We all know the allure that all things European have for most American consumers, especially when it comes to certain materials and design practices. It doesn’t take much effort to find European companies which also sell their products in the USA— there are probably thousands of them—but what is rarer to find is American brands that use European partners for some of their production process. The results, however, can be stunning, so if you are looking into creating or expanding a manufacturing company, this is definitely an option to consider. Here are some examples:
Taft is a small US-based company that sells beautiful handmade shoes and boots. The products are designed in the States by the founding couple, Kory and Mal, and are then handcrafted and hand-painted in Spain and Portugal, two countries that have a tradition of leather crafting that goes back centuries. The products are then sold primarily in the US at the company’s three stores—two in New York City and one in Dallas, Texas—as well as through their website. The results are absolutely splendid and range from simple, classic styles to exquisitely intricate, patterned designs.
Love Sock Company
Another footwear brand that combines American design with European manufacturing is Love Sock Company, which makes organic cotton socks in all sorts of patterns and colors, with a heavy emphasis on vibrant hues and unique designs. As well as using organic, natural fibers almost exclusively, the company also claims to employ “happy people with fair wages and normal working hours”—which, as they point out, is unfortunately not the norm in clothes manufacturing. Apparently, they also weave their socks with 200 needles, making these products the sock equivalent of Egyptian cotton bed sheets.
As a company founded in the States by a Hungarian-born and Hungarian-trained designer, couture handbags brand Judith Leiber is truly international. The handbags, which are made in a huge range of novelty designs and covered in semi-precious stones, are designed in New York. A trained sculptor creates a plaster model for the bags, which is then shipped to Florence, Italy, to be refined and made into a brass stamp. The bags are then manufactured using Italian leather, Austrian crystals, and other stones, precious materials from around the world. It’s no wonder that it can take up to two years for each model to go from conception to finished product! The wait is worth it, however, as these are some of the most original, high-quality couture handbags on the market.
Going back to the world of textiles, another small American company that utilizes European designs—specifically Italian ones—is Stamattina, a New York-based manufacturer of bed linens. The founders of Stamattina import Italian fabrics, which are famed for their high quality and classic designs, and use them to manufacture bed linens in their two workrooms in New York. This seems like a great way of utilizing a well-established foreign fabric-making tradition while keeping the manufacturing in the company owners’ home country—another rarity in today’s textile industry.