MILAN — The Undercover man is finally coming out into the open.
This story first appeared in the February 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The fantasy-filled label by Japanese designer Jun Takahashi will be the guest of honor at Pitti Immagine Uomo in June. Designers including Thom Browne, Walter Von Beirendonck, Kris Van Assche and Martin Margiela have headlined the Florence trade event in the past.
“The event will mark the brand’s first major global push of its men’s wear,” an Undercover spokeswoman said.
Although launched in tandem with women’s wear in 1994, Undercover’s men’s wear has lived in the shadow of its female counterpart, whose Paris presentations have fast become a favorite among fashion followers.
“At first, Takahashi designed the men’s wear for himself and a few of his friends, but it has continued to grow,” the spokeswoman said. Undercover showed its men’s collection to international buyers for the first time last June, but took a hiatus this winter in order to recover from its costly women’s shows.
Takahashi’s fairy-tale reverie, whimsical proportions as well as inspirations taken from art and music, furniture design and doll-making are expected to work their way into Undercover’s men’s wear lineup for spring 2010.
The decision to invite Undercover comes as Pitti, the premier fair for high-end men’s wear, works to rejuvenate its image after tailored brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Brioni and Canali have exited the event. The next edition will run June 16 to 19.
“We have been following [Takahashi’s] work since the very beginning. His ability to combine couture with pop culture and street fashion is exactly the dialogue we have always tried to promote,” said Lapo Cianchi, director of communication and special events of Pitti Immagine. “His ingenious reinvention of the classical offers a poetic sensibility that we thought would be interesting for the fair, for the press and for retailers.”