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Vendors Look for U.S., Asian Expansion at Pitti W

Vibrant colors, bold prints and a focus on innovative and unusual fabrics were the key trends.

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Vibrant colors, bold prints and a focus on innovative and unusual fabrics were the key trends among the 75 collections presented at the 10th edition of Pitti W.

The women’s wear and accessories trade show, held in Florence in June, registered a 10 percent increase in attendance compared with last year’s summer edition, attracting more than 4,800 visitors.

Due to the crisis in the euro zone, companies revealed they were looking at the U.S. and the Far East to expand their businesses. 

Italian accessories brand Leghilà, known for its colorful neoprene bags, is launching in the American market in September, when the company will inaugurate a store on Madison Avenue in New York. The Padua-based company, which already counts direct stores in its home town as well as Milan, London and Wien, Austria, also plans to open stores in Dubai and Tokyo.

At Pitti W, Leghilà unveiled a unisex maxibag produced in collaboration with Italian TV stylist duo Murr. Other women’s styles introduced included the Butterfly flat handbag, the Choppy satchel and the Spyder bag, a roomy shopper.

“We are performing very well in the Far East and in Russia, too,” said Alessandro Dell’Acqua, who showed a few items from his No. 21 spring footwear collection manufactured by Kallisté. “But I hope that the Italian market will make a comeback soon.”

Fifties-inspired lines were mixed with more futuristic shapes for wedges, heels and flats showing a graphic, aerodynamic look, highlighted by a bold color palette, ranging from hot pink to orange and electric blue.
 
For spring, Italian clothing company Project Foce Single Season played with a military theme, garment-dyeing and washing Provençal tablecloths for the Parkaftano and the Parkabitino, hybrids of a parka — a caftan and a minidress, respectively.

The outerwear-centered collection also includes a dyed peacoat made with the jute used for farmers’ “grain bags” or a jute field jacket with fishnet sleeves and lined with poplin.

Available in the U.S. at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, the line wholesales from 150 euros, or $190 at current exchange, for the vests, to 220 euros, or $278, for embroidered jackets.

At Carlo Contrada, a women’s brand launched in 2008, the designer described his pieces as “studied in a creative way, paying attention to prices while offering high-end quality.”

He translated a sartorial approach into a feminine and wearable wardrobe, with prices ranging from 80 euros, or $101, for a T-shirt, to 200 euros, or $254, for a dress.

Countryside references run through the collection, as shown by a floral print designed exclusively for Pitti W. The lineup included a draped silk romper, a couture-inspired dress with lace intarsias, along with silk crepe and organza printed tops.

With Nigeria as the guest nation at organizing body Pitti Immagine this season, visitors at Pitti W also got a taste of Lagos Fashion Week.

Among the brands, women’s wear line Jewel by Lisa, established in 2005 by Lisa Folawiyo, was a standout, presenting sophisticated pieces, handcrafted in Nigeria. Cotton, organza and silk, featuring colorful Nigerian Ankara patterns, were morphed into shift dresses, short pants, tops and coats showing easy, clean shapes for an urban, contemporary look.

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