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7 Aug

ITA to Wave Made in Italy Flag at Chicago Collective

MILAN — Because it continues to wave the Made in Italy flag in international markets, the Italian Trade Agency, or ITA, the governmental agency that supports the business development of Italian firms abroad, is gearing up for Chicago Collective and can take 62 brands to a dedicated area on the show floor.

The premium menswear fair will run from Aug. 6 to eight.

A part of ITA’s 2023 fashion road show called Inspr Italia Innovations in Style, the Chicago touchdown at town’s merchandise mart marks a vital milestone for the agency’s promotion of Italian menswear by small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Paola Guida, deputy trade commissioner, head of fashion and wonder division at ITA, said “the U.S. market, especially with regards to menswear, has proven particularly serious about new-generation brands, favoring SMEs.”

“This speaks volumes concerning the market evolution — younger consumers are more serious about quality than fashion per se, and circularity,” she added.

In pre-pandemic years, Italy exported to the U.S. around $9 billion in fashion goods, including jewelry, however the post-COVID-19 “revenge shopping,” as Guida characterised it, helped lift sales to $13.3 billion in 2022, a ten.4 percent gain in comparison with 2021.

Men’s ready-to-wear contributed $727.5 million to that figure, while leather footwear exports stood at $460 million, for instance.

Although the consensus points to a slowdown in U.S. sales for the style sector, Guida described the primary half of 2023 as a phase of “consolidation….Growth continues to be there, albeit a slower pace and in smaller percentage,” she said.

Although on a broader scale there’s much talk concerning the business relevance of trade shows, Guida underscored that the U.S. is subject to different dynamics for geographical reasons, offering a rationale for the roadshow ITA has organized this yr across the country, touching down at local and more global-geared trade shows.

A choice of Italian menswear brands on display at Chicago Collective supported by ITA.

Courtesy of ITA

“The country is large in comparison with Italy and even Europe, so each area within the U.S. represents a market of its own. Apart from hyper-luxury brands selling across the board, products and designs sold on the East Coast are very different from those on the West Coast. Ditto for Florida or the Midwest,” she said. “There are such a lot of components factoring in, equivalent to ethnic representation, macroeconomic conditions, education level,” she added.

Within the menswear sector, the Chicago Collective has little to no competition, the chief contended.

“It was born as a really effective and small entity, however it has grown tremendously. I don’t expect it to grow further; it’ll probably consolidate as a boutique trade show with the perfect [men’s fashion],” Guida said.

She added that the second most relevant men’s fair within the country, the Dallas Men’s Show, which closed in town on July 31, is removed from earning the identical standing as Chicago Collective.

ITA is bringing 62 brands to the Chicago fair, around 50 of that are returning after showing on the winter edition, an indication of its relevance and brisk business activity, Guida said.

The brands planning to exhibit in Chicago include knitwear specialists Filippo De Laurentiis, Montechiaro and Guercilena 1944; footwear brands Ortigni 1930, Paolo Scafora Napoli and Voile Blanche, in addition to tailoring labels Sartoria Partenopea, Mauro Blasi and Paolo Albizzati, amongst others.

A selection of Italian menswear brands on display at Chicago Collective supported by ITA.

A choice of Italian menswear brands on display at Chicago Collective supported by ITA.

Courtesy of ITA

Based on Guida, the general roster offers insight into the perfect of Italian men’s fashion across a wide range of categories — ready-to-wear, accessories and footwear — with loungewear, denim, tailoring and knitwear amongst the perfect represented styles.

“The choice is carried out in tandem with the trade show, that’s a prerogative within the American market,” Guida explained. “With Chicago Collective we’ve created an actual synergy…to supply buyers with an adequate representation [of men’s fashion].”

Overall, there can be greater than 100 Italian fashion firms on display, including those who weren’t supported by ITA.

ITA provides exhibitors it endorses financial support to attend the fair, in addition to networking opportunities with buyers and retailers and awareness-building marketing campaigns. But still much of the work must be done by the exhibitors, Guida said.

“It’s as much as each brand to introduce itself and showcase its strengths, including the adequate digital tools, equivalent to e-commerce, website and social media, that are fundamental on this market,” she said.

Paola Guida, deputy trade commissioner, head of fashion and beauty division at ITA.

Paola Guida, deputy trade commissioner, head of fashion and wonder division at ITA.

Caroline Fiss/Courtesy of ITA

To this end, ITA has prolonged the lifetime of its Extraitastyle website, a platform originally launched in the course of the pandemic to assist brands unable to travel Stateside forge contacts with around 400 buyers. Developed to showcase 70 brands at a time with greater than 3,500 items on display, the positioning’s brand mix is reshuffled twice a yr, the subsequent one occurring in September.

“The U.S. market needs the mountain to go to Mohammed…we’re helping firms scout unexplored areas,” Guida said.

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