Prato, Italy

Travel Notes

Posted on 30. Nov, 2012 by in Lifestyle - General, Men's Fashion, Travel, Uncategorized

I spent a week in northern Italy recently, as I normally do two to four times a year.  This one was devoted to developing new products for the fall 2013 season.  Sandra Santi is my agent in Italy.  She’s based in Prato, a very nice town immediately northwest of Florence.  Sandra oversees the production of our products made in Italy as well as representing our best Italian shirt fabric mill.  It’s always exciting and challenging to put together our new collection.  We want to give our customers what they want and what they’ve come to expect from us.  We also want to show them something new and move the look and feel with the times and with their changing lifestyles. 

A great many of our customers dress more casually than they did five years ago.  Dress codes have relaxed, many people work from home and many of our entrepreneur/business owner customers can often dress the way they like.  The trick of late has been to put forth new, relaxed looks that still reflect the quality and craft that people expect from our brand.  They want to look well-dressed just as they always have, so we have to start with the best materials and high level craftsmanship.  There are a lot of new dyeing and washing processes that then give the garments a more broken-in casual look without taking away the obvious quality of the piece.  I live in a very casual college town, so I love the new washed styles.  I feel well-dressed, but not over-dressed for my environment. 

For fall, we’ve greatly expanded our selection of garment washed shirts.  They’re made in the same factory as our dressier shirts, but they’re very jeans/khakis appropriate and relaxed.  We have done the same thing with sweaters, pants, soft sport coats and knits.  We even have washed leather belts to complete the look.  It’s all very easy to wear and still based in classic, timeless styling, but it’s an important look for today’s lifestyle.

At the other end, we continue to look for luxury fabrics and items for when you really feel like dressing up a bit more.  TESTA is our favorite fabric mill.  They are a primary supplier to most of the best luxury brands and we’re very proud to feature their special fabrics in our woven shirt collection.  The designs are beautiful and the fabric finishes are luxurious.  We work pretty far in advance, so you won’t see this collection in the stores until August, but I’m very enthused about it and it’s fun to tell you what we’re up to next.

Finally, go to Italy if you haven’t done so already.  The people are wonderful, there are endless things to see and Tuscan food is to die for, in my opinion.  Come to think of it, Tuscan wine goes down pretty easily as well.  Don’t try to move around too much as relaxing and enjoying where you are is the best way to see Italy.  You can always go back.

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