The Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, speaking during the opening ceremony of ‘Pitti Immagine Uomo’ trade show in Florence on 9 January, praised the event as “an example” for Italian industry. Regarding the future of the sector, the Minister underlined how “the governance mechanism that has been built must not end with the Government, it must proceed”.
The Minister was referencing the “Extraordinary plan for Made in Italy” for the next three years, which aims not only at enhancing the internationalization of the Italian industrial system but also at attracting more foreign investments in the country. This new cycle will be founded on the results obtained from the previous one (2015-2017): its achievements, despite being an excellent starting point, can still be bettered. Significant successes have been reached in the promotion of Italy’s products and companies through trade fairs abroad, which have always seen a greater participation than expected. The plan, in fact, reveals the presence of untapped markets for Italian products: therefore, there will be an even greater effort to build on what has been done and thus make the most of these opportunities.
Men’s fashion industry saw some very good results in 2017: turnover grew by 2.1% on yearly basis, hence reaching 9.2 billion euros. These numbers are driven by exports, which saw an increase of 3.7% (better than the total sectoral figure of 3%), with an incidence equal to 65% of total turnover. Profits, following this market expansion, reached 2 billion euros. Geographically, among the non-European markets, the first customer is the United States, but the largest increases were recorded in the trade with China, Russia, and South Korea. To the Chinese figure (+ 17.1%, for a total of 173 million euros) should also be added to that of Hong Kong, which represents the first Asian market (242 million euros) and continues to grow (+ 2.7%).
The forecasts for the Italian men’s fashion market are looking optimistic. Even discounting the favourable cycle that the world economy is going through, thus determining a 3.8-4% growth in international trade (according to IMF and Confindustria estimates), the firms operating in this sector trust in the stability, if not in the improvement, of the market. Pitti Uomo 93 will prove an important litmus test to check the moods of industry’s main companies and their customers.
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