The 2021 sector balance  

According to the forecasts made by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre, in accordance with the feedback received from those polled in the survey, and on the basis of the economic trend of the macroeconomic context of reference, the Italian men’s fashion industry (an aggregate that includes foreign fabric and knitwear, shirts, ties, and leather apparel) is expected to wrap up 2021 with a recovery of +11.9%, arriving at 9.1 billion euro. When compared with pre-Covid levels, however, the recovery has only been partial (around 970 million euro in absolute value), also in consideration of the total losses recorded over the course of 2020 (close to 2 billion). When compared to 2019’s turnover, the results achieved in 2021 are still down by -9.9%. 

In 2021, it is estimated that the menswear segment will account for 17.5% of the Italian Textile-Fashion supply chain.

Tabel 1 – The Italian Men’s Fashion Industry (2016-2021*) 

 (Millions of euro at current value)

With regards to the single micro-areas here examined, in 2021 they are all characterised by the return to a positive trend; with the only exception being the segment of ties, which, although the rhythm of its downtrend has slowed down significantly when compared to 2020, is still in any case characterised by a negative trend.

With imports from abroad characterised by a low growth rate, in 2021 the value of production (a variable that estimates the value of production activity carried on in Italy net sales of imported products) is on the rebound with an estimated +7.0% rise over 2020.

The abrupt stop (-16.7%) to men’s fashion exports remains limited to 2020; while in 2021, exports quickly returned to an expansive trend in foreign sales. For exports, a rise on an annual basis equal to +11.2% is estimated; with the overall level of foreign sales arriving at a little more than 6.5 billion euro. The impact of exports on overall sales in the segment would accordingly be equal to 71.3%. 

With regards to imports, which dropped-off by -20.2% in 2020, a much more modest growth trend is expected to take place when compared to exports, estimated at +1.7% in twelve months. The total amount of sector imports would accordingly arrive at 3.8 billion euro.

In light of the above import/export dynamics, an increase is expected for the men’s fashion trade balance (around 593 million euro less than the 2020 balance); while the overall trade surplus should in fact rise to 2.741 billion for the entire year, in what is an uptrend also over 2019.