WHITE Milano confirms its growth and expands its formats by launching the WHITE VILLAGE. This is the first example of “fuori salone” realized during fashion week, with the mission of sharing, networking, and creating projects capable of intercepting the ongoing transformations in society. From Sept. 22 to 25, during the days of WHITE, inside the locations of the TORTONA FASHION DISTRICT, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m, WHITE VILLAGE will offer a series of entertainment and business enhancement activities, open to industry professionals as well as the city’s public.
by Robert Crowe
“We applaud those who 20 years ago had the insight to create an exhibition space dedicated to micro-companies, the backbone of our Made in Italy. Many formerly unknown brands, thanks to WHITE’s stage, have reached the Olympus of fashion,” commented Barbara Mazzali, Councillor for Tourism, Territorial Marketing, Fashion and Major Events of the Lombardy Region, while congratulating the creator of WHITE, Massimiliano Bizzi, “for the great research work that went into the construction of each edition.”In a few days WHITE will welcome about 40 Lombardy fashion excellences that, along with other 360 brands, some of which are emerging realities, will ‘present themselves’ to the best foreign buyers and operators in the sector,” adds the Councillor, who finally applauds the new WHITE VILLAGE: “A real ‘Fuori Salone’ that will host conferences, panels, workshops and many activities that will reveal the magical and hard work behind the scenes of fashion.”
WHITE | SIGN OF THE TIME, always in step with the times, is getting ready to launch a new and super energetic edition dedicated to women’s prêt-à-porter fashion presenting over 360 companies and all kind of novelties in its locations of Via Tortona 27, 54, 58 and at the Mudec Museum.
From Friday, Sept. 22 to Monday, Sept. 25, WHITE’s locations spread across the Tortona Fashion District area will be populated by around 20,000 fashion industry operators looking for the latest spring-summer 2024 collections. This is one of the most relevant and dynamic events promoted during Milan Fashion Week, which since its inception has managed to attract numerous buyers, press officers and industry operators from all over the world. WHITE’s DNA will be evident inside the show, which will reconfirm itself as an international platform of reference for fashion companies and a showcase of new trends, previewing the collections of more than 360 brands while maintaining the balance between Italian and international companies (a perfect 50-50).
WHITE renews the patronage of the Municipality of Milan, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), ICE – Agency for the Promotion Abroad and Internationalization of Italian Companies and with the partnership of Confartigianato Imprese. A well-established relationship that has lasted for many editions and encourages the incoming of the most important international buyers and foreign press to the event, which increases in percentage season after season.
Alessia Cappello, Councillor for Economic Development and Labor Policies Fashion and Design of the City of Milan, says, “WHITE, with its new format WHITE VILLAGE, represents one of the most significant moments for the city during Milan Fashion Week. A container of innovative projects and a showcase of international appeal, always in tune with current trends. The event tangibly demonstrates the interest of Italian and foreign operators in selecting Milan as the best platform to present their ideas and creations. As an institution, we are always at WHITE’s side with the aim of enhancing our precious manufacturing heritage made up of technical knowledge, craftsmanship and creativity, elements that are the distinctive signature of Made in Italy.”
Massimiliano Bizzi, Founder and Art Director of WHITE, is continuing WHITE’s campaign communication journey that began a few seasons ago. For the September 2023 edition, the focus is on the importance of natural impulse as opposed to rationality. The theme “The Instinct Factor” is intended to revive the value of primal instinct, in the age dominated by artificial intelligence. The campaign images were entrusted to the lens of photographer and artist Arash Radpour.
WHITE reconfirms the Secret Rooms project, an initiative that has had great success and media resonance in previous editions, consisting of five secret rooms in which as many new-generation international talents will show new collections. The confirmed designers have been selected after a careful scouting made by WHITE’s team – led by General Manager Simona Severini – following precise criteria that favor independent creativity, a strong aesthetic, and conceptual impact. In continuity with the original vision of the project, the entrances to each of the Secret Rooms will be at the end of secret corridors leading to private spaces, made unique by the artistic interpretation of each designer.
