Fashion Speaks Italian on Hearst Magazines

M. M. (October 03, 2009)
The Italian Trade Commission and Hearst Magazines announced a new promotional campaign for Italian Fashion in the US. Six portfolios of photos featuring Italian Brands will be published by Hearst throughout the year while 150 specialized retail stores in America will be selling Italian fashion products with the support of the ITC. Hearst has also organized a photo contest for its readers with a 100.000$ award. Who is going to portray the “best Italian scene”?

 On September 28 the Italian Trade Commission invited the most preeminent representatives of the American and Italian fashion world and of the Italian community in New York to a cocktail reception held at the Hearst Tower in Midtown Manhattan. On the occasion, the President of Hearst Magazines, Cathleen Black, announced a new promotional campaign dedicated to Italian Fashion sponsored by the North American Division of the ITC and its director Aniello Musella.

“If you speak fashion, you speak Italian”: this is the name of the campaign born from the new partnership between the six fashion magazines owned and distributed by Hearst and the Italian Trade Commission.

The aim? To promote a modern, but,  at the same time, traditional image of Italian style in the United States, the country that more than any other has shown its passion for it even during the recent deep economic crisis.

“Hearst is proud to make ‘Made in Italy’ a very successful promotional campaign. In the last 10 years the Hearst Corporation magazines have published more than 35.000 editorial pages showcasing Italian products and locations, not to mention the almost 5.000 advertisement pages bought by Italian companies in our magazines. We thank all of you and especially our guests from the Italian Trade Commission for making the business of ‘Made in Italy’ so pleasant for us and for all Americans. The country you represent has been improving our lifestyle in many ways for decades. Thank you again”, said Mrs. Black to the many people attending the presentation.

Among them, Umberto Vattani, General Director of the Italian Trade Commission; the Italian Minister of Economic Development Claudio Scajola; the Consul General of Italy in New York Francesco Maria Talò; the Ambassador of Italy to the United Nations Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata; the Deputy-Consul Marco Alberti; the former Presidents of the Italian - American Chamber of Commerce Berardo Paradiso (today President of the  Italian American Committee on Education) and Alberto Comini; the Director of the Italian Tourism Board Riccardo Strano; the founder of Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo' Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli Marimo'; and dozens of Italian reporters and journalists working in the New York area.

It was Mrs. Valerie Salembier, senior vice president and publisher of  Harper's Bazar, who was designated to officially present and explain the terms of the campaign to the personalities and the dozens of Italian and American journalists attending. Mainly directed to general consumers and to specialized retail stores situated throughout the United States, the project is not the first one born from the collaboration between ITC and the magazine chain, as Mrs. Salembier explained: “Hearst Magazines have been working with the Italian Trade Commission for the last thirty years. We, like no other media company, understand its commitment to bring Italian Fashion and lifestyle to American consumers and retailers. The Magazines that are part of this special promotion all have a very strong relationship with their readers, who trust the editorial qualities of Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, Town&Country , The Oprah, and  Marie Claire".

As far as the part of the campaign addressed to the general public, it will mainly be based on periodical publications of an Italian fashion portfolio in all six magazines published by Hearst. “ICE will run five absolutely beautiful 16 page photographic portfolios in five of our magazines. Each one is totally different and contains specific images to match our magazines’ readers. The portfolios have been shot in various locations in Italy, including the Spanish Steps in Rome. Harper’s Bazaar’s runway report will run an accessories portfolio; Town&Country will run jewelry in November, Esquire will run a men’s fashion portfolio in January and Harper's Bazaar will run a women’s fashion portfolio in January. Marie Claire will do one in February. They will feature both high level and middle level brands and are meant to inspire the readers of our magazines and introduce them to the latest fashions in Italian style.

The other part of the promotional campaign will be focused on the involvement of retail stores. “We have chosen 150 of the best retail stores in the most important cities in America.
They have a very clear understanding of the quality and the luxury that Italian companies offer their customers. Their part of the program will occur over a 2 week period in which we will give them directions on how they can generate local press coverage and attract new customers in their stores. They will receive all our help. Our magazines will contribute and assist them in the decoration of their ‘Italian’ store-windows and offer them other collateral advertising material. Initiatives to show them our support will be numerous: not only will they be invited to the Hearst Tower on October 14 for a fabulous and exciting lunch event with VIPs and the Press, but next spring we will also host 10 events in retail stores across the country to demonstrate to these retailers that the Italian Trade Commission appreciates their commitment to sell Italian Brands”.

Mrs. Valerie Salembier also announced a new contest related to the campaign which can be found on Hearst’s website: The company will award 100.000 $ to a photo portraying a “very special Italian moment”, chosen among the thousands expected to be sent by the editors of the magazines and the Italian Trade Commission.

After the screening of the official video of the campaign featuring the Italian top model Eva Riccobono, Mrs. Valerie Salembier handed over the microphone to Umberto Vattani, General Director of the Italian Trade Commission.

A true gentleman, he did not forget to introduce the public to the beautiful actress who participated in last year’s campaign, Isabella Rossellini, who was also attending the event. “Seeing Isabella reminds me of a legend. It says that when a baby is born, an angel kisses him. Depending on the area of the body kissed, the baby will develop a particular talent. I really don’t know how many times the angel kissed Isabella”.

From a natural beauty to the unique charm of our country, Mr. Vattani showed he was proud to represent Italian style throughout the world: “In Italy La Vita è Bella is not only the title of a movie but it is factual reality. Our country offers us all kinds of beauty, from beauties that nature gives us to the supreme works of art conceived and made by our geniuses and artists. It is said that God gave the Italians the talents to discover the sixth sense. From Michelangelo and Leonardo, to contemporary Versace and Armani, they all found it in aesthetics”.

His speech was immediately followed by Minister Scajola’s statements: “I am here to express my compliments both to Hearst and the Italian Trade Commission for their important effort in promoting Italian Fashion in the United States: they are fulfilling this goal with extraordinary commitment and elegance. The ITC could not choose a better company than Hearst and its magazines to conduct this promotional campaign that we are inaugurating today. (…)I am certain that this promotional campaign will contribute to the enhancement of the exports from Italy to the US, but first of all it will serve the purpose of making the quality of our goods known”.

The Fashion industry, as the Minister pointed out, is not the only sector of excellence that our country is proud of. We are among the first in the world in the food, technological, chemical, aeronautical sectors, but it is through the fashion world that foreigners can better understand the kind of life experienced in Italy, our daily “Vacanza Romana”.

However, Minister Scajola’s main expectation from this and future campaigns is foster a constantly growing and enhanced collaboration between the citizens of the two countries in the many different sectors of expertise they have in common. The US and Italy have always been close historically and culturally speaking and as he finally pointed out: “Italy’s relationship with the United States has always been one of friendship. Our peoples have always been close. On September 11 2001 the whole world said that everybody is American. We Italians still say nowadays that we are all Americans, and with them we can build a stronger bond for both the present and future of our two countries”.


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