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New at Pitti: Ones to Watch

New designers at Pitti.

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WWD Pitti Preview issue 01/08/2009

Allegri

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

After collaborating with Viktor & Rolf, A.F. Vandevorst and Martin Margiela, Allegri has tapped 33-year-old Naples-born designer Francesco Scognamiglio as the creative director of its new fashion line, 010109.

“Allegri started its designer collaborations with Giorgio Armani, so I can only be honored,” said Scognamiglio, whose star has been on the rise since Madonna wore a sheer, ruched shirt from his fall 2008 collection in her “Give It to Me” video, CD cover and billboards promoting her recent Sticky & Sweet tour.

The high-end outerwear line for Allegri marks Scognamiglio’s men’s wear debut, which the designer, who is known for an androgynous approach to women’s wear, described as a “natural move.”

The new men’s wear line — which includes 20 different variations of coats, some with sculptural interiors for a snug fit, in a palette of tobacco tones, dark Mediterranean blue or biscuit hues — will be unveiled during Pitti Uomo at the Palazzina Presidenziale in Florence on Jan. 15. Allegri will reveal Scognamiglio’s women’s collection in Milan in March.

Allegri received a shot in the arm last March, when private equity firm Orlando Italy bought 40 percent of the company from Dismi 92 SpA, which is owned by the Allegri family.


Comme des Garçons Homme Deux

Now the rest of the world can have “suits for the handsome mind.”

Comme des Garçons is bringing its Homme Deux line, which was formerly only available in Japan, to an international audience. The fall collection of suits, shirts and ties will be unveiled in Florence at the Palazzo degli Affari from Jan. 13 to 16, in a space specially designed by Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo.

“These days I feel that wearing suits is the most stylish thing to do,” said Homme Deux creative adviser Hirofumi Kurino. “In the past, one usually thought that wearing a suit did anything but make one special. But I think that the suits of today are far from being either uniform-like or homogeneous. Nowadays, you can stand proud and be yourself in a suit.”

Modern Amusement

Another company making its debut at Pitti Uomo is Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Modern Amusement, which will showcase its low-key but fashionable sportswear for men and women. The brand, which is owned by Mossimo Giannulli and licensed to Blk Brd LLC, is already in several hundred European accounts, including Selfridges in the U.K., Brown Thomas in Ireland, Awesome Rags in Sweden and Stenia in Greece. “We felt that Pitti would be a great way to enter the European market in a bigger way,” noted Nicole Castrogiovanni, who heads up international sales for the company.

The fall collection was designed with three travel destinations in mind: Tokyo, Copenhagen and Montauk, N.Y. Knit tops will retail from $38 to $140; wovens for $90 to $210; trousers for $120 to $198, and dresses for $88 to $325. Men’s wear comprises about 60 percent of sales and women’s is 40 percent.

Also look for Modern Amusement accessories licensed to Green Tea and eyewear licensed to Baumvision at the show. And, for buyers anxious about the uncertain economy, Modern Amusement is starting production closer to actual orders so that retailers have more time to make their decisions.


Incotex Red

Balance sheets aren’t the only things dipping into the red.

Slowear, the Italian company behind the Incotex, Zanone, Montedoro and Glanshirt brands, is to launch a new label, Incotex Red, exclusively at Pitti in January. Each item in the collection of chinos, dress pants and work trousers is aged and dyed using natural treatments such as sandblasting and hand-stitched borders for a modern and individual take on wardrobe classics. The line mixes military styles, such as reinforced pockets and seams, with a dash of dandy, resulting in a collection that “is once again for trendsetters who are refined and a bit snobby,” according to Slowear.

For fall, Incotex Red reinterprets the world of wool, offering flannel sports pants and wool chinos in green, purple, red and china blue houndstooth and macrochecks. Also for the season: both vintage slim and loose-fitting cotton chinos.


Il Viaggio

After a peripatetic career, which has included collaborations with Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Issey Miyake, Romeo Gigli, Martin Margiela and Gianni Versace, Italian outerwear specialist Mario Vigilante will reveal a new label dedicated to the traveler for fall.

Dubbed Il Viaggio, or The Journey, the men’s and women’s collection features five styles — the Hub jacket for everyday use; the crease-resistant Lounge business traveler jacket; the Gate 1 wind and rain overcoat; the Gate 2 overcoat, with down feather lining for protection from the cold, and the Customs leather jacket. The result is what the company calls “a futuristic collection…of technical but elegant outerwear, rich in original and secret functions,” such as the intelligent multifunction pocket and the pennywhistle camouflage fastener.


Gitman Vintage

Gitman Bros. launched a vintage-inspired shirt line a season ago, making use of its archives from the late Seventies and early Eighties. With heritage Americana having such gravitational force in men’s fashion lately, designers have been drawn to Gitman and its factory in Ashland, Pa., which has been making Thom Browne’s shirts for two years and made Burberry shirts under license before that.

For the Vintage line, Gitman took its classic button-down oxford, slimmed the body, raised the armholes and put it through a wash-and-dry cycle. It retained original features including a locker loop, V-stitched pocket, double track stitching, back collar button and box pleat. The line also includes a matching tie for each shirting, and will introduce a Western shirt as well as a night shirt for fall.

The fall collection is derived from the archived fall 1980 collection, said Chris Olberding, vice president at the company.

Gitman is showing at Pitti and at Capsule Paris, largely to reach Japanese buyers, who have been most enthusiastic. The line is sold at Japan’s United Arrows and Isetan, as well as Barneys New York, Ron Herman, Fred Segal and Seattle’s Blackbird in the U.S.


S.N.S. Herning

After hooking retailers such as Dover Street Market, Loveless and Opening Ceremony in 2007 — and collaborating with Comme des Garçons last fall — Danish knitwear label S.N.S. Herning is aiming to widen its nets further at its first Pitti Uomo show.

“My grandfather started making wool sweaters for fishermen to keep them warm, and today we use the same techniques and vintage machines to produce our collection,” said Soren Skyt, who helms the family business, founded in 1931. “They are more robust as there is more yarn in the fabric than we are able to use with new machines.”

Skyt’s father and uncle oversee the limited edition luxury sweaters and each piece is hand-signed by the artisan who created it. For fall, the collection focuses on what Skyt described as “classical naval aesthetics.”

“Fashion production has become so standardized,” Skyt said, adding that the appeal of traditional methods of manufacture is on the rise. “We make key items you can keep in your wardrobe for years.”

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