The Italian Trade Commission (ITC), in its “Global Travel” effort supporting the Italian textile industry, sponsored a Rhode Island School of Design semester-long Textile and Apparel course, in collaboration with 22 Italian fabric and yarn mills. Students were tasked with designing global-travel inspired collections, and on Tues, ITC installed the students' Global Travel exhibit at Bergdorf's.
The initiative, as part of ITC's “Let yourself be charmed by an Italian” campaign touting the high-quality and sophistication of Italian luxury goods, conjures the relevance of the “Made in Italy” label in fashion.
From the WWD spotlight on Global Travel: “Having worked with the ITC on many occasions, Bergdorf Goodman president and chief executive officer Jim Gold said it is important to promote innovation and Made in Italy products… ‘Ultimately we have got to compete on the basis of quality and innovation. It's our lifeblood.'”
Italy and its label have long stood for craftsmanship and “quality,” but not necessarily luxury, although the two often, and should, go hand-in-hand. So it makes sense that the label's prestige should prompt promotional campaigns, especially amid controversy about Italian brands outsourcing to China or importing foreign workers for cheap labor.
Nike Communications is handling promotional efforts for the campaign and did not call back in time to comment.
The beauty of politics
Tobias Ellwood, a Member of Parliament and shadow minister for tourism, licensing and gambling in London, is on board to support Lush Cosmetics' controversial campaign to raise awareness of detainees held at the military prison in Cuba, reports WWD. Here's a tactic that sounds like an American Apparel ad shoot: Staffers wore orange underwear designed with the statement “Fair trial my arse.” Ellwood had deemed various tactics inappropriate, but he said he's now on board “to help them in order to devise a more appropriate strategy.”
Careful, that dance is trademarked
According to IHT, Alexandre Barouzdin, former equities trader at Merrill Lynch, recently quit his job to market his newly trademarked lifestyle brand, Tecktonik, a mix of punk, techno, break dancing, and disco that, having spread by word of mouth on Internet video sites, spawned a youth movement that has turned into a burgeoning business and a model for creating a Web brand... [deep breath]. Barouzdin, who has promoted “Tecktonik” electronic music parties for seven years, created the Tecktonik company a year ago. He's since built buzz with online dance videos, sold about 1,000 Tecktonik T-shirts a week online and in stores, and partnered with major brands.
“T” for Technology or sTyle?
Both! On Mar. 17, The New York Times' T Magazine is launching “T Takes,” an episodic film series featuring the improvisation of various celebs.