ITALY-BOUND: Georgina Chapman is bringing Marchesa’s embroidered and billowing evening gowns to Salerno, a one-hour drive city south of Naples.

The American brand is restaging the spring 2020 collection presented by appointment during New York Fashion Week as part of the inaugural “Evening Dresses Show” fair to be held in the Italian city on Nov. 22 and 23.

Hosted at the Stazione Marittima building designed by late architect and designer Zaha Hadid on the first night of the fair, the runway show will be flanked by a static exhibition of the latest Marchesa Notte collection in the hall of the building. As reported, Marchesa’s cofounder Keren Craig exited the company in June.

The Evening Dresses Show fair, focused on eveningwear, is organized by the Italian Fashion Talents Association, or IFTA, which promotes young designers and small- and medium-size fashion enterprises based in Southern Italy.

“The event has been four years in the making until we found the perfect formula. It will be surprising given it’s the first time in Italy a trade show is dedicated to eveningwear but not related to bridal,” said Roberto Jannelli, chief executive officer and founder of IFTA.

The show will provide 29 talents, young and established, a platform to present their collections to international and local buyers. To this end, IFTA has secured the support of ICE, Italy’s trade agency, to promote the event among 35 international buyers coming from the U.S., Russia, Northern Europe and Turkey, among others.

“We don’t usually support inaugural editions of a show,” explained Fabio Casciotti, director of ICE Milano, “But the fact that it focuses on a niche and very interesting segment of the market motivated us to.” Casciotti added it will be much easier to track the real interest of buyers joining the fair compared to larger platforms.

The executive declined to provide details on ICE’s financial support for the event, but explained the initiative is part of the trade agency’s “Export Sud [South]” funding program, which has pledged to allocate 100 million euros to internationalization projects across six years.

Eighty percent of the labels on show hail from Southern Italy, including Alcoolique, a brand established in 2011 by Rocco Adriano Galluccio focused on young cocktail frocks; Sartoria 74, which is known for its women’s tuxedos, and Neapolitan bridal and occasion dressmaker Maison Signore, while additional four labels come from other parts of the country.

On the closing night, IFTA will also assign its Awards to young fashion students coming from Italian fashion schools that were asked to develop a timeless collection. The best collection will be prized with the opportunity to produce the garments with manufacturing company Camac Srl.

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