by John Russel Jones

It’s Made in Italy Week here at MR, sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), so be sure to check in with us every day as we indulge in the tasteful, beautiful, luxurious, and sensual world that is Italian fashion and menswear. We’ll catch up with Antonino Laspina, ITA’s Trade Commissioner; check out the latest must-see trends from the true “maestros” of Italian style and unveil ITA’s plans for next week’s Chicago Collective.

What makes Made in Italy so in demand for today’s luxury consumer? Consistency and innovation. We know that if we watch an old movie, like 1955’s “Summertime,” starring Katherine Hepburn and Rosanno Brazzi, even today we can retrace the characters’ steps through the canals of modern Venice. Yet we also see that Venice has become a hotbed of innovation, utilizing technology to both protect its rich history, culture, and heritage, as well as to manage increasing tourism. Nearly everyone enjoys Italian cuisine from the nation’s many regions, with recipes that have been perfected and refined over generations of professional chefs and nonne alike; yet the nation’s food companies have become world leaders in sustainability and experimentation: L’Officucina, a food “laboratory” in the Emilia Romagna region, for example, is creating 3D printed food, from chocolate bars to pasta e fagioli. The Italian fashion industry won’t be left out! While the traditions of hand-tailoring in Italy go back to the 14th century, by the early 1900s the Neapolitan style was born, eventually changing how men dressed around the globe. Today Italian menswear manufacturers have embraced and transformed technology, creating clothes that fit better, perform better, feel better, and look…well, can one really look any better than when wearing a properly cut Italian suit?

Of course, the entire Italian fashion system is renowned for incorporating the very latest technology. The Italian Trade Agency’s own ExtraITASTyle platform, launched in 2020, helps connect the nation’s outstanding brands with retailers around the globe.

The Italian fashion system is also a major contributor to the Italian economy, said to have generated 83.3 billion Euros in 2021, and expected to jump more than 10 percent once the accounting is done for 2022. With its skilled workforce and focus on quality, the sector has built a reputation for superior construction, reliability, sustainability, and, of course, inimitable style.
Which Italian innovations will you offer your customers this season? Join us all week to learn the very latest news about Made In Italy.

Photo, top: Clay Banks; above, Truth Devour