An exclusive Italian multi brand shop, ALTOITALIANO hosted its grand opening for a showroom and boutique A1+ (Aoneplus) off of north La Brea Avenue Sunday, October 11th.
Hand-made artisanal 100% Italian products are being brought to the U.S. by ALTOITALIANO, a company on a mission to spread Italian culture through its fashionable merchandise.
With Paolo Galli, a former director for a line of Giorgio Armani USA, as the president and co-founder for ALTOITALIANO, the idea to bring Italian made merchandise to the U.S. has been successful. Having met Ambra Zavatta marketing a music show, they then partnered up with alongside Riccardo Rizzi, director of various high-end American brands, and transformed this concept into a real company. Ambra is now the vice president and Riccardo the director of the showroom and boutique.
With special guests including fashion photographer Valentina Socci and trade commissioner for the Italian Trade Agency Florindo Blandolino, the night was filled with supporters and admirers of Italian high quality products.
What makes ALTOITALIANO different from other Italian fashion companies and brands?
ALTOITALIANO is a global idea that works only with made in Italy official products. The difference that sets us apart from everyone else is that it is not concerning the fashion style in Italy but artisanal products produced in Italy. We basically look for companies that produce directly; for example, artisans or designers with direct production in Italy. All the products here are absolutely 100% made in Italy and this is the main concept of our company. This ultimately is what makes us special because we are the only show room working this way in Los Angeles and also for the most part in New York as well. In the east coast you can find a lot of showrooms that work with Italian fashion but with a selection made differently. For instance, some of them look at Italian brands or Italian style but will have their production in China or other European countries. We on the other hand are exclusively made in Italy. This way we can give our American customers the possibility to avoid going to Italy just to follow the exhibition and trade directly with Italian companies that can be quite difficult sometimes. We are a sort of bridge between the U.S. markets and become somewhat a direct commercial office for these companies.
Paolo: What did you do before ALTOITALIANO and how did that lead you to form the concept for ALTOITALIANO?
I was a former director of a line of Giorgio Armani. We were based in New York and were specifically working for Giorgio Armani USA that was a separate division. This is where I met Riccardo, my business partner, who was first a customer of mine. He is also a former director of different American shops. We started this idea 6 years ago but as a freelance company doing the same thing we are now doing today. It definitely worked out and today is our grand opening of our new shop here in Los Angeles. We are introducing our winter collection and have a showroom upstairs that we will introduce as our spring/summer collection later this year. Each season we will introduce new styles and brands because there are a lot of Italian designers that would like to be sold out here in the US. We would like to give a service that is absolutely inspired by the big brands but is accessible to everyone.
What has been the most difficult part of starting your own company of high quality artisanal Italian products?
We work in Italy as a scout of brands. It is difficult to start a business in Italy. It is however more difficult to propose an Italian idea outside of Italy. For instance, it is not enough to just find a good handbag. You have to find a serious company with a good production and with products that have the right prices because of international custom fees and taxes. Before taking in a new product or designer to sell, we have to take all this into consideration just to make a decision. This is the most difficult thing to do: to scout for companies and products.
What made you choose Los Angeles as the location for your company?
Los Angeles is like the entire north side of Italy. It is a big city with a small town feel. I see here a good ambiance for new companies. There are a lot of Italian inspired brands and people with admiration for Italy. New York is the city for the big international brands but Los Angeles is like a small town of 18 million people. You can find a nice shop with nice designs like you would in a small town but LA is not small at all. The main idea for our company is not to sell luxury but to sell culture.