• 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
Cyclists gear up for Tour of Lombardy race
The Giro d'Italia earlier this year. Photo: AFP

'Il Lombardia' is one of cycling's five 'monuments'.

Italy has Europe's oldest population: Eurostat
Italy is home to the highest proportion of over-80-year-olds in the EU. File photo: Pexels

13 of every 200 people in Italy are aged over 80 - the highest proportion in the EU.

Italy police get lunch for poor woman 'forced to steal food'
The stolen goods only amounted to €14. File photo: Pexels

The woman had stolen food worth €14 from a supermarket.

Renzi: UK won't get special treatment post-Brexit
The UK can't expect an easy ride post-Brexit, Renzi warned. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Italian PM Matteo Renzi said the UK won't get more rights than other countries outside the EU after voting to leave the bloc.

Looters steal computers from quake town's new school
Almost a third of the schools in the area are now unusable. The above photo is of a school in Amatrice: AFP

The school had only been opened two weeks ago, after the town's existing two schools were left unusable by the earthquake.

Here's what Americans in Italy think about the US elections
The candidates shake hands before the debate. Photo: AFP

Four American expat voters from across the political spectrum talk about the issues which influenced their vote, and how it feels watching the elections from Italy.

Italy scraps bid to host 2023 Rugby World Cup
Italy's rugby team at the Six Nations earlier this year. Photo: AFP

The move is a result of Rome's decision not to bid for the 2024 Olympics.

Italy's migrant centres in crisis amid money worries
A man and his daughter in a Sardinian centre for refugees. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

The centres are fuller than ever - but the government has stopped paying.

Berlusconi at 80: My regrets and future plans
Berlusconi turns 80 on Thursday. Photo: AFP

"Politics was never really my passion," says Italy's longest-serving post-war premier.

Italy 'held naval manoeuvres with Iran' in strategic strait
The Strait of Hormuz. File photo: AFP

The Italian ambassador called the port call "a positive sign".

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
Culture
Eight things you should know about Rome's Spanish Steps
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The incredible hero dogs of Italy’s earthquake
National
Why quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
2,748
jobs available