All systems go for Super Power Milano Unica


Discussion themes were based around the ways that can ensure plastic waste is minimised and responsible practices encouraged.

Milano Unica took place at the beginning of February, introducing colours and fabrics for Summer 2024 to a wide variety of buyers and a show with various facets.  Dubbed an upbeat ‘Super Power’ Milan, it attracted 5304 International and Italian visitors.

Firmly anchored at the high end of fashion textiles and accessories it took a proactive considered view to discuss where the industry stands, with changing rules, economics, and environmental concerns especially viable traceability. MU President Alessandro Barbaris Canonico added that the industry could no longer be supported just by creativity.

Discussion themes were based around the ways that can ensure plastic waste is minimised and responsible practices encouraged. On the stands, evidence of provenance was common, with some manmade fibres guaranteed; recycled plastics, RWS wool, (responsible wool standard) applying to knitwear, jersey and woven fabrics in particular.

Formal menswear looks at knit

At Idea Biella, formal menswear fabrics played to their strengths for suits and jackets from raw materials which are sustainable and traceable, by a new look  at jacketings and suits , revisiting  and recolouring items from their own archive but usually using them a source of inspiration rather than imitation  – a  greater range of colour and fibres including linen,  Prince of Wales checks, blazers and nautical looks.  Knitted and jersey jackets were also seen among the collections. Stephen Walters with summer silk caught the mood.

A strong move was to include precious fibres mixed in summer blends; wool and cashmere, wool and mohair, linen and silk, for db summer jackets with a slight sheen as at Barberis Canonico, revisiting traditional summer wear with brighter shades including sky blue. The aim is lightweight luxury and glamour at the same time. CELC becomes Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp. Linen enjoying use for weaves and knit fabrics.

Shirt Avenue showed a similar expansion of styles beyond traditional blue and white City looks; fabrics using  sophisticated yarn dyes, and more techno blends like Lyocell/cotton /stretch yarn and digital printing.

The market sector was waiting rather nervously to see what the first face to face meetings brought. Many exhibitors looked to e-milanounica connect for a longer reach, a further push from digital marketing, available after the show was over.

Not just fashion

The MU Innovators Area examined the roles of technological creativity such as nano particles, the metaverse, and the role of graphene increasingly motors of new developments in fashion, the organisation TexClubTec explaining and spreading initiatives.

The Woolmark Company worked with Shima Seiki Italia and Italian spinners FIlati Loro Piana, Tollegno1900 and Zegna Baruffa to provide a modern urban interpretation of the classic formal look by producing knitted fabrics. This is likely to be a very significant cooperation, with examples shown in The Wool Lab Digital.

Summer wonderland 

Idealised moods were expressed for the new season, and most were looking at a dream of sun and nature in colour and spirit. Focused on jersey and knitwear fabrics in the Wool Lab Digital, jerseys and jacquards looked towards the California Dream. At Eurojersey the stand was inspired by the New Mexico studio of American artist Georgia O’Keeffe, and her gaze on nature reproduced in geometric shapes and colours.

Vitalis Barberis Canonico used inspiration of the French Riviera, with bright colours and mixes of cashmere/wool, using GRS certified wool, as seen also at Botto Giuseppe collection in Idea Biella, the sustainable systems are gaining strength with at the same time, opportunities opening up for knitted fabrics.

475 international companies showed. The verdict was pleasure at the level of visitors, 5304. Especially appreciative of the numbers of visitors from Korea and Japan up 423%.

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