FLORENCE — Accessories and fledgling apparel lines took center stage at Pitti W, the women’s wear trade show that showcases capsule and pre-collections.
Turnout remained flat, with 4,400 visitors attending the exhibition, which showcased 80 brands at a pavilion on via Valfonda.
Gherardini, considered the oldest existing handbag brand in Italy, celebrated its 125th anniversary with a static exhibition featuring archive styles, some of which had been reworked for fall, such as the Ghe bag, a Seventies style done in crocodile, calf leather and lamb’s fur. The classic model, with a distinctive double-barrel fastening, was just one of many styles aimed at reinvigorating the brand. Lorenzo Braccialini, who bought Gherardini three years ago, said his focus is to refresh the brand and bolster the label’s existing 10 signature stores.
“We plan to open 20 boutiques in China within five years,” he said. “By the end of this year, we hope to sign licenses for clothing and shoes, too.”
New at Kartell were the demi-sofa boots. Seemingly inspired by Pierre Cardin, the molded rubber ankle boots have a futuristic wedge heel and were showcased in black, gray and indigo blue. At a flanking stand, Henry Beguelin offered its vintage take on boots and suede coats with shearling collars in earth tones.
Italian shoe brand Muse unveiled its debut line of Sixties-inspired printed ponyskin moccasins and leather slip-ons with wool linings. Retail prices start from around 200 euros, or $270.
Highlights at Italian hat brand Lika, which next season aims to enter the U.S., included felt cloche-style hats inspired by Twenties haircuts, headbands with soft glittery bows and lace-lined trilbys that made a nod toward veiled hats from the Thirties.
Meanwhile, young designers boosted the fair’s offering with capsule apparel collections.
Italian designer Mauro Gasperi unveiled a line of functional outerwear, knits and lightweight jersey dresses, along with fine mohair sweaters in camel and black softening tailoring separates like electric blue shirts and gray fitted pants.
In only its second season, new dress brand 241 unveiled a collection of 40 printed jersey styles inspired by vintage scarves. The label is owned by the Crespi fabric company, and all the dresses are produced from its textiles. Retail prices start from around 100 euros, or $135.
New Italian label Jan D’Arc unveiled its capsule collection of seven military-inspired coats designed by young designer Ben Almagor. Cotton styles feature frayed cuffs and seams, while wool jackets are accessorized with silver chains and military regalia.
Sophia Kokosalaki’s former design assistant, Giuseppe Fanelli, introduced his line, dubbed Unravel, offering silk tulle dresses in dusty tones that will retail from 150 euros, or about $200.
Underwear brand Les Maçons Danseurs launched a line of men’s innerwear basics, retailing at 20 euros, or around $26.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast