by John Russel Jones

Benvenuti to MR’s Made in Italy Week, sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA). Join us as we indulge in the tasteful, beautiful, luxurious, and sensuous world that is Italian fashion and menswear. We’ll have a chance to catch up with Paola Guida, ITA’s Director of Fashion, Jewelry and Beauty; 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.

Above: Photo by Fabio Mariano

Why is Made in Italy such a global phenomenon? There are those who would trace the heritage of Italian fashion to the 1980s and the rise of names that are now globally recognized fashion brands. Still others would point to the legacy of a post-World War II sense of freedom expressed by the creative minds of the Sala Bianca, the first group of Italian designers to shake off the dominion of the Parisian couture world and exhibit in Florence. We say that it reaches back even further, influenced by the riches of the Medicis and the Renaissance, to the grandeur of the Roman Empire, and even to the prehistoric riches of the nation’s natural beauty. From an inspired art and design culture to a tradition of craftsmanship, it’s the passion of the Italian people that suffuses every Made in Italy purchase with an almost palpable sense of la bella vita.

Photo by Lee Leonard.

The Italian fashion system is also a major contributor to the Italian economy. According to Statista, revenue in the fashion segment is projected to reach US$19.43 billion dollars this year, with as much as 23% growth by 2025. The industry employs more than 500,000 people in Italy, more than 12% of its total manufacturing employment. With its skilled workforce and focus on quality, the sector has built a reputation for superior construction, reliability, sustainability, and, of course, inimitable style.

The Italian fashion system is also renowned for incorporating the very latest technology with handcraftsmanship and attention to detail, further building its reputation for luxury and reinforcing the “Made in Italy” brand. The Italian Trade Agency’s own ExtraITASTyle platform, launched in 2020, helps connect the nation’s outstanding brands with retailers around the globe.

What sort of Italian discoveries will you bring back for your customers this season? Join us all week for the primo, ultimo, e tutto (first, last, and everything) Italy.