January 20th, 2016
Artigiani Milanesi, known for its handcrafted Italian cashmere garments, brought its first pop-up shop for 2016 and its first Hawaii trunk show to The MODERN Honolulu over the weekend to showcase men's and women’s designs from its winter collection of 100 percent Italian cashmere coats, ponchos, jackets, sweaters, cardigans and dresses.
Shoppers were welcome to try on samples with owners Rebecca and Davide Bizzarri on hand for measuring and custom fittings for the bespoke garments by the brand founded in 1959 in Milan, known for its high-quality knits.
Davide absorbed the craft while sitting at his mother's feet as she worked in a factory where women were taught the artform, post World War II, as Italy rebuilt itself and the knitwear industry led the Italian renaissance in postwar fashion.
Two years ago, the couple moved the company and its facilities, including vintage hand-operated looms, to Bowen Island, Canada, for new opportunities in North America.
Among their aims is to open a store in Maui to feature their cashmere scarves (about $75 to $250), jackets ($800 to $900) and other apparel.
Rebecca said the idea is to have a space where people can see how a sweater is made. Shoppers will be able to buy instantly from stock or opt to use the company's made-to-measure service.
In an era where cheap, machine-made knits have come to be expected, it is so wonderful to be able to see and feel their exquisite creations and know they have the support of the handful of people around the globe who still appreciate fine craftsmanship.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.