ITC SHOWCASES FASHION, PROMOTIONS

NEW YORK — More than 100 stores have participated in the Italian Trade Commission’s Moda Made in Italy campaign since its inception in 1993, according to Gaspare Asaro, director of the campaign, and at least 40 events are being planned this season.
Urging more retailers to take part, Asaro discussed the program at a breakfast Monday, where new Italian fashion was displayed by informal modeling. About 100 retailers, mostly from specialty shops around the country, attended the ITC event at the Bryant Park Grill.
The campaign offers a co-op promotional incentive, with the ITC paying 70 percent — or up to $10,000 — of the retailer’s expenses for promotions featuring Made in Italy collections.
Some of the efforts have included fashion shows to benefit charities, national advertising and direct mail catalogs. Participating retailers have seen increased sales of 20 to 30 percent compared with typical volume, Asaro said.
Among the styles shown at the breakfast were recent trends of blending masculine and feminine, illustrated by men’s tailoring and pinstripes from Vestimenta and strong shoulders from Maska Collection and Sergio Pellari; color developments, such as the return of camel, from Pellari and Prima Classe, and the use of skins — both real and fake — from Iceberg, Trussardi and Max Mara.
Asaro described the strengths of Italian fashion as “a blending together of a long tradition of art and design and a commitment to quality.” Many European designers have their fashions manufactured in Italy because they can attain high-quality merchandise at better and bridge price points. “Service and on-time deliveries are part of the commitment,” he said.

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