Among the Secret Rooms of this edition, there will be no shortage of international talents, but the presence of Italy will be strong, with designers of Italian origin as well as designers that, despite being of other nationalities, have chosen Italy as the base country for their brands. The protagonists of the five Secret Rooms will be Alberto Ciaschini (from Italy), Risa Nakamura (from Italy, of Japanese origin), Samanta Virginio (from the UK, of Italian-American origin), Studio Pansters (from the Netherlands) and TOTON (from Indonesia).
WHITE’s mission of expanding and breaking down barriers by fostering fluid communication between the market and creative realities around the world led to the realization of EXPOWHITE. Designers and brands from countries that belong to unconventional fashion latitudes gather in Milan to present their vision of fashion. EXPOWHITE reveals the potential of creatives from Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Brazil and South Africa.
EXPOWHITE will be once again the showcase for the Saudi 100 Brands project, the Fashion Commission’s program that promotes one hundred fashion designers from Saudi Arabia working in ready-to-wear, couture, cosmetics and accessories (shoes, bags and jewelry) sectors. Several established designers, pillars of the Saudi fashion reality joined by a group of promising emerging designers, will exhibit their collections at the Visconti Pavilion in the Tortona 58 location from Sept. 22-25 in conjunction with WHITE.
Fresh from their participation in the first edition of Yerevan Fashion Week that took place in early summer, a group of brands from Armenia will present their prêt-àporter fashion collections at WHITE inside the daylight spaces. The designers from Armenia will be Vahan Khachatryan, LOOM Weaving, KIVERA, ZGEST, DAJELI, Zakaryan Jeans, Ananyan, UHI Jewelry, NIKOLYAN, and The Muse.
Fashion Firm SA will present ten South African designers at the September edition of WHITE (in the special spaces of the Four Rooms in the Tortona 27 location). The designers involved and that will be proposing their idea of fashion with the intention of opening up to new markets, will be ABANTU, Connade, e.g. Jewellery, Floyd Avenue Apparel, Inga’s Africa, LAANI RAANI, Sash South Africa, Lizah Chanda Crochet Collection, Shweshwekini Active Wear and Wanda Lephoto. Fashion Firm SA collaborates with the Department of Small Business, the Department of Sports, Arts & Culture, the Small Business Agency (SEDA) and Mercedes Benz South Africa.
“M.Seventy, the company that has been organizing WHITE for more than 20 years, has acquired a unique experience in connecting companies, buyers and the press, supporting and introducing numerous designers from all over the world into the global market. Thanks to the strength of an exceptionally large network, M.Seventy has developed a hub capable of facilitating the introduction and positioning of foreign companies on the international market, through the provision of numerous services; this project was named EXPOWHITE because, in addition to offering the conventional spaces in the salon locations, foreign projects are placed in the outdoor locations inside the Tortona District. Therefore, we are proud to say that EXPOWHITE is having a strong momentum and we count numerous requests for the next editions of the show coming especially from geographical areas that are considered unconventional for the fashion system. In the post-Covid era, there are many emerging countries that want to bring their culture and know-how to the forefront and consider Milan as the Fashion Week of reference that can offer both visibility and business opportunities,” says Brenda Bellei, CEO of M.Seventy.
The upcoming edition of WHITE will host a selection of ten Spanish designers thanks to the collaboration with ICEX España Exportación and Inversiones, a fruitful partnership that began in September 2017 and continues today. The Spanish talents that will be presenting clothing and accessories collections are Chie Mihara, Clo Madrid, Flabelus, JCPajares, Lavina Peswani, Lola Casademunt, Lola Cruz, Pahiesa Formentera, Surkana, and Yerse.
