Italian designers eye $12bn GCC market
Dubai, March 16, 2009
Italian designers are now targeting the Gulf’s $12 billion textile and clothing market as global crisis dampens demand for designer-wear in their more traditional markets.
'There is a new world order developing in fashion brands around the world. Italy is facing up to this challenge by broadening its market appeal, instead of maintaining purely an elitist approach,' said Jim Meltz, show manager for Motexha.
The Middle East's largest garments, textiles, leather and fashion accessories trade show, Motexha, will run from April 7 to 9 at Dubai International Exhibition Centre.
Due to the significant fall in oil prices, reduced demand for gas and the plummeting Rouble, even Russia, until recently a bastion for luxury brands, has shown signs of designer fatigue, he noted.
'Italy’s total exports to the UAE already stand at over $5 billion annually and their pavilion at Motexha is their largest yet, which underscores their desire to penetrate the regional market still further, with value for money brands.'
'That doesn’t necessarily just mean lower prices. Many designers have recognised that consumers want durable designs, so quality that lasts is as important as price,” added Meltz.
Several top brand names especially in swimwear and lingerie, such as Cotton Club and Confezioni Due Esse will be part of the Italian pavilion.
Other renowned companies to take part include Devil Shoes, Leathertex and Tiziana Sidoti besides 10 companies from within the Proteus Group.
Organiser of Motexha 2009, IIR Middle East, said it is experiencing a record level of pre-registration for the event from buyers of renowned local and regional retail brands.
'The Arabian Gulf’s love affair with designer brands continues undiminished and although footfall in many of the region’s shopping malls is still exceptionally strong, consumers are discerning,' Meltz pointed out.
'Flooding the market with cheaper mass produced products is not the answer, quality brands will always prevail regionally,” he added.
'It is true that promotions such as the Dubai Shopping Festival and other more localised discounts increasingly play a role in the sales process, but it’s all about the brands,' he explained.
That message is obviously getting through to the designers, who are now increasingly bringing their brands directly to market, rather than trying to court regional buyers during fashion shows in Europe for example,” he added.
In addition to high-end brands from Italy, quality designs from Thailand, Indonesia and India, will all have a major presence this year.
Indeed, as well as quality brands from US and Germany, a Russian company will be exhibiting luxury leather wallets,” said Meltz.
In support of luxury, Motexha 2009 will also feature a Lingerie & Swimwear Zone which aims to introduce major brands to the Middle East market, from leading European exporters.-TradeArabia News Service