Fashion brands across the world may rejoice over putting pandemic gloomiest seasons behind but fashion manufacturers in Italy, both big and small, are keeping a close watch on current economic and geopolitical scenario. As per a Woman’s Wear Daily report, the government in Italy is introducing a range of initiatives to help fashion companies retain business. It is helping established and new brands connect with local supply chain besides offering marketing expertise.
Engaging third party manufacturers
Supporting SMEs since 2015, David Clementoni, Founder, Artisan has developed a platform to recruit firms with employees numbering four to 100. He has also been engaging third-party manufacturers across 30 out of 54 of Italy’s fashion manufacturing hubs and helping them connect with international fashion brands and retailers. Introduced in its current version in 2019, the platform has onboarded around 700 manufacturing, points out Clementoni. He is continuously hunting for new players to add to the platform. New players have led to the evolution of the platform’s goals. Brands continue to join the platform as they look to re-shore production from abroad to leverage the ‘Made in Italy’ label. As of June, the platform boasted of 10,000 registered brands.
The platform aims to ensure efficient and effective execution of business, says Clementoni. It acts more as a facilitator than an intermediary as its business model is based on royalties from produced goods and add-on services provided by it, he adds. Artisan recently collaborated with British platform Arts Thread, which has 300,000 users from fashion schools across the globe, and Italy’s Camera Buyer to allow local retailers develop house brands. Through these initiatives, the platform aims to attract 60,000 brands by 2028 and generate more than 370 million euros in business.
Connecting with players beyond Italy
Like Artisan, Italy’s association of leather goods manufacturer Assopellettieri has been boosting relationships between manufacturing and players operating outside Italy through its Mipel Lab format, developed in collaboration with tanning industry trade show Lineapelle.
An area within Lineapelle’s biannual fair, the format introduced a digital business-to-business platform in collaboration with the Intesa Sanpaolo bank and Ds Group, which provided the AI-enabled software. The association aims to seek new opportunities for our enterprises, says Franco Gabrelli, President, Assopellettieri. Leather goods firms in the country have been moving towards third-party manufacturing as sales of in-house brands are declining with growing competition from fashion houses having marketing prowess.
Having 16 manufacturers, which together post revenues of €500,000 million, the association looks to Italy’s supply chain besides engaging brands operating outside Italy due to rising production and logistics costs from overseas manufacturing, adds D’Alessandro.
Earlier, brands viewed manufacturing costs as squandering, as they often had to deal with two to four intermediaries. This dented their bottom lines and wasted resources, affirms D’Alessandro. They also had to seek reliable production partners and offer high-value services which weren’t feasible for small manufacturers. Hence, they preferred to outsource production to neighboring countries such as Spain and Portugal were seen as less expensive. However, this is no longer the case, he pronounces.