Milano Unica New York was held from January 24 to 26, 2016 when the region was facing a massive snow blizzard. But despite that, booths were busy with attendees till the final hours of the fabric show. The show stressed on the importance of Italian fabrics.
The current exchange rate makes Italian fabrics more affordable for US manufacturers and designers are looking for better fabrics with quality of made-in-Italy production. Milano Unica recently partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) to launch a new fabric-development program. The program will pair three up-and-coming designers with Italian textile mills. Each will go to Italy, identify a mill to work with and create fabrics. They will then get 10 meters to work with in their next collection.
CFDA has already selected a women’s wear designer, Ryan Roche, and an accessories designer, milliner Gigi Burris, for the program. A men’s wear designer will be announced at a later date. Many new players in the US apparel market have never had the opportunity to work with Italian fabrics and mills before. In fact, many Italian mills have agents in the US and several US customers. They are looking to expand their US business.