Interview with Ms Laura La Corte

Ms Laura La Corte
Ms Laura La Corte
Head, Consumer Goods – Fashion Accessories and Leisure Time
The Italian Trade Commission (ICE)
The Italian Trade Commission (ICE)

That’s fine. Can we know how has ICE girded itself to promote ‘Made in Italy’ across the globe?

ICE - Italian Trade Commission was established in 1926. It has a long history and therefore a long experience in promoting Italian products – and the Italian image – in the world. Thanks to this tradition, ICE has also served as a model for similar organizations created by other countries in Europe and other continents.

May be such younger organizations have surpassed the master. In any case, we are proud of our history, and work day after day to improve our performance and offer the Italian companies, willing to internationalize their operations, our support and assistance practically in all parts of the world.

As for the promotion of the textile-apparel sector, it has been a traditional field of activity for ICE, and has seen a great development starting from the Seventies. Some of today’s major Italian stylists, for instance, took part in fashion shows organized by ICE in countries like the United States and Japan. It’s a tradition that ICE keeps on, and in 2005 we began to promote a new generation of stylists. Who knows? Maybe among them there are the leading stylists of the future.

Needless to say, in promoting such an important sector, ICE works in close cooperation with the Industrialists Associations, the Italian Fashion Chamber, the organizers of the Italian sectorial fairs, and also with the Regions, which often support the companies operating within their territory.

Talking particularly about Fashion industry, Ms Corte; Italy has always been high regarded for high value fashion and innovative trend setter. What all are success factors behind this?

First of all, the creativity of the Italian stylists, and then the professionalism of the industry.

A new generation of fashion designers is growing and promises to keep alive and renew the prestige of the famous and older ones – Armani, Ferrè, Missoni, Valentino, Versace: to name, in alphabetical order, just some of them. As far as ICE-Italian Trade Commission is concerned, as I already mentioned, in 2005 it started to promote new Italian stylists on the Japanese market. In September 2009 a successful presentation of six new brands has been organized in Tokyo. It has been the fourth time, and we plan to renew and extend this kind of initiative in other countries.

In general terms, the Made in Italy is experiencing a great evolution. The word luxury tends to be put aside, in favour of other factors, like the price/performance ratio and a major attention to the ‘glamour day wear’, i.e. the daily elegance round-the-clock. Luxury in Italy is still important, but some sort of ethical concreteness is gaining ground, and so consumers begin to prefer and buy garments for their real value and not only, or mainly, for their label. To sum-up, Italian fashion mixes together creativity, concreteness and good taste.

Today a brand is perceived and appreciated as new and of good quality only if it is very innovative in concept, materials, and functionality. Therefore designers and industries, while maintaining their role as trend setters, have also to consider the changes in the taste of the consumers. I am confident that the Italian creativity and the professionalism of the people in the industry will help them to win the challenge.

And, do you think there is a room for betterment in select industry in context of techno advancement and skills? If so, what role is bestowed upon ICE for this?

All over the world the textiles and fashion industries are undergoing a dramatic, revolutionary change. It involves all productive segments and all countries.

I am doubtful about the concept of “mature sector” applied to the textiles. In the last decades we have seen the continuous creation of new blends, and therefore of new fabrics. Thirty, forty years ago, the panorama of fabrics was quite simple: cotton, wool, linen, silk, synthetic and artificial fibres… Now we have a lot of new fabrics, because if we join together – say – wool and linen, or cotton and wool, or silk and cotton, we obtain literally new fabrics.

From this point of view, which regards more the creativity side, the improvement and development of the industry is a daily and continuous experience. On the apparel prodution side, the development of the textiles machinery allows new – and, in some cases, totally new – ways to produce garments.

Therefore the answer to your question is positive. Of course, ICE-Italian Trade Commission is not involved in this process, but can and will assist and support the Italian companies in their efforts to promote their production in the foreign markets.

Published on: 09/11/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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