The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) is doubling down on efforts to support and grow the exports of Italian fashion and accessories to the U.S.
In late March, the government organization unveiled its completely overhauled business-to-business wholesale website, Extraitastyle.com. The site, which first launched in 2020 to encourage continued business between made in Italy brands and American retailers during the height of the pandemic, now features a new look and over 100 brands across men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, leather goods, swim and more showcasing their fall/winter 2022 and seasonless collections.
According to the ITA, the redesigned site has been optimized to deliver U.S.-based buyers an easier user experience that places brand assets like lookbooks, line sheets, and links to social media, more front and center. Buyers can browse through rotating boutiques and editorial content, the ITA said, as well as look for products by trend or category like a traditional e-commerce site.
While it’s important to note that no transactions can take place on the platform, the ITA did state that the site is designed to be a networking tool that allows buyers to discover products and brands that they wouldn’t normally see at a tradeshow. (Wholesale brand reps and their contact information are provided on each brand page within the site.)
This news comes at the ITA reported that Italian exports in 2021 to the U.S. in the fashion sector significantly outpaced exports in 2019. Footwear was the fourth highest traded category in the total Italian fashion and beauty sectors in 2021.
According to Paola Guida, head of the fashion and beauty division for the ITA, Italian footwear exports in 2021 increased by 58.5% over the previous year. “In 2021, footwear accounted for 7.8% of all exports in the Italian fashion and beauty categories,” Guida told FN. This In comparison to 2020 where it was 6.4%, and in 2019 it was 5.8%. So, we’ve seen steady growth in this category despite the pandemic.”
As for Extraitastyle.com, Guida told FN that there are 28 Italian footwear brands presently on the platform, and has been one of its fastest growing categories. These brands include DIS (Design Italian Shoes), Hevò, Fratelli Borgili, Asiana, and Lancio.
Guida also noted that buyers are taking notice of the site, as it has gained 5,600 new retailer visitors to the site since January, with over 10,000 unique clicks since the beginning of the year.
Guida added, “This is all extremely positive news, and the Italian Trade Agency is proud to lend our full support to our extraordinary Italian brands and our U.S. retailer friends to help them grow and do even more business together.”