Vanessa Friedman, the New York Times‘ leading fashion writer, does not usually take kindly to facts about Italian fashion. On the contrary, she does not spare salacious criticisms to brands and events. This time, however, the journalist cannot be indifferent to Milan’s enthusiasm. In her analysis, Friedman refers to Milan Fashion Week. But insiders know that (almost) on the same days there were trade fairs in the city for finished products, materials and technologies. All sharing the same hashtag (#RestartTogether). All of them ended with the same positive vibes: the total number of visitors at Micam, Mipel, TheOneMilano, Lineapelle and Simac Tanning Tech exceeded 33,000.
As we were saying, Friedman’s reasoning concerns fashion shows, but refers to the mood of the entire fashion system. We are coming off 18 months of great reflection on the role of fashion in a society reborn from the ashes of the pandemic, she observes, and the protagonists of fashion itself have not reached unanimous conclusions on the fundamentals from which to start again. This is why it may even seem a betrayal, or hypocrisy, to start again with the catwalks, while the debate on the profile of the new luxury remains unresolved.
And yet, the Milan experience prompts Friedman to recognise that “Italy is mostly open to those who can demonstrate that they have been vaccinated, and Italians are rather dutiful in keeping their masks up, while at least at the shows distancing is observed”. The return to physical appointments has not been a pantomime and, indeed, “honestly, I have to say that attending Kim Jones’ first fashion show for Fendi was fun”, the journalist concludes.
The success of the fairs
Satisfaction is widespread. In the columns of Il Sole 24 Ore, AEFI (Association of Exhibitions and Fairs) celebrates the more than 300,000 visitors welcomed to the shows held from the end of August to date. Milan has been the epicentre of the rebirth of exhibitions. It started with Supersalone (5-10 September), which sold 60,000 tickets against a target of 50,000. Then, it continued with #RestartTogether. Micam, Mipel and TheOneMilano (19-21 September) gathered the offer of 735 companies and opened their doors to more than 22,000 buyers and guests.
Lineapelle was scheduled on September 22-24, in conjunction with Simac Tanning Tech. The leather and materials for leather exhibition reported over 11,000 entries from more than 70 countries: an international audience that was also offered initiatives such as Mipel Lab and A New Point of Materials. Fashion and design have restarted their engines, waiting for the rebirth.