A Trip to Italy with the Production and Design Teams

A trip to Italy is never a bad idea...

Our Production and Design teams spent a few days eating well, checking out a few of the Something Navy factories, looking at new suppliers, and checking on the production of SN Fall22. Keep scrolling for a recap of their time in Florence and the greater Tuscany area!

Day One

Our production and design teams arrived in Italy excited and ready to get to work. Nicole, our Senior Vice President of Product, landed in Milan and then took a train to central station and then another train to Florence where she met Junko, our Director of Design, and Mae, one of our designers, who had just landed from Istanbul. From there, they walked around Florence to fight off jet lag. See below for their shopping and restaurant picks!

A few Florence musts:

  • Luisa Via Roma, located in the heart of Florence, has been a benchmark and international institution in the luxury goods market since 1930. The store and website luisaviaroma.com, offer a world preview of the best designers and up-and-coming fashion names.

  • Santa Maria Novella. The oldest apothecary in the world was founded by monks using rose water for treatments in 1212.

  • Gucci Garden. The House debuts the Gucci Garden inside the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia, which housed the Gucci Museo.

  • La Giostra. Delicious Tuscan dishes under 16th-century brick vaults.

  • Caffè Gilli. The oldest café in Florence. Once a pastry shop and has since become one of the city’s most popular spots. The perfect place for a drink and to take in the scene.

*Travel Tip: there aren't direct flights to Florence from NYC so rather than connect, fly into Milan and take the train. It's an easy train ride!

Day Two

After a day well spent in Florence, it was time to drive out to Prato, the industrial fashion production/textile city outside of the city. From there, they met with one of our partners who operates as a liaison for Something Navy with our factories and handles quality control and some other important aspects.

First up, our team met with a new supplier that specializes in slinky woven fabrics, cotton poplin, and denim. Followed by a stop at a very modern sweater factory with tons of different yarn options and eco-conscious color dying capabilities.

The team then stopped at the fabric mill Manteco, which specializes in recycling. We are using many of their fabrics for Fall22 and are excited to partner with such a leader in sustainability. They visited their research facility for Fall23 as well. 

After a morning of visits, lunch was the appropriate next move. The team had lunch at a homemade pasta restaurant serving all fresh ingredients. The last few stops of the day included looking at shirt fabrics and checking on fall production fabric and fitting specs to make sure the pieces will fit properly. After a long day of factory visits, the team had dinner at a famous sandwich shop and apertivos!

Day Three

The team spent their final day factory hopping! First on the list was a factory that produces towels and sheets. They watched the process as the workers cut the sheets by hand before they were sewn.

Next up was a factory we are working with for sweaters. The team checked on Fall22 production and explored ideas for the future. Junko and our partner Sandra discussed the fit and technicality of the cable knit widths while Mae tried on the new sweater specs, updating and revising the design to perfect the fit.

The team then headed to a factory that makes the perfect blankets and ponchos, for a look into the production of our blankets for Fall22. This factory also specializes in recycling and repurposing and walked the team through their production process.

  • About the process: the raw materials are first broken down from recycled sweaters (and new materials) and are separated by material. From there, the materials are mixed to make new colors and yarns in a recipe-like format. The material then goes through a carding machine three times and is then spun into yarn. The yarn is then waxed on a special machine and goes on a loom where the fabric is woven. If there is a special design it goes on a jacquard loom. If it has fringe it goes to a fringe machine!

They wrapped up their last night with a dreamy dinner at a Tuscan Villa close to the factories!