MILAN — Bringing the excellence of Italian niche, artisanal companies into the spotlight is the ultimate goal of The Dressing Screen, a high-end marketplace launched in June by two Bologna-based friends, Stefania Inama and Claudia Maresca.
The digital marketplace showcases the products of 80 Made in Italy brands, mainly focused on women’s fashion and children’s wear.
“About 50 percent of them don’t have an online store and have a very limited off-line distribution,” said Inama, who was previously an e-commerce and communication executive at Max Mara Group. “Our goal is offering exclusive and unique products, most of them available only on order. Customers wait about 15 days to receive these items and they tell us they are more than happy to wait since they have the feeling of purchasing something really special.”
The Dressing Screen offers an edited selection of more traditional brands, such as Loretta Caponi, Mantero and Stephan Janson, which are mixed with new finds, including Gioia Bini, Caftanii Firenze, Iacobella, Nasco Unico, ODP, Vibi Venezia and Virginia Severini.
The Dressing Screen connects the brands presented on the platform with international customers, and the business has grown fourfold since the launch.
Italy is the largest market for the marketplace, followed by the U.S. “The U.S. is currently our fastest-growing market, the one which is sending the most enthusiastic feedback,” said Inama. “We are getting fans among women who like exclusive things, who are cultured, elegant, refined and most of all are deeply in love with Italy and its special lifestyle.”
The average purchase on the platform ranges between 350 euros and 400 euros.
To promote the marketplace and deliver engaging content for its audience, The Dressing Screen has teamed with brand adviser Helen Nonini, who enrolled a group of Italian women from fields including fashion, public relations, art and cuisine, posing with her in the ateliers of some of the brands available on the marketplace. For her photo tour of Italian cities including Milan, Florence, Venice, Rome and Turin, Nonini traveled only by train as a commitment to environmental sustainability.
In exchange for her collaboration, Nonini asked The Dressing Screen to support The Mario Negri Pharmaceutical Research Institute with a donation of 5 percent of all sales on the digital platform.
According to Inama, The Dressing Screen, which is ending an investment round, aims to develop an omnichannel strategy by completing the online shopping experience with physical stores located in exclusive locations.