MILAN — You can almost reach out and touch the clothes. As for those exotic location shoots, well, maybe next season.

Italian designers are banking on the solidity of their products to counter a feeling of economic uncertainty. As a result, their ad campaigns for fall-winter 2002 are clearly product-driven, with a focus on details and materials. For the most part, Italian ad budgets are flat for fall, although, as reported, Versace plans sharp cuts in its typically generous budget in the fourth quarter, cutting it in half to about $3.5 million, said sources. Its third quarter ad budget was flat. Despite the conservative mood, there’s no indication yet the other Italian houses are ready to cut as deeply as Versace. And a few are actually spending more: Dolce & Gabbana is getting aggressive and hiking its budget in Japan, while Giorgio Armani has increased its budget by 5 percent.

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