Italian textile trade fair Milano Unica and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) on Monday announced the launch of “The Fabric Program,” an initiative that will provide emerging U.S. designers with first-hand experience working with Italy’s production mills.
The aim: to raise awareness for “Made in Italy” techniques and methods of fabrication.
“A core tenet of the CFDA is to provide our designer members with unique opportunities to strengthen and evolve their businesses,” Steven Kolb, chief executive of the organization, stated. “Our partnership with Milano Unica is a perfect example of this as it gives emerging American designers the chance to create custom fabrics with Italy’s best production houses.”
Ercole Botto Poala, president of Milano Unica, commented, “To show [American designers] the Italian way of craftsmanship is a unique opportunity for us and having them learn about our heritage will be knowledge they can take with them into the future.”
Womenswear designer Ryan Roche—best known for her knitwear—and milliner Gigi Burris have been selected to participate in the first round of the program and a menswear designer will be determined in the coming weeks.
Each participant will work closely with Italian merchants to create a signature textile that will be integrated into their upcoming Spring/Summer 2017 collections, which will be showcased in Milan and New York.