Southern Italy is wooing Americans, and not just tourists. Apparently the heel of Italy’s boot is an untapped resource for textile and leather manufacturers, who are eager to stamp “Made in Italy” on U.S. designs. At a press conference Tuesday at New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion, a group of representatives from Pit9, an organization of manufacturers from southern Italy’s Salento region, stated their firm’s interest in building an American clientele. And they are intent on doing it Italian style, complete with plenty of sweet talk and a leisurely pace — 30 minutes after the scheduled 5 p.m. start time. Domenico Delli Carpini, director of America Oggi, joked that the conference would begin in “10 Italian minutes.”
Once under way, the panel — Silvio Astore and Caterina Mastrogiovanni of Pit9, Remigio Venuti, mayor of the city of Casarano, Giuseppe Petracca of the Lecce Chamber of Commerce and Delli Carpini — made a case for Salento’s network of small family-run operations that specialize in handmade products, from socks to swimsuits to shoes to textiles. In between emphasizing Italy’s amore for America and how happy he was to be in New York, Venuti explained that Salento is home to hundreds of small factories, many of which have worked with high-profile Italian labels such as Valentino and Moschino, but aren’t equipped to approach the American market independently. Pit9 is working to change that. Mastrogiovanni estimated that over the last six years Pit9 has invested 60 million euros to support the region’s companies and develop their production capacity. “They’re ready to be in the U.S. market,” she said.
That may be true on a technical level, but judging by the post-conference runway show, which featured original designs from nine of the region’s companies, Salento’s fashion has a long way to go. Aside from swimwear by Sucrette and Gio Beachwear, the men’s wear, mostly sport jackets and trousers by firms such as Tielle, far outshone the women’s collections, the majority of which flaunted an overtly flashy vibe, i.e., metallic leggings by Angelo Mele and wayward fur-embellished dresses by Ettore Negro.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion