Allison Hoeltzel

MILAN — Italian accessories label Officina del Poggio is expanding in the U.S.

The label was established in 2014 by Allison Hoeltzel, who hailed from Texas and moved to Bologna, Italy, during her MBA at the Southern Methodist University to do an internship at the local Opera House. Falling in love with the Italian culture and lifestyle, she decided to settle down in the European country where she built a professional career in fashion by developing and managing product lines for international brands, including Stuart Weitzman, Sonia Rykiel and Alfred Dunhill.

Starting from the end of February, the brand will start selling its collections at five Barneys locations across the U.S., including New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Beverly Hills, as well as the luxury department store’s online shop. Officina del Poggio offers high-quality bags inspired by vintage utilitarian styles and all crafted in Florence by local artisans using the best materials, spanning from traditional vegetable-tanned Italian vachetta leather to jute and more modern Plexi.

“It took a while and lots of efforts to come at this point, and I have to admit to be so happy and, in a certain way, proud of myself and of the path I developed for the brand,” said Hoeltzel. Officina del Poggio's Mini Safari bag

Officina del Poggio’s Mini Safari bagThe American retailer focused on four of the brand’s signature styles, including the Mini Safari, featuring a special construction where a wooden form is wrapped with leather and fabric; the Bici Bag, inspired by bicycle tool kits, and the new Pic-Nic style, which, as its name suggests, echoes classic picnic baskets.

Starting from the spring 2019 season, a selection of Officina del Pioggio pieces will be also available online at Goop.com, at Moda Operandi, as well as in high-end boutiques, including Linda Dresner in Birmingham, Mich., and Savannah in Santa Monica.

Even if the brand’s business is mainly focused in the U.S., the accessories label is also finding its way into prestigious international stores in Europe and Asia.

“With the spring collection, we will be at T Galleria in Hong Kong and The Shop at Bluebird at London’s Covent Garden,” Hoeltzel said.

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