The various locations of WHITE in the Tortona Fashion District, will gather the new collections of many brands that faithfully attend the show season after season as well as many new entries. The aim of WHITE is to support the new fashion generation, realities with a strong and original DNA, committed to sustainable creativity. The show has always been the result of a skillful and accurate mix of different realities: geographic boundaries and the age of the brand are not considered as constraints and talent is valued as the ultimate goal. This September will feature the unique creations made with delicate and precious vintage fabrics by Remué, the eccentric and hyper feminine collection of Mrs. Keepa, and the space dedicated to the romantic style of the brand Mes Demoiselles Paris. A special space will be dedicated to GAVA’s bags, the new open innovation of Gavazzeni, whose first fruit was the Vitto Bag, designed to resemble a soft pillow. The showcase won’t be missing “wearable art” by Japanese brand BUNZABURO, which specializes in “shibori,” a special decorating technique. Designer Judy Sanderson will present her sustainable creations made in Portugal, characterized by a distinctive style faithful to the designer’s South African origins. Frida will offer an eclectic and contemporary capsule collection of vintage and pre-loved garments in line with the major trends of the moment.
In the new entries list we can also find Maison Corinna Houdi collection, a sophisticated brand that mixes luxury with street style, feminine and masculine elements, soft and structured details.
A special focus on those brands that devote their creativity to research will be found in the Basement area, the space that WHITE dedicates to avant-garde brands that position themselves outside the conventional stylistic schemes and mainstream production. Among the brands featured in the Basement: Costaiia, a Mexican brand that produces made- to-order garments and Vuscichè with its agender wardrobe made from reclaimed locally sourced fabrics.
WHITE renews the collaborations with big names with a very defined and recognizable brand identity such as Avant Toi, Maria Calderara and Stefano Mortari, who will be presenting their collections in the Loft space. These brands are masters in craftsmanship and tailoring that is reinterpreted in an innovative and absolutely current key. Often being contaminated by external stimuli or art, Maria Calderara, started from the circle, a shape which is very meaningful to the designer, to design the new collection “Round River” in which she reinterprets and dialogues with the works of the painter Antonio Scaccabarozzi, inspired by some of his recurring themes, such as the liquidity of color.
The space named Lounge will be the location dedicated to the collaboration between WHITE and Scale7, the first Fashion and Design business incubator founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) in partnership with M7. Scale7 is a space where designers, entrepreneurs, and startups can find not only support but also inspiration on their journey towards becoming recognized and commercially viable brands. The ten designers exhibiting inside the Lounge will be Dana Riad, Drizzle, Fursan, Harlienz, Hissa Haddad, Irreplaceable, LIN, Marpholio, JWAHR and Maryam Al Darwish. The collections presented will cover different product categories from ready-to-wear clothing to modest fashion, abayas and kaftans, footwear, bags, and accessories.
The selection will be enriched by the collections of brands with a more commercial appeal and a fresh and playful style, such as the bathing suits and T-shirts of Mimi à la Mer, the Greek clothing line of Aether Coocu Resort and the hyper-colorful and embroidered collection of Xiwikj.
And finally, always of great importance is the Suk project, an open space with a minimalist style, where a selection of brands with small collections characterized by a well-defined identity will be displayed. Among the brands on display in the Suk are WS& and Karla D’Oliveira bags, Midorj’s jewelry, Marianna Mazza’s footwear and many others.
WHITE – once again – stands for quality, research, innovation, trends, emerging fashion and sustainability. We are sure that the September 2023 edition will offer numerous novelties to the general public of the fashion industry and will succeed in giving the deserved visibility to the participating brands and all the partners involved in the show.
“The scouting work of WHITE’s commercial team, which I lead, is mainly based on the enhancement of creative talent. How do you create a quality brand mix? By going to the source, by visiting the ateliers of artisans, anywhere in the world, not only in the major fashion capitals, but in the less-traveled cities in remote countries, which often reveal great talents. I can say that traveling is at the base of our work. Much of our working time is spent attending fashion weeks around the world, but also setting appointments with emerging as well as renowned creatives, age is not a limit. White’s mission since its first editions has always been to propose designers of the highest profile to the top buyers who attend it, unique collections made with exclusive techniques by skilled hands.” says Simona Severini, General Manager of WHITE.
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