White Milano came to an end on Monday 27 February. This year’s edition brought a 450% increase in interactions on Instagram, exceeding 50,000 during market days and recording a total of 270,000 views and 15,000 visits.
The number of foreign buyers increased by 8%.
The fair was opened in the presence of Lucia Borgonzoni, Secretary of State for Culture on 24 February. White Milano, launched by Massimiliano Bizzi, relied once again on qualitative research, but also on internationalization and aesthetic development, increasing the presence of foreign buyers by 8 percent. In total, the fair was visited by 18,000 visitors – the same number as last year’s edition.
About 300 companies participating in the fair came from abroad, which accounted for half of all exhibiting companies. Many guests also came from abroad. The event, sponsored by the City of Milan, was also supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAECI) and the Agency for the Foreign Promotion and Internationalization of Italian Companies (ICE). Confartigianato Imprese, an organization supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in the craft sector, was also a partner.
Among the designers exhibiting at the “Secret Rooms” were Olubiyi Thomas, Romeo Hunte, Dreaming Eli, Riz Poli and Studio Pansters – rising stars of the fashion scene and a selection that confirms the scouting skills of Simona Severini (a key figure with whom Massimiliano Bizzi founded White’s in 2002). “We are an event that gives small and medium labels a chance, and this is added value: firstly, because all today’s big names used to start small, and secondly, because in this way we are more attractive to foreign buyers who have different needs today than in the past,” emphasizes Massimiliano Bizzi.
Selected designers presented their collections in the White Milano lofts, among them Stefano Mortari, as well as Avant Toi and Maria Calderara, whose fashion is aimed at modern women and who create unique creations that delight with innovative design and unexpected volume.
Wide range of brands
The strong mix of brands and cross-cultural encounters allowed for a lot of exchange and insight. Therefore, a cocktail party was organized during which five Norwegian artists presented their talents in the presence of the Norwegian ambassador, Johan Vibe. The project, called “Expowhite”, was presented under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and in cooperation with the Norwegian Fashion Hub and launched five Norwegian brands – Color Vision, Oleana, Woodling, Host i Var and Come As You Are – representing a new type of business model where creativity and quality are available to all without resorting to fast fashion or mass production.
The panel discussion The Indigenous Way at the Museum of Culture, organized in cooperation with the Canadian Embassy in Italy and IFA (Indigenous Fashion Arts), further drew attention to cultural exchange. The discussion concerned the works of Canada’s indigenous people and was hosted by Ambassador Elissa Golberg.
In addition, guests could take part in a panel discussion entitled “Is diversity and inclusion a pipe dream? Overcoming Tokenism in Europe and Beyond,” which was organized in collaboration with the Fashion Minority Alliance, its founder Barbara Kennedy, designers Olubiya Thomas, Judith Saint Jermain and Romeo Hunte, as well as activists Cassidy Swinger and Elena Berardi.
White gave the Fashion Minority Alliance and its designers an incredible opportunity to take their mission to the global stage. “Our round table discussion on diversity and openness to collaboration has given us a sense of hope that we continue to see real leadership opportunities for marginalized communities in Italy and beyond,” said Sofia Celeste, director of FMA Italy.