SUPER is the Pitti Immagine fair dedicated to accessory and prêt-a-porter collections for women which was held in Milan from September 23-25, 2017. SUPER confirmed the new course and the innovative format launched in September 2016 in the new location of The Mall in Porta Nuova, just a few steps away from Piazza della Repubblica, a truly unique venue for its beauty and centrality, situated in the heart of Milan’s fashion district.

The final attendance figures for this edition – which saw the participation of 146 brands (53 per cent of which from abroad) – recorded positive numbers with regard to the foreign component, with some countries recording excellent growth: Like Germany (+37 per cent), United Kingdom (+22 per cent), United States (+23 per cent), South Korea (+21 per cent), Hong Kong (+47 per cent), with Japan once again leading the ranking of foreign markets. However, there was a predictable drop of around 10 per cent in the number of Italian buyers.

Over the three days of the fair the total number of buyers who traveled to the event exceeded 4,700, almost 20 per cent of which came from abroad from more than 50 countries around the world. Here are the top 15 key foreign markets: Japan, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Spain, France, United States, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, China, Hong Kong, Austria, Belgium and Turkey.

“SUPER fully confirmed the role that it has carved out for itself on the women’s fashion scene in Milan,” says Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine. “The feedback and comments gathered from buyers over these three days were unanimous: There was clear appreciation for the mixture of collections that were even more oriented towards research and selection, with high quality product companies and brands, and an intense scouting that focused on up-and-coming designers and on the new worlds of contemporary fashion – I am thinking of the collaboration with Lagos Fashion & Design Week, the Super Talents, the designers of More Dash Eye on the East – and the launch of innovative women’s fashion projects. There was a very good response from the foreign buyers with the participation of all the most important names in international retail, department stores and some of the best e-commerce players. With regard to Italy, the drop was, unfortunately, predictable and in fact offered a photograph of the difficulties and the profound evolution that retail fashion in our country is experiencing.”

The super format

Research, selection, emerging talents and, I would also add, future scenarios: These are the key words for SUPER,” says Agostino Poletto, Pitti Immagine’s Deputy General Manager. “At each new edition, we try to give a bigger boost to research and selection involving the most innovative contemporary women’s fashion through all-round scouting on the international scene. Not only working on the network of brands and contacts that we build with other fairs, but above all through the projects with which we focus on up-and-coming designers and the new worlds of contemporary fashion. In this regard, we presented lots of new ideas at The Mall: The special collaboration with Lagos Fashion & Design Week, featuring a focus on a selection of brands and designers from Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast; the participation of three sustainable creativity projects based in the Middle East launched by young designers and local communities together with UNIDO, the United Nations agency. We also continued to explore the new talents from all over the world with the Super Talents. New countries to watch platform in collaboration with Vogue Talents, and keep an eye on the creative scene in Eastern Europe presented together with More Dash: Eye on the East: For both these projects we will propose a selection of brand new names to our buyers that are even more creative and come from previously unexplored countries. Plus, there will be lots of other special participations flanking a selection of key fashion brands and young Italian designers with extremely high-profile collections.”

The extraordinary grant from Mise and The Agenzia Ice

This edition of SUPER is realised thanks to the extraordinary grant from the Ministry for Economic Development (MiSE – Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico) and the Italian Trade Agency (Agenzia ICE), as part of the 2015-2017 Three Year Plan organised by the Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico to support Italian fairs and Made in Italy. This grant is dedicated to boosting the programme dedicated to incoming delegations of international buyers from the most strategic markets and to special projects.

The brands

Here are some of the names who attended this edition: 10 x 10 Anitaliantheory | Aaks Handcrafted | Alama | Alessandra Giannetti | Alessandro Enriquez | Alto Milano | Ancient Greek Sandals | Annalisa Caricato | Anoir By Amal Kiran Jana | Bookrah | Caliban | Caravana | Carla Caroli | Carrie Forbes| Castaner | Christophe Sauvat | Comunity | De Siena | Don’t Believe The Hype | Gmg | Ibeliv Ecofashion | Isole & Vulcani | Jatual | Jo! | Joana Almagro | Kukhareva | L.A L.A Tex | Labruyere Paris | Laura Aparicio | Lem Lem | L’impermeabile | Little Rotters | Manebi’ | Marco Proietti Design| Ma’ry’ya | Michele Chiocciolini | Mii | Myths| Nico Giani | Okhtein | Olivier Bernoux| Paula Cademartori # Kartell | Peech | Poupette St Barth | Puntovita&Arsenice | Riccardo Comi | Rocco P | Roi Du Lac | Scaglione | See Me | Swedish Hasbeens | Talitha | Telavela | Temptation Positano | Tooshie | Urban Sun | Wanna Maria Fiori | White Sand.

Super highlights

Style on the rise // Africa: The Spotlights Shining on Lagos Fashion & Design Week TalentsSuper is dedicating space to the new leaders on Africa’s creative scene by working with Lagos Fashion & Design Week. The accent was on Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast, countries which, in the past few seasons have stood out as among the most interesting places for progressive fashions. Lagos Fashion & Design Week (LFDW) was born in 2011 thanks to Omoyemi Akerele, one of the pioneers in the Nigerian fashion world. LFDW is a dynamic platform dedicated to the leading fashion designers in Africa – all of Africa! – and works to support and develop new talents. The participating brands at Super were: AAKS (Ghana) \\ Gozel Green (Nigeria) \\ Grey (Nigeria) \\ Loza Maleombho (Ivory Coast).

In cooperation with UNIDO, SUPER presented three sustainable creativity brands from the Middle East and North AfricaSUPER presents an exclusive showing of collections by three of the brands participating in Creative Mediterranean – a project launched by the European Union and Italy and implemented by UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) – to support creativity-oriented firms (and jobs) in seven Southern Mediterranean countries. Here are the three brands participating in this edition:

// JO! by Creative Jordan with their first ready-to-wear collection for springsummer 2018
Bedouin embroideries and Jordan’s traditional craft processes join hands with chic design and contemporary appeal in the ready-to-wear collection by JO!, the brand established Creative Jordan, a collective of young female designers based in Amman, Jordan. They are making creativity into an instrument of strength and resilience to reinvent their roles and places in society, through a project with international promise which can, at the same time, keep and important cultural tradition alive and help it flourish.

Paula Cademartori # KARTELL
The highlights at Super also included the new capsule collection of accessories by Kartell à la mode together with the Italo-Brazilian designer Paula Cademartori. This partnership has led to the creation of two product lines, both inspired by the exotic nature of Brazil, with its bright colours and floral theme: A choice that fully expresses such values as the use of colour, stylistic research and attention to detail shared by the two brands.

SUPER invests in international buyers
Pitti Immagine’s investment in the presence of buyers and members of the international retail trade, partly realised thanks to the extraordinary contribution of MiSE and the Italian Trade Agency, is consolidated at this SUPER by the participation of a selection of top buyers from France, Japan, Russia, South Korea, United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Spain, Greece, United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg and Denmark who travelled to Milan just to learn more about the new collections presented by the fair’s exhibitors.