Updated: Friday, 10 January 2014 19:36 | By Agence France-Presse

Milan prepares to host men's fashion week

Milan prepared to host men's fashion week starting on Saturday after new data showed that Italian menswear exports rose 3.7 percent amid a devastating recession that has plunged sales on the domestic market.

Milan prepares to host men's fashion week

Models display creations as part of Giorgio Armani Menswear Spring-Summer 2014 collection on June 25, 2013 during men's fashion week in Milan

Armani, Gucci, Prada are among the dozens of designer labels, including Britain's Vivienne Westwood, which will take to the catwalks with their pret-a-porter collections for the autumn and winter of 2014-2015.

Italy's textile and fashion federation said in a report ahead of the shows that the situation remained "fragile and complex" but turnover for the menswear sector rose to 8.6 billion euros ($11.7 billion) last year -- one percentage point higher than in 2012.

The biggest market for Italian menswear is still France, accounting for 12.1 percent of exports, although that proportion is falling as sales to China and South Korea rise fast, the report found.

Sales to South Korea soared 34.4 percent last year.

The Milan collections come after London men's fashion week and will be followed by Paris on January 15-19.

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