Designers and brands from all over the world came together at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York for the three-day menswear MRket VG Show. This is an annual event that happens in New York and Las Vegas giving exhibiters a chance to showcase their pieces while engaging the buyers and press into one specific location. And this year the Made in Italy section of the floor, sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency, was biggest than ever. As someone who lived in Italy for an entire year, I am very familiar with Italian fashion and was extremely intrigued in seeing Italian brands at this event making their way into the American market.
While at the event I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of Italian brands regarding their relationship with the American market, and I was fascinated by all the optimistic responses. Most of the brands I spoke with were super excited to be at this event because of how effective it was in expanding their contacts in the men fashion world. Many Italian companies have been in the American market for many years like Impulso a “typical Italian, elegant menswear brand” as owner Agostino Terzi puts it. He also says that although his brand has been in the market for over eight years, “I will never stop coming to the MRket showcase because my goal is always to make clients and attending this event really facilitates that.”
As I continued to walk through the visually pleasing displays I encountered a very interesting shoe stand called Maledetti Toscani. First what caught my eye was the adventurous style of all the shoes on display and second the welcoming smile of the brand owner Alessandro Quadri. While speaking to Mr. Quadri I learned more about his brand and the unique type of leather he used in making shoes. I then asked him why he thinks his company is doing so well in the American market and he said, “the US market is starting to demand more and more quality products over time along with paying more attention to where they are investing their money. And my brand offers that quality the market is looking for.” He then added that although his shoe prices are quite up there, “my company is growing fast. I have one store in Vero Beach Florida and another in Canada.” Besides it being the first time Alessandro and his brand is attending the showcase he said he isn’t worried about the success of his company in the American market because, “Americans love Italy and Italians.”
Italian fashion in America is quite delayed like Agostino Terzi mentioned that “when we do our shows in Italy, you will only see those pieces here in the US three years later.” Americans are known for being quite conservative when it comes to fashion and Michela Petrali president of Caliban a menswear brand from Brescia agrees that, “Americans usually look for more classic looks, and although my company is sometimes adventurous with our products, we try to maintain the classic look because of our US customers.” Each and every pop-up stand had their own unique flare and truly demonstrated their product, but all I can say is that the Italians were dominating the game. As I walked through the halls there was a constant flow of potential buyers and press in all the stands.