Do you know how much a ticket to Rome costs right now? At least $1300. I was there this time last year, and unfortunately paid a LOT more, while my super lucky brother is currently there studying, but more like living la dolce vita gallivanting down Via Veneto in Rome, or pausing in a cafe for an espresso break and some fabulous shopping near the Spanish Steps.
Speaking of shopping…it’s absolutely one of my favorite things to do while in Italy, and although having the advantage of living in New York City I have all of the brands at my disposal, there’s really nothing like fashion, Italian style. If you buy it in Italy, or you buy it here, you still get the heritage, the authenticity, the quality, cutting edge design, and individuality that these products tend to exemplify. Since airfare may be out of the question, you can still take advantage via Shop Italy NYC, a month-long promotion from the Ministry of Economic Development and organized by the the Italian Trade Commission which offers in-store events, restaurant experiences, and promotions bundled together by neighborhood to invite customers and visitors to be part of the Italian experience. Neighborhoods with groupings of Italian stores and restaurants included Madison (twice), Meatpacking District, and for this last week, the evenings of July 6th and 7th, SoHo. Partnering stores that offer everything from a glass of prosecco to discounts or gift with a purchase include Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emporio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Versace, and many more.
For an extensive list of the events, both past and present, chronological by date, click here. This week, some of the highlights in SoHo that I just can’t pass up include:
- Alessi – Shop Karim Rashid at Alessi Soho. 20% discount on all Karim Rashid designed Alessi products and introduction of the new Rashid designed watch: JAK. Signed by Karim Rashid (While supplies last).
- DOM Interiors/Valcucine Showroom – Sustainability At Its Best – A Look at New Products. Wine reception. 15% discount for Shop Italy customers on selected items.
- Kartell – Magic Garden. Preview of the New Outdoor collection designed by Phillippe Starck, made by Kartell.
- La Perla – New Shape Couture. Cocktail party and model presentation.
- Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti – Fall 2011 Collection “Sneak-Peek”. Cocktail party.
[Shop Italy NYC Madison Avenue Video]
I stopped by the VIP hospitality tent on Madison Avenue & 63rd to get my bearings and meet some of the Italian Trade Commission staff and enthusiasts. A stop in Geox proved that shoes truly can be comfortable and stylish after all, for men, women, and children, while Tincati Milano played to the sleek, sophisticated tailored clothing desires, offering their biggest discount ever of 30% off. A handsome gentleman with a healthy pour handed me a perfect glass of prosecco in Etro, while I left nose marks on the glass after oohing and ahhing over the jewelry, handbags, and accessories. Last I took in Furla for some of the best leather bags around, and Brics for an original approach to luggage. Although I was geographically planted on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the vibe was nothing other than hospitably Italian.
If you find yourself in SoHo this Weds or Thurs from 5-8pm and would like to check out all that the Shop Italy NYC has to offer, refer to the Fashion Italian Style website, follow them on twitter @ShopItalyNYC, or stop by the SoHo VIP hospitality tent at the corner of Spring and Greene Streets to get started. And here’s a little sneak peek of what you can expect at Kartell SoHo’s Magic Garden, along with two of my favorite items sold there. Time to do lo shopping!