Luxury textile fair starts with 18% increase in attendance



Italian textile fair Milan Unica kicked off its 39th edition on Tuesday, with 18 percent more exhibitors than last year and 22 percent more than before Covid 2019.

The three-day event has moved to a larger venue, the Fiera Milano Rho exhibition centre on the outskirts of the fashion capital, giving it just under 25 per cent more space to accommodate the growing interest.

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With 700 exhibitors, 569 of whom participate in the show’s three exhibitions: Ideabiella, Moda In and Shirt Avenue, and the rest divided between the special areas and the Korea And Japan observatories – all of Italy’s unique textile districts were “fully represented”, both in terms of the number of participating companies and the “full range” of their offerings, the textile fair said in a statement.

Italy’s textile districts are concentrated in Biella, Prato, Como, Busto Arsizio and Vicenza, with specialties ranging from wool to silk, knits, recycled textiles, hosiery and more.

“I think that Milano Unica represents one of the most important events at an international level for manufacturers on the one hand, and on the other hand for buyers of high-quality fabrics and accessories,” said Simone Canclini, the show’s newly elected president. “The products on display are characterised by an innovative style, designed to meet all the needs of the entire downstream sector, with a focus on sustainability and the circular economy.”

Although the industry is facing certain challenges, including a negative trend in production and commercial activity that has been ongoing since last year, the increase in the number of visitors underlines the importance of Milano Unica as a platform for premium and luxury manufacturers. The first quarter of 2024 recorded a “general decline” in Italy’s domestic production and international trade, with the highlight being double falls in both exports and imports in several product segments.

Only export to China And Hong-Kong The data revealed bucked the downward trend, cementing the countries’ status as the top export markets for Italian-made products, the organization said. It is also worth noting that while the industry tends to place Italian-made textile products at the top of the spectrum, these goods are still affected by the performance of the luxury sector on a global scale, according to the management of Milano Unica.

“Over the years, the market has differentiated. At Milano Unica we have always favoured excellence in materials and technological research into processing, and the trade fair has become a point of reference in these complex market scenarios,” said Canclini. “There is no doubt that Milano Unica is going through a very favourable period, despite the difficult situation of the textile industry, but I am convinced that an even greater attention to quality standards will allow manufacturers in Italy to respond to the situation and build a future.”

The three-day event, which runs from 9 to 11 July, will showcase the 2025-2026 autumn-winter collections, focusing on “a journey through European and Italian excellence”. There will be a special focus on sustainability and innovation, with new entries including MarediModa and Velvet Mi Amor by Stefano and Corinna Chiassai.

“This edition closes a circle and opens a new one,” Canclini said. “It closes a circle because the excellence of all the Italian textile districts is compactly lined up and it opens a new circle because it is a starting point for the growing consolidation of Milano Unica’s international role.”

Panelists discuss the future of the Made in Italy value chain during the opening ceremony.Panelists discuss the future of the Made in Italy value chain during the opening ceremony.

Panelists discuss the future of the Made in Italy value chain during the opening ceremony.

The show’s opening ceremony featured comments from Attilio Fontana, President of the Lombardy Region, and Matteo Zoppas, President of the Italian Trade Agency ICE. The future of the made-in-Italy value chain was explored during a roundtable discussion with Barbara Cimmino, Vice President at Confindustria in charge of Exports and Investment Attraction and Co-Founder of Yamamay; Antonio De Matteis, President of Pitti Immagine and CEO of Kiton; Luca Solca, Analyst and Head of Luxury Goods at Bernstein; and Caterina Sanson, Partner at OC&C Milan. Business and financial journalist Nicola Porro moderated the panel.

“The success of Milano Unica gives us great satisfaction and, even more satisfying, is the knowledge that it is the result of the commitment and dedication of the Milano Unica Executive Committee to this great project, supported by the entire team,” said Massimo Mosiello, General Manager of Milano Unica.

Mosiello thanked the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Trade Agency ICE for the internationalization of Italian companies abroad, “which have supported us season after season to make Milano Unica a reference point for the excellence of textiles and accessories and for an increasingly demanding public.”

The general manager said the show has also consolidated its partnership with the Italian trade agency. “This comes from the recognition of the important strategic work carried out by the management, which has led to the achievement of excellent results in the field of international inbound and the implementation of all communication activities,” Mosiello said. “I would also like to thank our loyal partners, Banca Sella and Lauretana, for their valuable support.”

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