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THE ITALIAN TEXTILE MARKET AIMS FOR THE USA IN SPITE OF THE STRONG EURO
The Italian textile sector, present on international markets, is preparing for the summer edition of Premiere Vision Preview ‚Äď to be held on the 18th and 19th of July this year at the Altman Building & Metropolitan Pavilion in New York ‚Äď with collective participation organized by ICE, the National Institute for foreign trade. Sistema Moda Italiano will be present at New York for this, one of the main events in the sector bringing together the best players in the textile market in terms of know-how, product innovation and creativity, on the strength of its promising 2007, when the Italian textiles market attained a turnover of 9.11 billion Euros (up 0.1% on 2006) and exports increased by 0.6% to 6.058 billion. The statistics of last year indicate a sector able to re-position itself in the mid-to-high range, as testified by the increase in the average price of Italian textiles, ensuring an increase in turnover even with a decrease in volume.
Value has increased most significantly in China and Hong Kong (+10.1%) which together surpass France, the second outlet market for Italian textiles. Exports to the United States, instead, have dropped by 1.8%, although only in terms of monetary dynamics. The new markets have however managed to balance out poor performance on the American front: according to forecasts of the Sistema Moda Italia (Italian Fashion System) research centre, the Italian quota in the world textiles market has returned to the levels of 2001 (at 10.6%) and the segment continues to play a key role in foreign trade, with 36.5% of fashion-textile surplus and more than 10% of the overall surplus of the Italian manufacturing industry. Featuring a turnover of 52.835 billion Euros (52.20% of which is exports), 58,688 active businesses and over 516,700 employees, the Italian textiles/clothing sector is the second manufacturing segment after mechanics. The entire sector accounts for 6.6% of GNP.
Italian textile entrepreneurs are prepared to invest in the North-American market, even though the strong Euro prevents further commercial penetration in the USA. This is the case of Zegna, a group from Biella who, in 2007, made a quarter of its revenue in the USA. As for its future, Zegna intends to re-launch in the States: the group has started to re-organize a new base in New York, due to be completed by 2010. Over the past few months, it inaugurated a new global store on Fifth Avenue in New York and will open another eight shops in the country, from Costa Mesa to Aspen, Las Vegas, Houston, Philadelphia, Manhasset, Boca Raton and Short Hills. According to market sources, Zegna‚Äôs overall investment in the USA could exceed 50 million Euros.
Zegna‚Äôs dynamism confirms that the Italian textiles market is in a position to continue having a foothold in the US market, thanks also to collaborations ‚Äď in the context of ICE‚Äôs activity promoting Italian textiles in the USA ‚Äď with prestigious local fashion and design schools such as Risd-Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons‚Äô School of Design and Fit-Fashion Institute of Technology.