Numerous Italian and foreign buyers visited White’s business-to-business platform to see the autumn-winter collections of the brands carefully selected by the team of Massimiliano Bizzi, founder of the via Tortona event. “Due to the Prime Ministerial Decree (DPCM), which prevented us from opening our fair in the Tortona fashion district, we thought it was right to continue supporting our SMEs through a marketing project to emphasise and highlight beautiful Italy-born products finely made by sustainable companies; companies that we define as highly evolved artisans. We supported their creativity, first of all by encouraging meetings between the brand and buyers, guiding them through our business-to-business platform and creating content, videos and interviews to showcase the excellence of individual companies,” explained Massimiliano Bizzi, Founder of White Milano.
“We are now working to select the best brands on the market as always, to give buyers an even more interesting offer,” states Bizzi.
Carlo Maria Ferro, President of Ice-Agenzia, the institution that has supported the Milan event for several editions, is also optimistic about the future and a return to normality in the coming months. “The reference KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) have been largely exceeded: about 180 companies in the women’s fashion and accessories sector came into contact with 8,000 individual users during Milan Fashion Week last February,” said Ferro, expressing satisfaction with the fair’s performance in terms of visits and buyer interest in the brands on the platform. “In the coming months, we will probably continue to have digital fairs alongside a few presentations and in-person events, but then we will return to the physical fairs, even though digital will remain so as to offer a greater business opportunity to companies and brands, including fashion brands: that of expanding the scope to those who cannot be physically present at the event. To this end, we have launched Fiera Smart 365, a tool for conducting digital or hybrid exhibitions today and amplifying the impact of international exhibitions on foreign markets tomorrow.”
In detail, during the days of the exhibition, from 25 to 28 February, traffic on White’s new website increased, reaching over 8,000 individual users per day with an average visit time of 2.5 minutes, while social media registered a 400% increase compared to the previous edition, with over 3,000 people connected to follow the webinars. The digital work on SMEs continued throughout March and April to support companies in their business-to-business sales campaigns.
“Now”, added Bizzi, “we are working as always to select the best brands on the market, to provide an even more appealing offer to buyers, who we hope will return to visit our event, selecting new designers from our brand mix, with the desire and enthusiasm to start again. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been working together with showrooms and retailers, convinced that only by working in the same direction will we be able to overcome this very difficult historical moment. In September, we will be able to count on the support of the institutions, Ice-Agenzia, Confartigianato, and the Municipality of Milan”.
For instance, Confartigianato’s President Marco Granelli observed that “Fashion is the manufacturing sector that is suffering the most from the crisis. In 2020, it recorded a drop in turnover of 17.9 billion and a decrease in exports of 11.2 billion. The recovery phase will be long and complex, but in order to get back on track, we need to focus on two factors. First, the ability to innovate, which already involves 46.8% of companies in the sector; and secondly, the eco-friendly approach, with 62.8% of small companies in the sector already implementing strategies aimed at reducing the environmental impact of their activities”.
In short, the “digital” test, combined with the focus on sustainability and support for small and medium-sized companies, was passed with flying colours by WHITE, as the words of the organisers of the event and the important institutions involved testified. Also contributing to the success was Milano Loves Italy, the movement promoted by WHITE and CSM-Camera Moda Showroom, which was joined by CNMI -Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, CBI-Camera Buyer Italia, Confartigianato Milano Monza e Brianza, Alined Network, Niam-Nazionale Italiana Agenti Moda. The project also sees the involvement of the Municipality of Milan.
The movement has made a short film to send out a signal of hope and positivity. This is Milan is directed by Mantra-Mezcal, Fred Cavallini & Filippo Pax, and is shot in the city’s most evocative corners, which take on an extra-special atmosphere during fashion week.
The message of the video is direct and zeroes in on emotions: it is time to be reborn! Milan, the capital of fashion and design, does not give up and reveals itself in its Beauty, which sometimes remains silent only to explode again in unthinkable ways and at unexpected moments; a dynamic city, as frenetic as ever, in continuous evolution after continuous battles. It bounces back, more beautiful than ever. This is the storyboard developed by the two directors Cavallini and Pax, who were able to emphasise through words and images the concept of a resilient Beauty.
Gigliola Maule, President of CSM-Camera Showroom Milano, also commented on Milano Loves Italy and the desire for recovery:
“Milan has been forced to sleep, but it has a great desire to come back to life. We are working on various projects and, with the restart in mind, we have joined Milano Loves Italy, a movement founded by White to promote the rebirth of the city of Milan. Through this movement we are planning a whole series of events with the support of the Milan City Council. Our desire is to make Milan more alive than ever in September, creating collaborations with food and design, representing the excellence of the Italian lifestyle. Foreign buyers have always loved the city of Milan, which is one of their favourite destinations, not just for buying, but also to soak up the Italian lifestyle”.
White’s digital projects are going full steam ahead and his team continues to work on developing his companies’ storytelling and communication, via the digital channel and with the hope of a resumption of the physical fair in September 2021.