Ones to Watch at Pitti Uomo

Here are some new and noteworthy brands to check out at the upcoming show in Florence.

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This story first appeared in the June 14, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Historical English outerwear brand Baracuta, acquired in May by Italian company WP Lavori in Corso, will bring a taste of British extravaganza to Pitti on June 19 with a party held at Florence’s Sferisterio delle Cascine, a space built in 1893 for ancient ball games.

The party will feature four international and popular DJs: Norman Jay, BBC Radio’s Giles Peterson, Eddie Piller and Dean Rudland of Acid Jazz Records. The event will honor the heritage of the brand, which was founded in Manchester by John and Isaac Miller in 1937 and whose iconic Harrington G9 jacket has been worn by a bevy of celebrities, from Elvis Presley and Ryan O’Neal to Steve McQueen and The Clash.

“They all witnessed Baracuta’s evolution, with the British underground culture and clubbing scene as a backdrop,” said Baracuta creative director Andrea Cane of the DJs.

During the event, the company will unveil its first collection produced by WP Lavori.

Along with revisiting the fit of the brand’s signature G9 and G4 bombers, which are still manufactured in England and which will be available in eight traditional hues, including ice, dark navy, faded black and Cornwall sand, Baracuta is introducing two new lines, the Blue and the Ivory labels.

The Blue, which Cane defined as the “designer collection,” was conceived by Kenichi Kusano, former creative director of the Tokyo-based Beams Plus brand.

“He reinterpreted the historic products through a British military inspiration,” Cane said, referring to the external pockets, inside layering and colors used by Kusano. The Blue range will include reeditions of the G9 and G4 styles, a three-quarter field jacket and a Forties-inspired trench in a range of fabrics, from English military herringbone cotton, cotton poplin, military tartan and coated cotton. 

A younger and more commercial attitude dominates the Ivory line, with quilted bombers, vests and blazers, and trenchcoats showing G9’s iconic neckline, fraser tartan lining and ventilation system. In addition, there are more sporty dyed jackets, featuring the Union Jack on the neck strap, which are available in Eighties-inspired colors, such as yellow, bright green and light blue.

Baracuta jackets will be sold at prices ranging from 230 euros, or $287 at current exchange rates, for dyed pieces to 350 euros, or $437, for the U.K.-made styles.

“The relaunch of Baracuta will start from our main markets,” said Cane, listing Italy, Germany, Scandinavia and the U.K. The collection will be also commercialized in Japan through a local distributor.



NEXT: Dockers >>



The quintessential American brand Dockers will return to Italy again this season with a two-pronged approach — both, not surprisingly, centered around the khaki.

Within the Pitti Uomo trade fair, the Levi Strauss & Co. division will showcase its spring-summer collection, while on the roof terrace of the headquarters of Pitti Uomo, a short distance away from the Fortezza da Basso, it will highlight the fall Dockers K-1 collection. This marks the first time Pitti has used that space to showcase any apparel brand.

The K-1 collection, which will be exhibited there beginning June 20, offers a tightly edited line of pants, shirts, graphic T-shirts and jackets that take their inspiration from Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders of the 1890s. It draws inspiration from the details, textures and colors of U.S. military uniforms of that era and offers six pant styles with accompanying shirts and graphic Ts, as well as two jacket styles. Prices are significantly higher than the core Dockers collection, ranging from $70 for the Ts to $420 for the field jacket.

“This season the Dockers K-1 Collection offers a contemporary khaki style with a masculine military twist,” said Angelo Ng, Dockers’ senior director of global merchandising. “With its subtle early military detailing, the collection appeals to more than just your serious khaki connoisseur.”

The Dockers spring collection celebrates the importance of getting dressed and the importance of style and grooming as part of a man’s daily routine. It puts the focus on its wide array of khakis, including the refined SF Khaki; the Alpha Khaki, designed to serve as a transition from jeans; the Ultimate Chino, and an extensive assortment of shorts. There’s also a Sailmaker Khaki with a nautical feel. The collection offers a range of finishes and details including waxed twills, slub twill canvas, patch pockets and knee panels. In terms of color, the palette ranges from sharp blues, grays and browns to washed-out reds, yellows and greens. Late season deliveries will include brighter greens, blues and reds.
Coordinating tops will also be offered.

A Dockers spokesman said showing at Pitti allows the brand to see various sales agents across Europe as well as potential new retailers in areas such as Germany and the U.K., both seen as important growth markets for the company this year.



NEXT: Edun >>



Edun, the socially conscious clothing label founded in 2005 by U2 rocker Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, will be bringing a dose of California cool to Pitti Uomo as a first time exhibitor at the show. Men’s wear designer Ricky Hendry for the brand’s spring collection took inspiration from David Scott’s photographs of Venice Beach in the Sixties and Seventies, which capture the tension between the counterculture skate and surf scene that grew up there alongside the traditional formal social codes. The label’s collection playfully explores “the juxtaposition and tension between those two elements,” he said, pairing, as an example of the line’s direction, a color-blocked boardshort with a jacquard tuxedo jacket. The line’s palette evokes a California sunset, going from harbor blue and deep sea to pineapple and faded pink, with chambray jacquard, cotton pique, organic cotton and washed linen among key fabrics. Blending the casual and formal categories, the mood is always relaxed, spanning linen drawstring pants, color-blocked sweaters, jacquard shorts with welt pockets and unstructured jackets.

