Brenda Bizzi: The goal is to support buyers and offer them a place where they can find all the trendy brands at once. We want to go with the zeitgeist and always be able to offer our buyers the latest products.
TFH: What kind of brands does WHITE collaborate with?
B: The focus lies upon brands that are young and have a good sales strategy. We choose young Italian and international brands with the right quality features. They need to be able to stand a chance on the international market, stand out and lie within the right price category.
TFH: What makes you different from others?
B: The diversity of the brands. We chose brands from various sectors, which guarantees a mixture and diversity, which otherwise wouldn’t exist. From the handmade handbag to the self-printed t-shirt and the luxury brand from Milan – the logic is the same as for a department store.
TFH: How did you develop your idea and what inspired you?
B: The birth of WHITE was almost a coincidence. We never would have thought that we would be able to create a tradeshow like this. Massimiliano Bizzi, the founder of WHITE, participated in the tradeshows for his label and thus organized very edgy and exclusive stands. One day, he was asked whether he could imagine it becoming bigger. He really liked this idea and decided to call the project WHITE – and that is how its story began. That was the year 2000, with 19 brands on board. Today we are not only a tradeshow but also an agency that manages brands, represents them on Social Media and supports them all the way to the runway. For example, labels such as POAN and WOOD WOOD. Both brands are represented by WHITE, present their collections here at the tradeshow but are also officially listed on the Milano Moda Uomo calendar and present their collection during fashion week in Milan in the form of a catwalk show.
TFH: What is your take on the current development of the fashion industry?
B: The way I see it, the market is in a very intense yet exciting phase at the moment. Some show men and women’s collections together, while others decide not to have their shows during the official fashion weeks. In the end, you need to realize that the fashion weeks are strictly marketing- and communication events. The sales campaigns begin with the pre-collections in May and end in September. It doesn’t really matter when someone presents their collection but more what marketing strategy the business uses. In my opinion, the entire thing is a possibility. There is more flexibility, which can be an advantage.
TFH: Do you think that menswear receives the attention it deserves when compared to womenswear?
B: No, definitely not! They’re two completely different markets and two completely different fashion weeks. You can’t really compare the two.
TFH: Where is WHITE spread out internationally?
B: WHITE’s main headquarters is located in Milan. But we have projects all over the world, with help from the Italian government and the department for economic development, which makes it all possible. We not only want to support Italian fashion but also talents from other countries.
TFH: What does your collaboration with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI) look like?
B: It is a great collaboration. But WHITE also has other partners, for example, the city of Milan. This gives us a nice balance between different political institutions and other partners.
TFH: What are some of WHITE’s next steps?
B: We have two big upcoming projects this year. In September we will organize a fashion show for everyone. It will speak to the final consumers and not just the representatives of the industry. Additionally, there will be a slot for multiple brands. They will have the possibility to present their collections at an eccentric location.
TFH: What advice would you give to young brands and designers that are still at the beginning of their careers?
B: I would advise young brands and designers to choose Milan as a point of interest. I’m not just saying that because WHITE is from Milan, but also because the city offers everything that newcomers need. In Milan, you will find the producers, the distributors, the resources and the agencies. Milan is the city that offers the best chances for young brands to gain ground in the fashion industry.
Thank you for the interview. Karim