Industry Insiders: Francesco Belcaro, Euro Star

Francesco Belcaro (of events/promotions concern Made in Italy) comes to America, meets the right Austrian chick, wakes up a top-tier New York scenester, works the door at the Box, and shakes hands with his 13,000 closest mates. Point of Origin: I was not supposed to be in the nightlife scene. I have a real estate company and an event planning company. The event planning company is Made In Italy. We work with a lot of big Italian companies in the city, and they sponsor us. When we started, we wanted to market ourselves and create a buzz for both companies to get more clients. We decided to create this night called Made In Italy, and we created a mailing list. I personally know a lot of people in the fashion business because of my family’s company, and my partner [Francesco Mo] knows a lot of finance people and entrepreneurs. So we started to do this party, not for money, but to market ourselves. It turned out that the night was cool, and more sponsors wanted to be a part of it and have their products known to our mailing list, which is over 13,000 people right now — people that we know personally and shake hands with. So my partner and I decided to get involved in nightlife.

How did you end up working the door of the Box? I was good friends with Cordell [Lochin] at the Box because our girlfriends were friends, so we used to spend a lot of time together. I wanted one of my sponsors, Peroni beer, to be at the Box, because it’s the best nightclub in the city. So Cordell said, “If you want this beer at the club, you have to help me out,” so I did the door Mondays there. I was super busy, but with our relationship and my respect for the business they had been doing … I decided to do the door. Peroni wanted to get into the US market, and everyone understands that New York is a window to that market. They also see me associated with the cool, trendy places in New York. They hire me as a kind of marketing guy to tell them where Peroni should be. Made in Italy has been around five years now. We hire promoters, bring DJs and artists from Italy. Usually we do our party twice a month and change venue.

How have things changed since you came on the scene? My first year here was probably the most impressive one. New York was there to be discovered by me. I don’t know if it was cool or not, but I remember one club, Spa, where I met this girl from Austria who had been living here forever. I don’t know why, but she just liked me. She took me under her wing and took me everywhere. I remember I didn’t know the nightlife scene. It’s the first time someone takes me, and we get free bottles, and I meet all the models. We arrived by limo, there were famous singers there, and I remember when I woke up I was like, “Was that a dream or what?” After a few months, I felt like a New Yorker. I grew up in Venice, I went to university in Madrid, I did my masters in Paris, I lived in London and in South America before I came here. I want to say that New York is the only city that made me feel at home right away, not like a foreigner. You just feel home as soon as you get here.

Are there any other places that you like? I was in Moscow recently and it was unbelievable. The way they partied. It was probably like when there was Studio 54. That’s what I see. New York is changing, so you might have to lose something that was part of the character of the city and the nightlife. I am still fresh here, and you know the past here. New York is always evolving. The older guys they remember New York at a time, but now the younger guys are coming up with energy and will create something, too. It will be different. New York is a city that welcomes different cultures and gets the best out of them. That is very hard to find anywhere else. The nightlife in New York is not going anywhere; it’s just changing. This is a transitional moment. New York is one of those cities you copy. That’s what makes it so special. We copy [things from New York] and bring it over [to other places].

What are you doing tonight? We’re doing a party for 2,000 people at the Pier.