Exports of Italian men’s fashion concluded 2022 on a high note, showcasing robust growth, according to data released during a press conference for Pitti Uomo 104. The Confindustria Study Center for Sistema Moda Italia revealed that exports from January to December 2022 saw a remarkable increase of 24.7 percent compared to the previous year, totaling approximately 8.9 billion euros, reported Pambianco. Imports also experienced significant growth, rising by 43.9 percent to 7 billion euros.
European Union and non-EU markets both witnessed substantial expansion, with growth rates of 25.6 percent and 24 percent, respectively. The EU market accounted for 45.4 percent of the sector's total exports.
Matteo Zoppas, president of Agenzia Ice, highlighted the fashion sector's contribution to Italian exports in 2022, with an impressive 80 billion euros derived from the industry, marking a 17.7 percent increase from 2021. Notably, menswear accounted for 10 percent of this figure. Mr Zoppas said the positive trend is expected to continue into 2023, with textile and clothing exports already growing by 12.7 percent in the first two months of the year, reaching nearly 11 billion euros.
The thriving fashion sector, the third-largest manufacturing sector in Italy, aligns with the upcoming international showcases such as Pitti and Milan Fashion Weeks, events for which Ice will provide robust support to the approximately 61,000 active companies employing nearly 500,000 workers in the sector.
Thriving fashion sector
Switzerland emerged as the primary destination for Italian menswear, witnessing a 14.1 percent increase and absorbing 11.2 percent of the sector's total, with a value of 1 billion euros. France followed closely with a growth rate of 29.8 percent (993 million euros, 11.1 percent of the total), while Germany saw a 21.9 percent increase (975 million euros, 10.9 percent). The United States recorded a significant surge of 68.6 percent (858 million euros, 9.6 percent of the total), securing the fourth position. China saw an 8.6 percent growth, reaching 568 million euros (6.4 percent of the total). The UK saw a more marginal 12.2 percent increase, and Spain, South Korea, and the Netherlands experienced notable variations of 25.1 percent, 40.7 percent, and 37.5 percent, respectively. Japan rounded up the top 10 with an 8.7 percent growth rate.
Hong Kong (-3.6 percent), Poland (+42.5 percent), Austria (+32.6 percent), and Belgium (+14.2 percent) exhibited diverse performance. Only Russia experienced a decline of -15.5 percent in sales, alongside Hong Kong, which had already shown a downward trend in 2021.
Comparing the data with the pre-Covid period, the top five markets surpassed 2019 levels significantly. Switzerland grew by 21.8 percent, France by 38.4 percent, Germany by 33.5 percent, the USA by 34.7 percent, and China by an impressive 63 percent, equivalent to almost 220 million euros more than in 2019. However, the United Kingdom and Japan remained 40 percent and 11.2 percent lower, respectively, compared to 2019 levels. Hong Kong experienced a 34.5 percent decline in Italian exports compared to the pre-pandemic era, amounting to a loss of approximately 124 million euros. Similarly, Russia witnessed a decline of 25.1 percent (nearly 44 million euros).
The next edition of Pitti Uomo will take place in Florence from 13 to 16 June.