such as Molinari, Miuccia Prada and Giorgio Armani.
   
The upbeat mood has also been bolstered by what many industry insiders see as belated government recognition of the importance of fashion to the Italian economy.
   
The perceived shift in attitude was underlined on Wednesday by the presence of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the official opening lunch for the fashion week.
   
Italy's textiles, clothing, leather goods and footwear sectors generated a remarkable €61.2 billion euros in 2014, the last year for which definitive figures are available.
   
The 2015 figure is forecast to be up on that by between 1.4 percent -- the conservative figure from the national chamber of fashion - and the seven percent that independent analysts see as more likely. Around three quarters of all sales are exports.
   
Top of the pecking order among the young guns is Alessandro Michele whose latest work for Gucci, the global megabrand he is credited with completely reinventing, was the mostly keenly awaited collection due to be unveiled on the first of six days of shows.

City buzzing

Story continues below…

While Michele was putting the final touches to his fashionably delayed catwalk set, Renzi was clinking glasses with designers, manufacturers and representatives from the regions where high value-added textiles are key components of the local economy.
   
More than 182 collections will be unveiled to buyers, media and fashion obsessives from all over the world over the course of the next six days with 74 catwalk shows staged in every available venue across Italy's economic capital, itself still buzzing after the success of last year's World Expo.
   
"It is the highest level of participation we have had since 2009," noted a delighted Carlo Capasa, chairman of the national Chamber of Fashion.
   
The actual number of collections is higher than the 182 registered by the chamber: those outside the official structures include Dolce and Gabbana and many up-and-coming young designers looking for a break.
   
With Italy returning to, albeit timid, growth last year trade body Sistema Moda Italia (SMI) is predicting a rise in Italian womenswear sales for 2015 of 2.8 percent to €12.8 billion euros.
   
"The interesting aspect of it is that there has been a revival in the domestic market which is encouraging looking forward to the coming years," said SMI chief Gianfranco di Natale.
   
"We have felt optimism coming back in the recent trade fairs held in Milan."
   
The city's payoff for hosting hundreds of thousands of extra visitors during the Expo was meanwhile reflected in a recent Boston Consulting Group study for the Italian luxury sector's collective body, Altagamma.
   
Thanks to the Expo effect, Milan has gone from fifth preferred destination of shoppers for luxury goods to third, with the improvement registered most strongly among prosperous young people who appear to have been convinced that the city is much cooler and trendier than it previously appeared.

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italians in the UK: 'After all these years, we feel unwanted'
Thousands of young Italians have moved to London in recent years. Photo: TJ Morris

Italian expats in the UK shared feelings of anger, fear and confusion after Britain voted to leave the EU. And they never even got a say.

How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Looking to stay in Italy long term? Here's how.

Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
(L) Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, which campaigned for Britain to leave the EU and (R) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Photos: Geoff Caddick/Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Britain may have taken a leap into the dark, but this is what's expected in Italy.

Europe needs renovating after Brexit: Renzi
Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has called on the remaining EU members to reorganize the EU. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Renzi said it was "not an easy day."

'Brexit is a disaster for Great Britain': WW2 veteran
Harry Shindler MBE. Photo: Rosie Scammell

“I would have thought that 70 years of peace would have been sufficient for people to say ‘we’re not going to change’ anything."

Renzi calls urgent meeting as Italy's far-right rejoice Brexit
Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, summoned the country's top economic minds to his home on Friday morning. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, called an extraordinary meeting on Friday morning as global markets were plunged into turmoil by the UK's shock decision to leave the EU.

Brits in Italy left stunned after UK votes for Brexit
Britons on Thursday voted to leave the EU. Photo: Emanuel Dunand/AFP

Britons in Italy woke up to the shocking news on Friday that the UK has voted to leave the EU, sending the pound crashing and fuelling concerns about their future on the continent.

Venice beaches offer 'sun or your money back' deal
Venice beaches are offering 'weather insurance' in a bid to boost visitor numbers this summer. Photo: Darkbeach/Flickr

Authorities hope the move will attract more beachgoers.

Berlusconi plots Forza Italia relaunch from hospital bed
Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly hoping to relaunch his political party, Forza Italia. Photo: Alberto Solaro/AFP

Following a near-fatal heart attack and surgery to replace his aortic valve, the 80-year-old mogul shows no sign of slowing down.

Mayor’s war on corruption could bring Rome €1bn a year
Virginia Raggi was elected Rome mayor on Sunday. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Backed by two thirds of voters in Sunday's election, Virginia Raggi now has to deliver on pledges to get buses and trams running on time, clean up rubbish-strewn streets and fill the potholes that pockmark much of the capital.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Culture
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Travel
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
National
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Health
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Travel
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
National
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Politics
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Travel
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Politics
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
National
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Culture
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
2,537
jobs available