by Karen Alberg Grossman

By all accounts, this was the best Chicago Collective ever, according to retail attendees. Perhaps Fred and Virginia of DLS buying office summed it up best: “The Chicago Collective had all the right brands, bringing the newest ideas to the best retailers. With the addition of 60+ Italian Trade Agency artisans, retailers got to appreciate fall ’23 collections direct from Italy. Moreover, the independent showrooms took larger-sized booths, so retailers could work various brands and walk away with new merchandising concepts.”

Very busy DLS meeting in Chicago.

Here, a few of our favorites.

Jerry Kaye

Jerry Kaye nailed some cool items!

Jerry Kaye showed some truly unique items, including soft vintage-dyed merino knits, a boucle chenille coat, reversible baseball jackets and recycled cashmere shawl-collar cardigans with a retro-Mr. Rogers feel.


Exceptional fits and fabrics at Hiltl.

Hiltl showed beautiful made-in-Europe pants, Supima cotton with stretch for perfect fit; suggested retails $200-$300.

Tony Lonzano

Tony Lonzano shows off private label jeans (above) and luxury leathers (below).

Tony Lonzano showed two terrific collections. The first, B700 Denim, is an exceptional offering of jeans in various weights and washes that stores can private label, even selecting the color leather for a tab with their store logo or name embossed. Available in regular and slim fit, no minimums required, prices are $97 to $109 landed; there’s also an in-stock program of three different washes for spring selling.

Lonzano’s other collection, Felisi is sophisticated luggage, bags, belts and small leathergoods as only the Italians can do it. For info:


Lined in luxury at Pashmere.

A third-generation family business, they showed a fabulous beaver-lined cashmere sweater jacket ($1500 landed), some amazing reversible cashmere sweaters, a beautiful intarsia knit cable design ($400) and much more.

Salvatore Martorana

A nod to American culture in luxe Italian fabrics.

Nicolo and Luciano at Salvatore Martorana also showcased amazing cashmere pieces, most in the range of $750-$950 landed. I loved the double-faced cashmere jacket, navy reversible to vicuna; the cashmere peacoat in both short and long versions; and some very cool ultra-soft leather varsity jackets, a nod to American culture in luxe Italian fabrics.

Borgo and Ballin

Borgo and Ballin looked great together. Shayne Regan at Borgo showed some exceptionally well-priced outerwear, jackets and vests. I especially loved the reversible vests at $82 cost (suggested retail $225), a reversible farmer’s jacket, the corduroy chore coats in four colors, some reversible sweaters and the knitted track suits. According to Ron Balinsky at Ballin, retailers should not hesitate to elevate their pants assortments; customer are spending more if the product is special and warrants the price.


Shirts that sell, at Stenstroms

At Stenstroms, Anders Hjarne showed many fabulous shirts, most in the $110-$130 price range ($275-$325 retail), all in superior fabrics and fits for North American men. In addition to extensive in-stock programs (that include formalwear), there’s a MTM option with 5-week turnaround. Info:


Lifestyle fashion at Bogner.

Erick DeLeon from Bogner is pleased with the strong reaction to his fall ’23 collection, now as much lifestyle as skiwear. By telling a story with elevated fabrics, Bogner has set itself apart with a true lifestyle collection. I loved the gorgeous carcoats, a laminated corduroy waterproof down-filled parka, and a truly special shearling, (just $1900 cost for a suggested retail of $5,000, but worth it!)


Windsor for the win!

Part of the Holy Fashion Group, Windsor is a full men’s and women’s collection with outerwear at its core. Accessibly priced luxury, the collection is new to the States but very successful in Canada and throughout the world. I loved the recycled wool/recycled cashmere topcoat ($1395 at 64 points), the cashmere/stretch overshirts, a knit sportcoat with removable bib and a beautiful herringbone coat at $1495. The company expects to be 100 percent sustainable by 2030.


The name connotes pattern mixing and classics with a twist. The fall ’23 collection is pure whimsy, featuring everything from formalwear to leathers, jeans, bold prints and winter accessories, all affordably priced with an element of fun. For isn’t that the whole point?

Stay tuned for Chicago Part 3 next week! (In case you missed it, read Chicago Part 1 here.)