The Italian Trade Commission launched Shop Italy NYC on Tuesday, June 14th. This series of events is being promoted by The Ministry of Economic Development and organized by The Italian Trade Commission to celebrate Italian Food, Fashion, and Wine.
The events will be broken up over a four week period and spread out throughout the three major shopping epicenters of New York City
On Tuesday June 14th, at the Center 548 in Chelsea, a 5'8" tall blond lady, wearing an elegant long grey dress, was expressing her love for everything that is Italian: “My boyfriend and I were trying to think about a place that is not Italian that we love to go to have dinner. There isn’t really anything other than Italian that we like. For fashion it is the same. All the designers I love are Italian.” Kelly Rutherford, the tall blond lady, is an expert of everything which is elegant, fashionable and, of course, Italian. In her Gossip Girl’s role as the uber-posh Lily van der Woodsen, she moves in the most fashionable circle in New York City.
At the Italian promotion event organized by the Italian Trade Commission (ITC) on Tuesday, Ms. Rutherford -- along with other fashion experts and lovers -- invited everyone who wants to know as much as she does about the best of Italian style in the city, to visit Shop Italy NYC. This is a one-month series of consumer shopping experiences and promotions, organized by the ITC, which started on June 15-16 in the Meatpacking district. From 5 pm to 8 pm, at the Shop Italy NYC’s VIP Hospitality Tent in Gansevoort Square, visitors find information about the events that the Italian shops and restaurants are hosting in the area.
Shop Italy NYC will continue on June 22, 23, 29 ad 30 on Madison Avenue; July 6 and 7 in SoHO. “More than 50 shops and restaurants are taking part to the event,” said Aniello Musella, Italian Trade Commissioner for the United States. “This is a 360-degree event. Shop Italy NYC has brought together for the first time fashion, design and food in all of Manhattan. It is important to be together in promoting the Italian lifestyle in the US,” Mr. Musella said.
- Meatpacking Events - 15 & 16 June
- Madison Avenue Events – 22 & 23 June
- Madison Avenue Events – 29 & 30 June
- Soho Events – 6 & 7 July
The current economic moment is particularly important to boost the “Italian brand.” “In 2009, Italian exports to the US suffered the crisis. From the second semester of 2010, things have gradually improved. In the first quarter of 2011, Italian exports to the US increased 15 percent in value,” Mr. Musella added.
Ms. Rutherford – who, as her Gossip Girl’s character would have done, on Tuesday was wearing a dress by Brunello Cucinelli and earrings and bracelet by Buccellati -- said that now more than everything “it is important to promote what we love.”
At the Shop Italy NYC’s kick-off event on Tuesday there were many fashion authorities who professed to be in love with Italy. In a discussion panel moderated by Nancy Ross, professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the fashion stylist Ann Caruso and the editorial director at LX.TV Caroline Kim said that the Italian style, with its passion and romance, still appeals to the Americans.
“Italian fashion has always been easy lightness mixed with high quality as well as with sexuality,” said Laurie Brookins, senior fashion editor for Niche Media, press partner of Shop Italy NYC. The peculiar Italian mix is still loved in New York, as it has been attested by Kathleen Ruiz, vice-president of Sacks Fifth Avenue. From a retailer point of view, Ms. Ruiz confirmed that the Italian brands are selling again. Shop Italy NYC’s aim is boosting this encouraging trend.