Sep 26, 2012
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Milan launches new womenswear trade show

Sep 26, 2012

The debate launched this summer on the reorganization of Milan womenswear fairs seems to have yielded a first concrete result. Friday, September 21, a collaboration between two groups was announced. The one side involves the Florence organizer Pitti Immagine with its three events – Touch!, NeoZone and Cloudnine – held in Milan since 2006 in the Via Tortona fashion district, featuring 170 collections. The other partner is Fiera Milano and its MI Milano, the company's women ready-to-wear fair for some 150 brands that it hosts on its fair grounds. 

Two of the city's three main organizers of fashion events that usually take place during the women's Fashion Week have thus decided to join forces in rolling out a single and unique event next February for women's apparel and accessories in the medium and high-end range. White, the research and trends trade show that takes place during fashion weeks, is not part of the project. 

The historical "Palazzo delle Scintille," the venue for the new fair

The city is backing the initiative, which will be held at the "Palazzo delle Scintille," a historic fair facility of nearly 10,000 square meters located on Milan's former exhibition and convention grounds and currently a total construction site. This vast area, previously the site of Milan trade shows, is now slated to be transformed into a new residential area. The historically symbolic "Palazzo delle Scintille" is the only building that will be preserved in the area, but it must first be completely renovated. This is the same building that the city of Milan wanted to transform into a "large multipurpose center of fashion" until just recently. 

A tender for the renovation work is to be announced soon, but no details have been revealed on the financing of the restructuring or the name of this new event and its organization. The Italian chamber of fashion, which was not involved in the effort, is expressing some skepticism. "The real problem with these shows are their dates, which would benefit by being moved up to coincide with men's fashion week. But the question has not even been addressed," complained Mario Boselli, the President of the Camera della Moda. 

A week ago, the Pitti Immagine managing director Raffaello Napoleone worried about the supremacy of Paris over Milan. He called upon the Italian system to consider a new formula, suggesting a possible grouping between the various actors. He said he did not want to make any hasty decisions and was "ready to make choices that everyone agreed upon." The sudden announcement of the alliance with Fiera Milano in the middle of Fashion Week seems to contradict his words. Moreover, Pitti Immagine does not seem more concerned about moving up its Milan trade shows, which risk overlapping Pitti W, the women's pre-collections event organized by Pitti in Florence during Pitti Uomo.

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