CFDA Program Pairs U.S. Designers with Italian Artisans

by Kristen Heinzinger

Ercole Botto Poala, Gigi Burris, Steven Kolb, and Ryan Roche

What’s bringing designers Gigi Burris and Ryan Roche, the CFDA, and Italian artisans together? The designers have been tapped to experience Italian craftsmanship at its purest as part of The Fabric Program, a partnership between textile trade fair Milano Unica and the CFDA. The initiative will give the two firsthand experience working with Italy’s production mills with hopes to amp up awareness of the “Made In Italy” aesthetic and techniques. Roche and Burris will work closely with artisanal merchants to help create a fabric that they’ll incorporate in their forthcoming Spring/Summer ’17 collections, shown in New York and Milan. A menswear designer will be selected in the coming weeks.

“Italy is so well-known for fabrics. It has multigenerational companies, and something that has so much richness and heritage,” Burris told us. “We really feel like that aligns with what we do, which is this romance and this heritage, but in a modern way. The craftsmanship of the hats and our local manufacturing are things that I take great pride in. To be able to take the best quality materials and produce them locally…it’s going to be the top, all the way.”

“A core tenet of the CFDA is to provide our designer members with unique opportunities to strengthen and evolve their business,” said Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, in a statement. “Our partnership with Milano Unica is a perfect example of this as it gives emerging American designers the chance to create custom fabrics with Italy’s best production houses.”

Check out the Milano Unica Fair at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC through tomorrow, January 26.


Burak Cakmak of Parsons, Italo Zucchelli of Calvin Klein, Katharine Zarrella of Fashion Unfiltered, Josh Peskowitz of Magasin, and Joseph Abboud of Men’s Wearhouse Inc.

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