• Forbes

Brexit: an opportunity for Italian fashion?


The Brexit referendum, or the vote of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, could turn out to be an opportunity for the Italian fashion industry. This analysis was published just a few days ago on the respected Italian newspaper, the Corriere della Sera. The words of Claudio Marenzi are clear.

The President of SMI, the Italian Fashion Confederation which represents the producers and the entrepreneurs in the country’s fashion industry, said “While on the one hand the United Kingdom represents the fourth biggest market for Italian fashion exports, it is also true that London, much like Paris, represents a place of transit to other countries and that the impact on our companies, if there is to be one, will be very limited.

On the other hand, the United Kingdom’s exit from Europe takes away a competitor that has historically opposed and currently opposes our industry: from the battle against productions in Pakistan, to the granting of the market economy status of China, to the Made in issue.”

In short, Brexit is not necessarily only a risky one for Italy, according to Marenzi. And regarding the courageous and conscious attitude that Italian fashion producers should have in any scenario, again, the analysis published by the Corriere della Sera reminds readers that Italian entrepreneurs are one of a kind, uniquely able to perform such work with Italy’s high energy costs and with Rome’s bureaucracy all while having incredible of success.

Brexit, Marenzi further explains, scared everyone in a time in which the markets are extremely complicated. The phenomenon can be seen clearly by looking at the trend of luxury. The provisions from the beginning of the year have been disregarded. The global luxury market is estimated to still be growing, with €310/340 billion in 2015 (Bain & Co ), yet while the up until now the companies have been essentially going well, some more than others, now the selection process has begun: some are doing very well, some not.

And here is the main point: Italy does not have the fashion and luxury giants that France has, and this is a problem. “Up until now, our financial system and the banks did not believe enough in our industry, we need for them to believe in us, the most important thing is that the productions stay in Italy.”

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