NEW YORK – Italy’s leading economic and trade officials on Monday will unveil a 20 million euro, or $21.6 million, initiative to increase ties with the U.S. market in textiles, fashion and leather goods.
The multitiered strategy will be revealed by Italy’s vice minister of economic development Carlo Calenda at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here. He will be joined by officials from the Italian Trade Agency and key leaders of other influential associations to detail the Ministry of Economic Development’s plan to promote Italian exports in the American market.
The yearlong, four-tiered strategy will include an ongoing alliance with leading U.S. retailers, a bevy of trade shows and special events, incoming services and assistance in Italy and a major media campaign. The Italian contingent is eager to zero in on American consumers, especially the ever-influential youth culture. Organizers are keen on the fact that 34 percent of the U.S. population of 315 million is under the age of 25. The effort is meant to build on the fact that Italian fashion goods exports — clothing, textiles, leather goods, cosmetics, eyewear, jewelry and skins — rose substantially in 2014.
Last year, Italian exports to the U.S. totaled 5.2 billion euros, or $5.6 billion, an 11 percent increase compared to 2013. Italy has seen 4.5 percent market share growth since 2013. Because of increased spending due to the dollar gaining strength against the euro, Italy’s growth was 23.3 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period lat year.
Monday’s press conference will be a short walk from Milano Unica New York, the Italian textiles and accessories trade show at the Javits that is on through Wednesday. Another new Italian event up at the Javits through Wednesday is Padiglione Italiano at the MRket show, which will present 56 Italian men’s wear companies. Lineapelle New York, the first American edition of the Italian leather trade show, will also highlight 50 Italian labels at the Metropolitan Pavilion Tuesday and Wednesday.
In what will be another first, Lineapelle Milano Unica and ICE have arranged for La Scala’s prima ballerina Sabrina Brazzo to perform a special ballet, “The Cloak of the Dragon,” at Lincoln Center Monday night. She and the rest of the dancers will wear Italian-made costumes.
Italian trade leaders said they were encouraged by other green shoots in the American market, such as a 7.4 percent increase in men’s wear exports, an existing value of 477 million euros, or $516.5 million. Textiles generated a 15 percent gain in exports totaling 318.5 million euros, or $345 million. Hides jumped 13 percent to 156 million euros, or $168.9 million.