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Portuguese Textiles back to Milan to speed up the recovery

A delegation of Portuguese textile companies is traveling this Tuesday to Milan to attend one of the first professional trade shows since the beginning of the pandemic. The Italian city, which was one of the most affected by the crisis, is now a place of hope and optimism for the From Portugal entourage. At the Milano Unica fabric fair, the Portuguese companies will show that they are still focused on innovation and on developing new products.

ALBANO MORGADO – LEMAR – MODELMALHAS – PENTEADORA - PAULO DE OLIVEIRA - RDD - RIOPELE - SOMELOS - TESSIMAX 

It is one of the undeniable capitals of fashion and textiles and is now sending a strong message of confidence to international markets. Milan was one of the epicentres of the pandemic, but now it is focused on recovery. From September 8th to 9th, the Italian city hosts Milano Unica, one of the first international textile fairs in months, where companies of multiple nationalities will be present, including a strong From Portugal entourage.

Albano Morgado, Lemar, Modelmalhas, Penteadora, Paulo de Oliveira, RDD, Riopele, Somelos and Tessimax are the ten names that make up the From Portugal entourage. At the Fiera Milano exhibition space, everything is expected to be as close as possible to previous editions, however adjusted to the new safety and hygiene rules.

“We did not hesitate to register for any of the international fairs. We expect a smaller flow of visitors, but we believe that the one who come will be professionals who seriously intend to work, build their collections and do business in a physical context”, explains Dolores Gouveia, Marketing and Design Manager at RDD, one of the Portuguese exhibitors. At the fair, the company – which is part of the Valérius group – will present its autumn/winter collection, called COEXIST: “it is a range that favours well-being and health”, says the RDD representative.

“Milano Unica is our first fair of the season, so we are curious about how brands are reacting”, comments Rita Fonseca, one of Lemar’s commercial agents. “The pandemic situation has radically changed the consumer trends and purchasing processes. The markets are somewhat rigid, waiting for the situation to evolve”, says the company’s representative.

Despite recognizing the epidemic’s “great impact”, Lemar travels to Milan with the goal of showing that it has kept its focus on the development of new products, especially regarding sustainable production. "We are going to present our AMNI SOUL ECO ™ 100% Biodegradable fabrics, and we have expanded our Eco-friendly yarn options, such as Seaqual, Newlife, Eccovero and Nillit, among other standard proposals", the commercial representative says.

Modelmalhas is also presenting a catalogue full of novelties. “We are going to present a collection based on four categories: Essential, Advanced, Premium and Fancy. We have technical solutions, such as a technology that makes anti-bacterial fabrics resistant to up to 80 washes. In the premium range, we will present more noble finishes and the fancy line is more structured and focused on fashion”, explains John Gomes, the company’s commercial agent. In the first days of September, Modelmalhas already marked its presence at the Munich Fabric Days, the first textile trade show since the beginning of the pandemic. “We feel that people want to return to normal, they want to touch the product, talk face to face”, sums the commercial manager about the experience in Munich.

Baltazar Lopes, Albano Morgado Administrator, was also present in Munich and is now travelling to Milan with the goal of re-establishing contact with buyers. “The international trade shows will lose space in the textile world. On the other hand, the ones focused on the market itself will gain prominence”, he comments. Regarding the Albano Morgado catalogue, the company manager highlights the sustainable solutions: “We continue to invest in 100% wool products and today we have lines that are increasingly closer to nature. An example of this is our ECOLIFE line, without any added chemicals,” he states.

The Portuguese SMEs companies participation in Milano Unica is an initiative of Selectiva Moda and ATP - Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal, which aims to promote the internationalization of Portuguese fashion companies. The project “From Portugal” is co-financed by Portugal 2020, under Compete 2020 - Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization, with an eligible support amount of €11.042.311,82, of which €6.065.501,91 comes through the European Regional Development Fund.