Milano Unica changes because the fashion system has radically changed
The XXII edition of Milano Unica fashion trade is held February 9-11, 2016 in Milan, Italy. It is still the same - one of the greatest places to find latest global fashion trends (this edition is for Spring-Summer 2017), but in the same time - somehow different.
According to Ercole Botto Poala (President of the Italian Textile and Accessory Trade Show) the advent of digital culture, the rise of new flows and new patterns of consumption - real, or just visual - have led to an overall widening of the boundaries of what was once a closed and exclusive world. Milano Unica aspires instead to be a seismograph of the contemporary, from the vantage point of fashion-making, resetting its format to move in sync with the times.
In the first place it is the size and the position of the fair that changes. It moves to Rho, concentrating in one place, but, in parallel, it invades the city of Milan, the epicenter of the new creative Italian spirit, with a viral series of events and actions. Creating a fair that breathes in synch with the urban environment means generating a series of flows, triggering a virtuous network of influences, offering a wider audience the opportunity to approach luxury in its truest form. But it also means, for the operators, looking at reality and let themselves be inspired by it. Fashion is not locked in an ivory tower: it makes sense when it looks at reality to rewrite it and imagine a new one.
Rethinking Milano Unica means rethinking the value of luxury and the value of the Italian spirit, characters that are deeply ingrained into the event. The Italian textile and accessories industry expresses 60% of the European production and has maintained, in the face of other nations who have criminally destroyed it, standards of excellence that are recognized worldwide. It is an industry characterized by an extraordinary biodiversity, which should be preserved even in the quest for a renewed unity of purposes.
The Directors of the Men's Fashion Cluster select fabrics from Cerutti
Historically it has always been difficult to create unity in Italy: our nation remains a place of autonomous realities and cultivated diversities. We must recognize this stretch as part of the very essence of being Italian, addressing the issue from a different point of view. Cultivating diversity in an elastic frame of unity, for instance. That's what Milano Unica will do, becoming a showcase of the highest Italian knowhow.
Along this path, the idea of luxury changes too: no longer synonymous with exclusivity, it turns into an expression of excellence. Milano Unica becomes a fair of excellence and creativity, which will show the world what keeps being invented in Italy. Fashions stem out of fabric and accessories, and Milano Unica will make this tangible, using the tools of today, from moodboards to social technology, to communicate through emotions and feelings.
Milano Unica becomes a hub, a connector: a place that collects and directs streams, a square in which being inspired, built on a synergy of Italian know-how. We have a heritage that cannot be replicated. We are the only ones capable of reproducing the peculiarities of the manual process on an industrial scale. This is especially evident in tailoring, but also in the leather-making as well as fabric-making and accessories-making. If change is inevitable, in Italy the inevitability of change has taken place, organically, in factories and mills in which the most advanced technology meet traditional craftsmanship, in a perfect dialogue between man and machine, uniqueness and seriality. Milano Unica wants to witness this, too.
Milano Unica will therefore become the main Italian textile and accessories fair. It will do so with a focus on choral work that does erase individual contributions. We cannot forget, for instance, that the province is an inexhaustible powerhouse of inspired entrepreneurship. Some of the most interesting Italian stories are hidden in the thick of province, where the slower rhythms stimulate disruptive visions.
Being self-congratulatory is not very Italian. Our heritage, nonetheless, is invaluable, not least because it is made of non-bookish knowledge handed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth, by teaching from master to apprentice. This same knowledge can now fuel stories, entertain, surprise and ultimately involve a wider audience going beyond the narrow circle of professionals to establish itself as a cultural and not just industrial asset. We have to find a natural link between industry and culture, and this is what Milano Unica aspires to do, on the long term. Today more than ever before we must reflect on our origins, work on our own peculiarities, and then, with an awareness that does not become dogmatism, get into the flow of a global and connected world. This is the real meaning of the renewal of Milano Unica. We want to strengthen the DNA of the international Italian spirit to create a lively event which is an authentic expression of the contemporary: free from borders, open to further changes.
Photo: © Be Global Fashion Network
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