By  on August 20, 2009


The mounting evidence that modern men prefer their tailored clothing relaxed and refined has struck a chord at Luigi Bianchi Mantova, which is banking on a new range of trim, superlight sport coats for the Las Vegas market.

Best known for more classic suits made in its 100-year-old factory in Mantova, Italy, the brand has found increasing traction with its thin-fit, 7-inch drop suits — a trend that inspired execs to produce the new sport coat range. Sold under the Luigi Bianchi Mantova label, the new coats are typified by the Dream Jacket ($695 at retail), a coat without lining made in wrinkle-free wool that fits like a sweater. Lighter still is the Shirt Jacket ($495), a similarly snug cotton coat that has no interior components and comes in classic white-and-blue stripes, checkered prints and solids. For the guy who likes some meat to his sport coats, Bianchi offers the Master ($945), a lightly constructed, half-canvas coat that is slimmer through the waist and only 29 1/2 inches long.


Buoyed by the success of Vintage, the contemporary collection of slim-fit wovens based on prints and patterns from the shirtmaker’s archives, Gitman is launching a venture aimed at the contemporary market: Gitman Blue.

Think of Blue as a compromise between the uptown styles of the main label and its downtown sibling, Vintage. Blue’s style is old-school but, unlike Vintage, is not based on archival fabrics; the fit, too, is somewhere between the other two collections. Headed to Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s this fall, Gitman Blue’s spring collection features an expanded range of updated classics such as a thin-weight oxford cloth in solids and university stripes, a chambray program, as well as a range of micro-checks in poplin. Shirts retail for $165. Gitman also produced a line of thin, Seventies-inspired neckwear under the Blue label including pieces in wool and Mogador silk.


Since its launch in the Nineties, Joseph Abboud sportswear has been synonymous with two things: earth tones and texture. And while Modextil, the new licensee for the brand’s sportswear, plans to honor that heritage, the company also vowed to update the collection’s look.

That means less focus on muddy colors and the introduction of the color black as well as bright tones — both of which have long been verboten at the brand.

“We need to bring it a little more to today,” said Archie Etcovitch, Modextil’s vice president of product development, who oversees design at both Joseph Abboud and house brand Report.

Beyond color palette, the update will be articulated through details, as in the sport shirts, which are getting the contrast treatment on cuffs and collars, as well as updated fabrications, like the waxed cotton of the M65 jacket, the expanded linen program, the cobblestone cotton of the signature chino and a new replenishment program of stretch wovens.


Runways reiterated the importance of gossamer-weight outerwear for spring and clearly Allegri got the memo. The brand, which is making its first round on the American trade show circuit this summer, has tended to stylish Italian classics, but this season it’s borrowing a page from the tech market. Cue featherweight microfiber, double-twisted cottons with natural stretch, a chintz cotton that is both light- and water-repellant, and plenty of smart looking nylon. These contemporary materials are going into classic tailored styles like rain-worthy trenches and raglan Macintoshes, as well as more casual golf jackets. Along with the light fabrics, Allegri has let some air out of its prices, too. Most coats now hover near $595.

The brand’s cousin, Allegri Sport, is giving men more options for the weekend, too, with two-in-one vest jackets, park-inspired rain slickers, hooded blousons and updated field jackets — all in lightweight nylon.


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