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The inaugural men’s wear edition of Who Is On Next, the emerging-designer showcase that catapulted 6267 and Nicholas Kirkwood to renown, will take place in conjunction with Pitti Uomo. The winner will be announced June 18.

This story first appeared in the June 11, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Over the past few seasons, this has proved to be one of the best international programs for promoting young designers or designers who are seeking full recognition,” said Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine.

Four ready-to-wear and three accessory collections have been selected as finalists in the competition, which is a joint project by Pitti Uomo, L’Uomo Vogue and Alta Roma, the organization that promotes Roman fashion. During Pitti Uomo, the collections will be on view at the Limonaia in the gardens of Villa Vittoria, in a setting created by architect Alessandro Moradei just for the occasion. An international panel of top buyers, fashion journalists and opinion makers will judge the entries and select the winner.

The finalists:

Leitmotiv
Partners Juan Caro and Fabio Sasso blur the boundaries of art and fashion, male and female, past and future, especially with their surrealist prints and accessories.

Marvie
Designer Maria Vittoria Sargentini develops a non-seasonal wardrobe through her studies of shapes and materials that balance minimalism with an avant-garde vision.

Made in Roma
Designer Pascal Gautrand, in collaboration with craftsman Roberto Marino, creates custom shirts out of patchworks of classic shirtings.

Umit Benan
A total look inspired by Cuba, photographer Slim Aarons, and cinema references from “Scarface” to “Blow.”

Elia Maurizi
This eclectic, unisex footwear collection includes desert boots, moccasins, slippers and more. Maurizi works with unusual materials, keeping one eye on America in the Fifties and one on the future.

Hewn
Luxury materials meet advanced stonewash processes that contemporize basic accessories. The shoes and bags come in four lines: stretch suede, old suede, crinkle and “old romantic cow.”

Max Kibardin
This shoe collection alludes to Alain Delon in “The Swimming Pool” with lively colors such as turquoise, yellow and pink on fine materials like handwoven suede, ostrich hide and crocodile.

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