In 2015, Italian fashion exports, including apparel, accessories and footwear, reached €48 billion, equivalent to a 2% growth over 2014. The three major export destinations were France (10.6% of the total), Germany (9.2%) and the USA (8.4%). The figures, based on data from the Italian national statistical office ISTAT, were reported by the Milan Chamber of Commerce only a few hours before the start of Milan Fashion Week, showcasing the Spring/Summer 2017 collections and scheduled from 21st to 26th September.
Among the export categories that grew in 2015 there are home linen, shirts, tee-shirts, underwear and furs (+4%), carpets and fitted carpets, leather, handbags and travel goods (+3%), and footwear (+2%).
Among Italy’s main trading partners, growth was recorded in the USA (+17.1%), South Korea (+12.5%), and China (+10%). Also Hong Kong, the UK and Japan rank among the top 20 export destinations. France is Italy’s main partner for clothing and especially shirts, tee-shirts, underwear, knitwear, carpets and footwear. Hong Kong is instead the top destination for yarns and sportswear, Germany for fabrics, Switzerland for handbags and leather goods, the USA for home linen and furs, and Romania for passementerie and buttons.
Italy’s fashion exports originate chiefly from the districts of Milan, Florence and Vicenza. The top 20 cities with the strongest growth are Reggio Emilia (+7.6%), Bologna (+7.2%) and Vicenza (+6.5%). As for regions, Lombardy ranks first with exports worth €11.8 billion, a quarter of Italy’s total. Besides Italy’s leader Milan, other Lombardy towns in the top 20 are Como (7th), Varese (15th), Bergamo (16th) and Mantua (17th). In terms of share of national exports, Lombardy leads for home linen, carpets, passementerie, lace and fabrics, in which it accounts for approximately 40%, and in knitwear (32%).