“It’s about taking some more iconic men’s wear shapes and taking out the structure and weight to create a light easy piece that still has somewhat of a tailored silhouette,” said Hendry.

Edun this season partnered with the Wildlife Works eco-factory in southeast Kenya on some of the line’s men’s shirts and T-shirts, as well as the Zaer shirt factory in Eritrea, in sub-Sahara Africa.

The company, which is 49 percent owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, aims to produce 40 percent of its seasonal fashion collection in Africa by 2013.



NEXT: Hancock by Timothy Everest >>



Hancock, the men’s clothing brand launched in 2012 by Daniel Dunko, is set to unveil Hancock by Timothy Everest, an exclusive outerwear capsule collection designed by the British bespoke tailor.

“I have known Timothy for 20 years, in which time he has developed his own label into a globally recognized name, with strong industry credentials and a loyal client following,” said Dunko, referring to Everest’s signature brand, which revisits sartorial tradition with a quirky touch.

“As a coat-maker myself, I appreciate the knowledge, skill and craft that goes into a handmade garment and so finally, in 2012, we put our hands together to create a capsule collection of tailored outerwear,” said Dunko.

The offering includes two styles in three different color combinations. A single-breasted flannel blazer shows a soft construction with no shoulder padding, stitched elbow patches and horn buttons. Everest also designed a flannel deconstructed single-breasted town coat with a notched lapel and three lines of stitching on cuff and hem. Both the blazer and the coat are available in charcoal, navy and gray with respective olive green, gray and navy bindings and undercollars. They also feature the lining in two patterns showing Hancock’s logo or a leaf-inspired motif.

— A.T.


NEXT: Bruno Magli >>


Last December, Bruno Magli, in a move to reposition the brand and give a new appeal to its product range, tapped Siberian designer Max Kibardin, who introduced the Bologna-based company’s first women’s collection during Milan Fashion Week in February. Now the Italian brand is relaunching its men’s accessories line at Pitti Immagine Uomo.

“Bruno Magli is perceived as a classic brand and my goal is to keep its traditional identity, making the product younger and fresher at the same time,” said Kibardin, who will also unveil the first men’s ready-to-wear collection for the brand during the upcoming Milan Men’s Fashion Week. “I want to make its authentic Italian style more chic, adding a touch of eccentricity for a dandylike look.” 

For spring 2013, Kibardin revisited classic footwear styles, including the iconic college shoes, which are realized in washed and distressed calf in a pastel color palette of green, pink and blue shades, inspired by the Miami Art Deco district. A military-chic theme also runs through the collection, appearing on combat boots in summery, bold hues of sage green and saffron, or on styles where calf is mixed with canvas for a sporty, yet sophisticated effect. In addition, the designer used the luxury Goodyear welting process not only for precious skins, such as crocodile, but also for casual and sporty materials, including distressed polished calf.

“I think that real luxury is to wear special, exclusive things everyday,” he said.

The collection will be sold at prices ranging from 295 euros, or $369 at current exchange rates, to 1,500 euros, or $1,875.

During Pitti Uomo, Bruno Magli will present an accessories capsule line, which Kibardin described as “shock-chic,” in collaboration with American artist Brian Kenny. The capsule, which will be launched during an event at Florence’s Westin Excelsior Hotel on June 20, will include men’s bags and shoes featuring fluorescent prints visible only in the dark. “We wanted to create something that could surprise customers with quality and research,” Kibardin said.

— A.T.


NEXT: Ben Sherman >>


London-based men’s fashion firm Ben Sherman is launching its new EC1 Trouser pants line at Pitti. Conceived by British textile expert Douglas Cordeaux, the collection, named after the London postcode for Sherman’s design studio, consists of a range of tailoring-inspired trousers featuring five different fits, spanning from slim to more relaxed shapes. The trousers are offered in a wide range of fabrics, including cotton poplin, twill and the exclusive Spinker Drill, a resistant yet lightweight cotton created for the British Army in the Forties. The color palette ranges from classic hues, such as bronze, navy and blue, to more summery tones of washed lagoon blue and langoustino coral.

In addition to the EC1 Trouser line, whose label combines the signature triangle of the tailor’s chalk with the EC1 postcode, Ben Sherman will also show its Plectrum by Ben Sherman range in Florence. Inspired by the American jazz scene of the Sixties, the spring 2013 collection is dominated by prints, including an ikat-inspired camouflage pattern appearing on four-pocket overskirts, Ts, jackets and polo shirts. In order to create a relaxed, casual look, tailored jackets are balanced with slightly loose pants and deconstructed blazers are worn with shapeless shorts. Adding a colorful touch to the collection, shirts show Art Deco-inspired geometric patterns and floral motifs combined with pinstripes and checks, while outerwear includes washed herringbone parkas and bombers, along with suede jackets.

— A.T.

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