Innovative SMEs take the spotlight
di Marta Casadei
3' di lettura
«We are passionate about new brands and we try to bring an up-to-date selection to Milan because we believe that to be the right response to a market where consumers are bored and are crying out for products with a story, products which excite them». It is almost twenty years since Massimiliano Bizzi and his wife Brenda Bellei opened the doors of a space dedicated to contemporary fashion and focused on innovation and research, small brands and young, talented creatives.
In an active alliance with local institutions (above all the Municipality), showrooms and retailers, White Milano, held since the outset in the Tortona district, is now a point of reference for international buyers. This year’s edition will be held from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 and represents an extended version of the event both in terms of number of exhibitors (+4% on last year) and number of days: «Once again this year’s event will be spread over four days and we have decided to bring it one day forward from our traditional dates,» continued Bizzi, «in order to align with other trade fairs: we’ll be picking up the reins from Micam and Mipel, which finish on Wednesday evening. The more we work together the better Fashion Week works.»
One of the principle new aspects of the spring-summer 2020 edition is the focus on sustainability: «This is very much the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment and I believe it is an area where both small and medium-sized businesses can find their niche: consumers, particularly young people, prefer to spend money on an environmentally friendly product and are prepared to look outside traditional brands, perhaps opting for an Italian SME rather than a fashion giant. We’ve already seen this shift in the food sector, where these days many consumers prefer smaller producers.» While it might be too early to dedicate a whole section of the show to green products - «it is a little too soon» - White has dedicated an installation to the issue in collaboration with Boyish, a Californian sustainable denim brand distributed in Italy by Brama: «It’s our special project for this year and we’ve granted it a new location, Opificio 31, an old workshop measuring around 1,000 square metres. By dedicating an ad hoc space to these products, we hope to show the end consumer the world to come and how fashion will play a key role.»
It is not an easy time for the sector - «The economic figures don’t paint an accurate picture of every business in the sector: some small Italian businesses aren’t yet strong enough to make exports their main business or to make the most of online retail, and they are struggling,» says Bizzi - and White is aiming to forge a link between the various stakeholders.
One way of doing this it to involve multi-brand stores and emerging talent. «Thanks to the synergy with Camera Buyer, we will host fifteen of Lombardy’s top multi-brand boutiques, each of which will present an up-and-coming designer to the public who will be able to buy their creations directly.»
As such, there will also be space for B2C, a formula that White has already trialled in the January and June events with the Street Market.
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