Milano Unica closed its 20th edition on 6 February, registering a +2.5% increase of foreign visitors, and slight decrease in visitors (18,000 visitors, 5% less than in February 2015, mostly Italians and due to bad weather conditions). Despite the atmosphere of the fair was busy and optimistic showing recovery signs with increased orders placed by those who attended for seeing new s/s 2016 fabric and accessory collections.

The show announced its intention to further expand internationally. For this, they will launch Milano Unica in New York in July 2015, which will add to the already existing edition in Shanghai that will take place 18 to 20 March 2015.

The opening ceremony of the show was joined by various personalities as well as local authorities. Silvio Albini, president of the Milano Unica group of shows, and Antoine Arnault, representing the LVMH holding, now major shareholder of Loro Piana, also showed their appreciation for the high-level of craftsmanship that characterizes Italian textile manufacturers with the intention to build stronger ties between French and Italian fashion and textile companies.

Albini also indicated that some recovery results are appearing on the horizon after Italian manufacturers faced seven years of constant crisis. He pointed out that in the last year overall sales were above the €8 billion threshold, showing a +3.8% increase. This result was also possible thanks to the growing trend of domestic demand (+4.4%), interrupting a multi-year cycle characterized by either significant reductions or stagnation.

Among most significant growth in terms of buyers visiting the show there were +12% from France and +9% from the UK. From outside of Europe numbers looked as following: US buyers +10%, Chinese +13% and Japan +29%.

Among product novelties denim specialist Lanificio Europa presented ES, Europe Eco Stretch, a new eco-friendly stretch denim made with Roica EF, the first sustainable stretch fiber by Japanese Asahi Kasei Fiber Corporation group, obtained by employing more than 50% pre-consumer recycled and GRS certified materials. This new denim has excellent stretch and recovery properties, very good tone in tone dye-ability and color fastness.

Other companies presented eco-friendly new developments. Canepa Group announced the signing of agreements with Italdenim denim specialist and Cariaggi yarn manufacturer who can employ the SaveTheWater-Kitotex industrial process through which energy and chemicals can be saved.

Italian wool manufacturer Reda, in collaboration with Woolmark, celebrated its 150th anniversary by launching the book “150” and a photo exhibition inaugurated within the show inside Milan Palazzo Clerici. The exhibit will later move to other international capitals such as Berlin, New York and London throughout 2015.

Swarovski launched a series of new crystals, cuts and colors. Among them and most inspiring was a series of new cuts reminding of spiritual and mystic symbols such as the Fatima hand, Buddha-like cuts and small drops, plus a series of new perlaceous pastel covered crystals. Also new was Xero, a very small multi-faceted crystal that measures less than 1 millimeter. This crystal’s smallest versions measure between 0.7 and 0.9 mm and can be employed for semiprecious watches or special pavé effects.