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Proenza Schouler to Show in Florence

Proenza Schouler designers to be special guests at Pitti W in Florence in June.

MILAN — Proenza Schouler is to make its European debut at Florence, Italy-based trade fair Pitti W in June.

This story first appeared in the April 8, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The label, launched in New York in 2002 by designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, will stage “a special event” at a “unique location” in the renaissance city to celebrate the opening of the spring summer 2010 season, organizers of Pitti Immagine said Tuesday. The pair follow Giambattista Valli and Diane von Furstenberg as the special guest at the women’s pre-collection expo.

Hernandez declined to specify the nature of the event, although he excluded a runway show.

“It’s going to be a surprise,” Hernandez said, adding the event would take place at an undisclosed venue on the outskirts of Florence. “All I can say is that we’re going transport an American vibe to Florence….We’re working on creating something really exciting that hopefully the city has not seen before but it’s not going to be a ‘show’ show.”

With pre-collections often generating around 80 percent of seasonal sales, Hernandez said Pitti’s invitation provided Proenza Schouler with a platform to reach a wider international audience; although he ruled out decamping permanently to Milan or Paris from New York, where the label stages its runway.

The fourth edition of Pitti W, which runs concurrently with men’s fair Pitti Uomo, takes place June 16-19.

Also at Pitti, Hernandez and McCollough will present the next issue of A-magazine, which they are the first Americans to guest curate.

“It’s almost finished,” Hernandez said. “We’ve been working on it for the last six months.”

Former guest curators of the biannual magazine include Yohji Yamamoto, Haider Ackermann, Jun Takahashi, Veronique Branquinho, Kris Van Assche and Riccardo Tisci.