Translated by
Erin Floyd
May 17, 2018
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Aalto to show pre-collection in June at Milan Fashion Week

Translated by
Erin Floyd
May 17, 2018

Milan Men’s Fashion Week is increasingly opening up to womenswear, and is set to welcome Parisian ready-to-wear label Aalto to its next edition in June. The womenswear label, launched in 2014 by Finnish designer Tuomas Merikoski and known for its contemporary Nordic elegance, will show there for the first time with its pre-collection. The runway show is scheduled for 3 p.m. on June 15 at Via Savona, Milan.

Aalto's last runway show in Paris for its Autumn/ Winter 2018/19 collection - © PixelFormula

“For fashion labels, pre-collections account for a significant part of the business,” explains Valeria Martelli, who has been head of sales and operations at the label since its launch.  “That’s where we make most of our sales, usually via the showroom and a lookbook showing some of the collection, which has rather low visibility at the end of the day. Still, having press coverage of it is important, especially for the retailers.”

She notes: “Customers expect as much creativity of the pre-collection these days as of the main collection. In fact, they really are two collections – the first being the spring collection and the second, the summer collection.” But apart from the Haute Couture Week, there is no slot in the traditional calendar for a showing ahead of the main collection.

Milan has thus presented itself as an opportunity for Aalto, which has showed at Paris Women’s Fashion Week since 2015. The label is strongly linked both to the city, where it has previously presented its collections during the White trade show, and to Italy, where it is currently distributed in eight stores, including Antonioli in Milan and Guia in Florence.

Against the backdrop of the rapidly evolving fashion weeks, Milan seemed to the brand to be “the most experimental, the least set in its ways,” further boosted by its willingness to replenish a men’s fashion week that is losing steam due to a number of defections as a result of the shift of fashion labels towards single, co-ed shows.

Accordingly, the Lombardy capital will be hosting other womenswear labels in June, such as Stella McCartney, who will present its men’s and Spring 2019 collections in the format of a special event; and Alberta Ferretti with a double runway show for its Cruise collection and semi-couture range, Limited Edition.

And, as Valeria Martelli underlined, “the National Chamber for Italian Fashion has provided us with conditions that we wouldn’t have had elsewhere,” making it the ideal occasion for Aalto to step into the limelight at a crucial moment for sales.

The label, which employs six people, is continuing its strong upward trajectory with annual growth of 20 percent. It is stocked in 120 multibrand boutiques throughout the world, with Asia accounting for 60 to 65 percent of its sales. Its most important market is Japan, followed by China, South Korea and France.

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