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MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Milan will kick off the fashion action of 2010 on Saturday, when designers will present their menswear collections for next winter, hoping for a recovery in the crisis-hit demand for clothes and accessories.
Alongside showroom collection presentations, male models will strut down the catwalk in just under 40 shows for Milan's autumn/winter 2010/2011 fashion week which runs January 16-19.
The international fashion pack will descend on the Italian fashion capital which is especially renowned for its "Made in Italy" tailored suits and leather shoes, made by world-famous names such as Giorgio Armani and Ermenegildo Zegna.
"Milan's menswear will contribute in accelerating the recovery trend, which was too weak in the last part of the year," Mario Boselli, the head of Italy's National Chamber of Fashion, was quoted as saying in daily Corriere della Sera.
Luxury groups are focusing on winning back consumers as they emerge from the worst economic crisis in decades which has sapped demand for designer clothes, shoes and accessories.
A tepid recovery is seen in global luxury sales this year, sector experts have said.
The menswear market has not been spared by the economic turmoil and with the financial sector hit hard, suit and tie sales have suffered.
Turnover for Italian menswear is seen falling nearly 10 percent to 8.3 billion euros in 2009, according to Sistema Moda Italia (SMI), which represents the clothing and textiles industry.
SMI says Italy's fashion sector will emerge from the crisis before others but the government needs to help companies be more competitive.
Increasingly attentive to the internet and its strong prospects for growth, many traditional houses have turned to web to try to grab consumers before they enter their stores and the passion for online fashion will continue at the menswear shows.
The doyen of Italian fashion Giorgio Armani will stream his Emporio Armani show live on the brand's website live.emporioarmani.com as well as the group's Facebook page. British house Burberry will also stream its show live with online viewers able to comment on the show in real time live.burberry.com.
Meanwhile designer duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been sharing the preparations for their Dolce & Gabbana show via their online magazine Swide www.swide.com.
Saturday's shows will kick off with Ermenegildo Zegna, Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani and Burberry.