Welcome back for the fourth installment of Making Moda, the daily journal of ModaMatters’ trip across Italy in search of great new fabrics and styles for the fall/winter season. Today we return to Martina Franca for some sight-seeing and to strike a new partnership.

You don’t need a Vespa to follow along – just follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or visit the Moda Manual for updates and highlights each day.

DAY 4 – Martina Franca and Alberobello

Ciao people,

After a quick cornetto with Nutella and coffee, we are back out in the city of Martina Franca for a second day of work.

In the morning, our local partner picked us up and took us to “I Trulli” in Alberobello.  The Trulli of Alberobello are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and unique archaeological site here in the Itrian valley within Puglia.  These mortarless stone structures are made of limestone and usually conical in shape, and date back to as early as the 14th century.

Historically i trulli have been used as as temporary shelters or storage places, with some having been permanent dwellings for small farmers.  Some of the trulli are still in use today, but the rest have become historical examples, B&B’s, mini-cafes, or shops.  It was beautiful and part of a great experience.

After our field trip, we had one last piece of business in Puglia: suiting.  The process to bring suiting (especially Italian-made) into the ModaMatters stable has been a challenge. We had spent months to research and started some very good conversations here to carry forward for our own suit line.

In the near term however, what we realized is that the “Ready to Wear” construction of suits is changing in Italy and very different from what most know as “off the rack” in America.  With softer, padless shoulders and innovative cuts, an Italian-made RTW suit can be both luxurious and well-fitting with the correct production partner behind it. With this in mind, we visited an up-and-coming brand and have started discussions to bring their RTW line to our store. We’re looking forward to being able to offer a selection of these pieces in the very near future. Stay tuned for more!

Though we picked up another suitcase to carry back our selected RTW samples, some of the t-shirts and shorts we brought still had to be left behind to enable us to bring everything back. They will not be forgotten.

Before departing Martina Franca, we made one final stop back to our partner’s office for an espresso. We talked about our hopes for the future and outlined the work that needed to be done. Even though he hadn’t officially received our order or confirmation yet, he has launched a selection of samples and displays for our showroom in Philadelphia at risk and on faith alone.  This shows the true beauty of a relationship in Italy – faith and trust.

That’s all for now. Packing up now so we can take a very very early flight back to Malpensa for some factory tours tomorrow.







 Making Moda

Day 1 – Como
Day 2 – Biella
Day 3 – Martina Franca
Day 4 – Martina Franca (Cont’d)
Day 5 – Return to Como and Biella