Milan menswear cools business heat wave

Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:21pm EDT
 
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By Antonella Ciancio

MILAN (Reuters) - Fashion designers at the Milan menswear week opted for untied shirts, raffia hats and crocodile espadrilles for next summer to lighten up the wardrobes of men who dress to impress.

Milan's holiday-themed collections brought a whiff of fresh air into the fashion industry, which is undergoing an intense round of consolidation and bourse listings.

Luxury groups Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo are aiming to raise as much as $2.67 billion in their initial public share offerings, or IPOs, this month.

"It's fantastic to see all these projects that are warming up the market. Investors' interest shows that the fashion industry is growing," Gianluca Brozzetti, Chief Executive of Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli, told Reuters.

Trendsetter designer Miuccia Prada, back from a fashion show in Hong Kong for IPO investors, delivered in Milan a carefree collection inspired by golf courses, with ironic shirts in cartoon and floral prints playing with tailored suits.

The fashion industry, a key contributor to Italy's economy, is expected to generate 65 billion euros ($93 billion) this year, according to Italy's Chamber of Fashion, up 7 percent from 2010.

At Ferragamo, designer Massimiliano Giornetti brought guests to the French Riviera for his laidback collection, with models in raffia panama hats and close-fitting suits in creamy colors.

A scent of the Riviera also reached Ermenegildo Zegna, featuring crinkled silk jackets in muted bleached colors.   Continued...