June 23, 2021

White’s next direction is phygital, international and eco-friendly

5 min read

The Italian trade show White Milano is ready for a restart as long as the pandemic is slowing down.

While it has confirmed that it will take place as a physical event on September, 23-26, 2021, it aims to be strongly involved in a series of activities meant to help the whole business recover.

It aims to become an omnichannel platform that combines physical experiences with digital expansion, increasing its international promotion activities and further supporting eco-friendly fashion brands.

To help achieve its objectives it has named two new managers–Stefania Vismara, general manager, whose previous experiences include the one as general manager at Italian Fashion Chamber, and Danilo Procaccia, global business director, who previously worked for both small and established, local and international brands while working and living between Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Stefania Vismara, general manager, M Seventy/White

Stefania Vismara, general manager, M Seventy/White

Vismara explained TSO how the new roles will actively help the show achieve its targets.

What are the next aims you will focus on by joining White Milano?
I agreed to become general manager of M Seventy as I think this company has a great growth potential and I am happy I can coordinate and optimize its projects, especially in a unique historical moment when fashion is facing an important transformation phase. The stop of all activities for more than a year after the bursting of the pandemic is imposing clear and fast strategies that can help us become more competitive and consolidate our image as a leading trade show in the fast-forward fashion segment and among small/medium companies.

What new projects will you focus on in the near future? And especially for White’s September show, which will be the first physical edition of the show since the pandemic?
We are mostly defining the brand mix of our exhibitors for our September edition along with a coordination of our B2B digital platform activities. We are also working at a new project for defining White’s new clear coordinated image and a connected ad campaign for digital and social media activities, too.

Within the June 2021 edition of Milan Men’s Fashion Week, White and the Milan Fashion Chamber–through a donation to Camera Moda Fashion Trust–have organized an event meant to promote up to five Italian and international designers focused on sustainability and craftsmanship within an event to be held at Fondazione Sozzani-Tazzoli Milano.

Through which strategies do you aim to make White grow internationally?
Our aim is to return exporting our format in the main fashion capitals of all continents as soon as the health emergency will be over. I refer to target cities such as Tokyo, Shanghai, Dubai, London and Northern Europe. In the past, thanks to Ice Agenzia and Maeci’s support, we have organized road shows and high-profile events within prestigious locations presenting our most promising designers and exhibitors. For instance, we organized events in Paris’ and Berlin’s Italian Embassies respectively in 2019 and 2016, in Tokyo’s Spiral Hall in 2017 along with Dubai and Seoul’s Four Seasons hotels in 2016.

Our exhibitors always feel the need to present themselves in foreign markets and increase their business export quota. Becoming more international is both a leverage for developing White but it also–and especially–answers a request from the sector that we always support when our event takes place but also during Milan Fashion Weeks.

Another strategic passage is to implement our communication through international platforms with outlined audiences such as buyers, brands and insiders of our segment.

During a former edition of White in Milan

During a former edition of White in Milan

Will the show continue to organize projects aimed at promoting sustainable fashion? If so, how and according to which deadlines during 2021 and 2022?
Since its very beginning, White has been focused on sustainability considering it as an essential topic. It also recently dedicated it a specific format–WSM -White Sustainable Milano. At the moment we are figuring out the presence of sustainable brands for our phygital edition planned for June 18-21, 2021 as our aim is to host a significant presence of green brands during every edition, including our women-focused events. During our next June 2021 edition, WSM – White Sustainable Milano will host about 60 brands offering sustainable products only including both established brands and start-ups that will be protagonists of events to be held inside boutiques, concept stores and showrooms, and that will also start enliven our B2B platform with their collections.

How can White help retailers and small- medium-size companies facing this moment?
Since the beginning of the pandemic White has invested in activating its digital platform that helped brands continuing being visible by meeting international buyers, despite the fact that the physical trade show had been suspended.

In addition to it, White didn’t stop giving support to small-and-medium size companies through operations that give access to financial support. It is also involved in an aggregating movement–Milano Loves Italy–for all of the market insiders including small and medium-size companies, showrooms, agents and institutions. For the June and September Milan Fashion Weeks we planned a series of events inside fashions stores and showrooms to give new visibility and support after the last year of stop has strongly impacted their business.

How will you face eventual international travel restrictions that there might occur in September?
Thanks to our B2B digital platform we have inaugurated at the beginning of the pandemic, we could promote and guarantee the meeting between brands and the international community granting them the possibility to continue making business. Despite, we are confident that the vaccination campaign will help avoiding eventual additional stops for trade show activities. In case of restrictions we will be able to count on this digital tool that will continue to be active and will integrate itself with the physical trade show also when the health emergency is over. The platform will be supported by a strong online communication aimed at creating always more traffic and buyers’ visits from all over the world. It’s an asset we aim to develop independently from the pandemic as it offers our exhibitors the opportunity to connect with international buyers all year-round.

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