NEW YORK — Artisanal brands from Florence and the Tuscany region of Italy will get their shot at making it in the U.S. later this month during the inaugural Florence in New York trade show.
The three-day event will be held May 15 to 17 at 180 Maiden Lane.
In a press conference at the Italian Trade Agency here on Thursday, Tommaso Boralevi, business development director of the Vasari Consortium, which is organizing the show, said the 30 companies that will be represented were chosen to illustrate the craftsmanship of the region.
The brands will encompass leather goods, jewelry, fashion, design, food, wine and travel.
“The goal of the consortium is to create a spark for Italian artisanal companies who have struggled to go outside the borders of Italy,” he said. The goal is to “create a bridge” between these companies and American buyers and provide them with the tools needed to operate internationally, Boralevi added.
Brands in the fashion arena will include Giusto Manetti, which has created gold and silver leaf since the 1600s; Sacramore and Renai jewelry; Zetati, a leather goods manufacturer; Verba shoes, and Laura Chini women’s wear.
Already, retailers including Bloomingdale’s, Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue have registered to attend, Boralevi said.
He said Vasari Consortium is also setting up a showroom in New York where these and other small- and medium-size Italian brands can establish a beachhead to forge business relationships in the U.S.
The event will kick off with an opening-night event featuring a performance by the flag bearers of the historic Florentine parade, an opera performance and a dinner of Tuscan favorites paired with Chianti Classico wines. There will also be a charity auction of products from the region. The guest of honor will be celebrity chef and author Gabriele Corcos of the Cooking Channel’s “Extra Virgin” show. The event is open to the public, and tickets can be purchased for $180 with a percentage of the proceeds benefiting the Food Bank for New York City.
The consortium includes funding from the Italian Trade Agency, the Tuscany region, the city of Florence and Italian artisanal associations.
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