MILAN, Italy — Opening its gates on June 16, White Man & Woman, the "co-ed" edition of Milan’s biggest womenswear tradeshow, includes over 180 brands — 60 percent of which were sourced internationally — exhibited across 12,200 square metres.
This season, White’s special guest is Matthew Miller, the winner of the 2018 International Woolmark Prize for Menswear. Miller is renowned for his sharp tailoring and political commentary. “I am really thrilled to showcase my new Spring/Summer 2019 collection at White during fashion week,” said the British designer, who will showcase a collection produced using innovative technologies and recycled fabrics in a mixed reality presentation.
Generations Y and Z are already the main growth engine of the luxury goods market, driving 85 percent of luxury expansion last year.
This season also sees an increased focus on street and sportswear, to better reflect the “millennial mindset” that is taking hold across the luxury market. This is increasingly important to attendees and retailers, as high-end streetwear helped boost global sales of luxury personal goods by 5 percent in 2017 to an estimated €263 billion ($309 billion), according to a study released by consultancy Bain & Company. What's more, Generations Y and Z are already the main growth engine of the luxury goods market, driving 85 percent of luxury expansion last year. By 2025, they are expected to account for 45 percent of total luxury goods spending — but even this underestimates their influence.
The tradeshow’s long-lasting collaboration with its partner, the Municipality of Milan, enabled it to secure exclusive use of the industrial venue Ex Ansaldo, Base Tortona 54, where it will host the White Street Market. Billed as a fashion and street-culture festival, the street market is aimed at both retailers who sell to millennial and Gen-Z consumers and the end-consumers themselves, with the general public invited to attend alongside international buyers and members of the press.
White Street Market will welcome Adidas Originals, Patagonia, G-Shock, Fair Play La Martina and a selection of independent labels. Additionally, the global sneaker convention Sneakerness will also take part in this season’s edition, creating a “sneakers area” within Tortona as a teaser for its event in October.
White Street Market will welcome adidas Originals, Patagonia, G-Shock, Fair Play La Martina.
This edition’s schedule is the most experiential to date. In addition to over 20 planned events — including talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions and musical performances taking place over the three days — White Street Market will also host the Italian premiere of the documentary "Obey Giant."
Based on the life of Obey Clothing-founder Shepard Fairey, the street artist who started the Hope phenomenon by illegally posting the colourful face of President Obama on the walls of the city, the documentary is directed by James Moll and produced by James Franco, Jennifer Howell and Elysium Bandini Studios. The brand will also be exhibiting its new streetwear collection in the market.
Additionally, sustainable surfing collective No-Made Boards will be leading workshops in Tortona 54 throughout the tradeshow’s duration. No-Made Boards was founded with the intention of going to market with boards produced using the lowest possible environmental blueprint. Attendees will learn how to create their own surfboard using the "Hollow" method before taking them home or leave them with No-Made Boards to have the resin applied.
The season’s special designer brand is Abasi Rosborough, designed by Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough who hail from Nigeria and Scotland respectively. An LVMH Young Designer Prize nominee in 2017, the brand was also a finalist in 2016’s Woolmark Prize. The label’s collections are ethically produced in New York with recycled fabrics. Exploring men’s tailoring with architectural hints, the design duo have dubbed their exhibition space the "Cloud Pavilion" and will launch their new collection "Desert Phantom," inspired by the lifestyle of tribes including the Hopis and Navajos.
Finally, Avavav will offer this edition’s See Now Buy Now collection. The environment-conscious brand launched by Linda and Adam Friberg — who previously co-founded Cheap Monday, Weekday and Monki — is combining Swedish design with Tuscan production. Launched in 2017, the company creates curated seasonless collections using only recycled materials.