Italy markets its products for 1 year in Seoul

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Italy markets its products for 1 year in Seoul

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High Street Italia, a building showcasing Italian brands, fashion and lifestyle products through 2020, opened on Wednesday in Garosu-gil, southern Seoul. It was the first time the Italian Trade Agency designated a building in a foreign country solely for the promotion of Italian products. [ITALIAN TRADE AGENCY]

Seoul was chosen as the first city to host a building sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) dedicated to showcasing Italian brands and goods, the agency announced in opening High Street Italia in Garosu-gil, southern Seoul, on Wednesday.

“High Street Italia is where Koreans can find and experience beautiful Italian products brought in by local importers,” said Vincenzo Cali, trade commissioner of the ITA Seoul Office. “But it is also a tool for Italian companies to boost their presence in Korea and enter the Korean market. There are 40 brands here today imported by 16 companies.”

The building is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily except on Mondays and Tuesdays and features Italian lifestyle products including soap, shampoo and hair products, house cleaning agents, balsamic vinegar, truffles, sweets and desserts on the first floor. The second floor features musical instruments, including violins and cellos, and children’s books, as well as fashion products from emerging designers in Italy.

The third floor is an open space that can be reserved for workshops and events related to Italy, and the fourth floor is designated for cooking and wine classes.

The brands exhibited on the opening day included Carro Positano, Campari Milano, San Miniato al Monte, Pasta del Capitano, Wellrunglobal and Amaretti Virginia, some of which have pop-up stores in department stores in Korea. The brands to be exhibited at High Street Italia will change periodically, and the agency will also support B2B meetings in the space.

The current plan is for High Street Italia to remain open for one year.

“But we hope to make it more permanent than that. I think we will,” Cali said.

The facade of the building is in an aqueduct motif.

“The aqueduct is a symbol of infrastructure that stands for connection,” said Simone Carena, CEO and founder of Motoelastico and the architect who designed the front of the building and the interior. “There are remains of aqueducts in many parts of the world, including in Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa. It stands for this idea that we are bringing the water from the Colosseum, through Eurasia and to Korea.”

The opening ceremony on Wednesday was attended by nearly 200 people, including fashion designers, Korean importers and diplomats.

“During my more than 30 year of service to [the] Italian government, I have done many and various projects to promote Italian brands and companies,” said Federica Failla, ambassador of Italy to Korea. “High Street Italia is the most daring project so far.”

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]
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