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Italian fashion houses get refashioned for future growth

MILAN — To stay on trend, Italian fashion houses are refashioning themselves for future growth.

The Milan Fashion Week devoted to fall and winter menswear opens on Friday with Ermenegildo Zegna’s preview. The company made its first move to expand abroad with the Zegna Group’s summer acquisition of American brand Thom Browne. The Gianni Versace fashion house’s entrance into the group owned by American designer Michael Kors was finalized last week.

The merger-and-acquisition trend in fashion offers sources of cash and footholds in new markets to brands that want to gain the scale for an international expansion, especially if their target is the tricky Asian market.

For Italy’s family-run fashion brands, generational change makes a future path especially important.