At Fiera di Vicenza, there was a change of direction this May, with the annual Spring gold jewellery fair being replaced by Origin Passion and Belief, a Fashion ‘Meet’.

This Fest was explained by the co-organiser, NJAL (Not Just A Label) as a meeting between 100 designers from around the world, selected by NJAL for style and sustainability and 100 of Italy’s fashion houses. In fact, most of the Fashion houses, clothing, accessories and jewellery were Veneto based and 100 designers from the NJAL bank were brought to the exhibition partly supported by EU funding.

The exhibition attracted not as many Italian fashion manufacturers as sought. Maybe it is not enough to think that the reason of their “reserve” to new opportunities is the crisis in Italy. Maybe it was not clear to the industry who should attend this exhibition despite the high quality and the innovation of designers.

On a positive perspective, the exhibitors and guests were well treated with a range of speakers and panel discussions designed mainly to assist designers to leap the many hurdles between a good technical product and ‘fame and riches’.

The 22nd Mittelmoda fashion show on Sunday evening was a stand-out success, for the young designers whose works were showcased on the catwalk, for the guests who were thoroughly entertained and hungry for more, and for the hosts, Mittelmoda and Fiera di Vicenza.

Yet, if this event is to become a permanent member of the Fiera di Vicenza calendar, a means of attracting more industrial and commercial excitement and international visitors is needed. Possibly the Energitismo approach to link artisans and small to medium industry may assist. Ultimately, money must be made.