NEW YORK — As anyone who’s ever bought Prosciutto di Parma or balsamic vinegar from Modena knows, Italian manufacturers are sticklers when it comes to quality in manufactured products. The Italian Trade Commission is now trying to apply...
NEW YORK — As anyone who’s ever bought Prosciutto di Parma or balsamic vinegar from Modena knows, Italian manufacturers are sticklers when it comes to quality in manufactured products. The Italian Trade Commission is now trying to apply quality-control standards to service."Most of the time, when we speak of quality, we are referring to the quality of the merchandise," Luigi Troiani, a consultant with Confcommercio, the Italian General Confederation of Trade, Tourism and Services, said through an interpreter at a presentation by the ITC on Thursday at Manhattan’s 21 Club. "Now, our effort is to give standards of quality…for the passage of the product to the consumer and afterwards."The ITC’s new UNITER program is aimed at establishing standards of service that vendors of soft goods, food and services must meet, as an effort to encourage U.S. businesses to buy from Italy.Robert Luongo, deputy trade commissioner of the ITC in New York, noted that Italy ran a $14 billion trade surplus last year with the U.S., and while Italian imports of all products to the U.S. were down 6 percent in the first six months of 2002, he said the nation expects to record another strong surplus this year.Troiani said the goal of the UNITER program is to assure corporate buyers that they will get the help they need in meeting import procedures. The program is being tested by ANIBO, Italy’s National Association of Buying Offices, said Vasco Paladini, the group’s president."Buyers today don’t just look for the product that customers want," he said through an interpreter. "They also look for new products for the client."While he welcomed the effort to ensure good service, Peter Mangione, president of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group, urged Italian manufacturers to establish scientific proof of the quality of their products, rather than sticking to personal, artisanal standards."Quality is a traditional source of Italian pride, but is also an area of dispute," he said. "Quality is not an option. It is not optional. If you don’t have quality, you don’t have a sale."Noting that Chinese shoe manufacturers —?who produce 80 percent of the footwear bought in the U.S. — have set up laboratories to rigorously maintain quality standards, he said Italian manufacturers must rise to that challenge."There is only one way that I know of to assure quality and that is by scientific testing," he said. "You must take a scientific, test-based approach to quality."
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)