Fashion designs the Milan of the future

Fashion designs the Milan of the future
The skyline of the new Milan


“Fashion with more than 12,000 companies and almost 90,000 employees is increasingly crucial for Milan. And, thanks to the relationship between the public and the brand, we want to build the city of tomorrow”. He explains it in an exclusive interview with CFP Alessia Capello, adviser to the Municipality of Milan for economic development and labor policies, responsible for trade, fashion and design. According to data from the Chamber of Commerce in Milan, Lodi, Monza and Brianza, the sector saw in the first months of 2022 a slight decline in fashion companies and an increase in design companies, with 88,000 employees and a recovery in turnover on data pre-Covid, which calculated 19 billion per year. While waiting for fashion week in June, Cappello outlines the next steps of a work carried out with the council of the mayor Beppe Sala. What with Cnmi-National Chamber of Italian Fashion it will support urban redevelopment, employment and training interventions. And assesses what to do on the long-awaited fashion museum in the Italian fashion capital. A structure that puts it in tune with its London and Parisian counterparts.


How much work and what numbers does fashion generate for Milan?

It is a crucial sector for the city with more than 12,000 active businesses, more than 88,000 workers and turnover returning to pre-Covid levels or even beyond. The Milan Fashion WeekMoreover, it is an international event which, four weeks a year, transforms the city into the world capital of fashion. It is not only important for the visibility of the city, but also for the related activities that it determines for all other sectors of commerce, from catering, to hotels, to the catering system, to transport.

What impact has Covid had? Has the city fully recovered?

Yes, just look at the tourism data. In April, we had 587,717 entries into the municipal domain, compared to 594,269 registered by the police headquarters in the same period in 2019. This is an extraordinary figure if you think about the two years we have experienced. Last February, I passed with the undersecretary of health Andrea Costawith Carlo Capasapresident of the CNMI, so that the government recognizes the entry into Italy also of buyers and professionals from countries where the vaccines were not recognized by theEMA-European Medicines Agencyand finally we succeeded.

Fashion companies have transformed certain districts, I am thinking of the Prada and Scalo Romana foundation, or the Tortona or Isola district with Versace. Is fashion changing the face of the city?

Absolutely yes, but much more can be done. We want to partner with brands to work together, to imagine new redevelopments of spaces, places where the world of manufacturing, major fashion brands and schools can meet and collaborate, in an exchange of ideas and resources. between public and private. Fashion has always been a visionary sector, which dictates the lines and formulas of the future and we, as a municipality, want to be partners in a common path of transformation of the city.

Paris and London have great institutions. Will Milan have a big fashion museum?

We’ve been talking about it for many years. The projects are numerous, the brands are ready to generously open their archives and share with the public the assets contained in their historic warehouses. It would really be a great gift for the city but also for students from all over the world to be able to admire emblematic pieces of Italian brands and thus understand the evolution of style and the art of manufacturing that has developed in this city. We have a lot of ideas in mind, let’s see what we can do.


London is the fashionable capital of education, but Mayor Sala reminded MFF of education’s role as the chief growth officer…

Training is a pillar of employment, but also of the economic development of a city. And Milan, with seven universities, centers of post-graduate higher education, excellent masters, international schools of fashion and design is the Italian city where there is the greatest number of young people who acquire specialized training in Italy. As far as fashion education is concerned, out of 19,000 fashion students across the country, more than 9,000 are in Milan schools (excluding university centers). A significant number of young people who are trained in the style of Made in Italy and with a creativity that will forever have a strong Milanese imprint.

The showrooms are another wealth of Milan. What work do you do with them?

We are thinking about building a network that can connect the city’s showrooms by creating spaces for dialogue, through a table that meets periodically. The showrooms are iconic spaces that trace a true map of Milanese fashion.

What are the council’s biggest fashion-themed projects?

I firmly believe in the concept of a network, and that is why, last April, I wanted the municipality to become the director of the Milan Labor Pact, an alliance between employers and trade unions to create active policies capable of to give the right to opportunities to young people, to women, to people who have a certain weakness, so that everyone’s talent is always valued. In particular for the fashion sector, the objective is to create synergies between all the protagonists of the supply chain, in order to create direct links between the world of schools, manufacturing production, showrooms and major brands. , ensuring that Milan is always more of a collector not only for spaces but also for shared policies. (All rights reserved)

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