Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/15/2014

MILAN — Pitti Uomo is upping the ante to affirm its leading role on the international men’s wear scene.

This story first appeared in the May 15, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

During a press conference here Wednesday, trade organizer Pitti Immagine unveiled the agenda of the 86th edition of the international men’s wear trade show, which will run in Florence June 17 to 20.

This season, the busy calendar of shows, presentations and parties will include Firenze Hometown of Fashion, a full program of events to be held in the Tuscan city in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Florentine Center for Italian Fashion.

Marking both the importance of Florence as an international fashion hub — especially for its high-end Made in Italy production — and the relevant role played by the fashion industry in the country’s economy, the Italian government allocated 2 million euros, or $2.7 million at current exchange, to support Firenze Hometown of Fashion.

This will begin on June 16 with a live concert by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli at the renovated Opera di Firenze and with a special event at the Ponte Vecchio, which will show the lights donated to the city by Stefano Ricci, fashion entrepreneur and president of the Florentine Center for Italian Fashion. Along with a photo retrospective organized by Vogue Italia and a special exhibition by Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli, Firenze Hometown of Fashion will also include a series of initiatives organized by four prestigious Florentine houses: Gucci, Emilio Pucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Ermanno Scervino. Formerly part of the project, Roberto Cavalli decided not to take part in the initiative.

In particular, Gucci will project special lights on the facade of its museum on Piazza della Signoria and will celebrate the opening of the first flagship of recently acquired luxury tableware and ceramics firm Richard Ginori; Ferragamo will open its new “Equilibrium” exhibition at the Salvatore Ferragamo museum, and Ermanno Scervino will organize a night dedicated to the label’s signature white color at the Forte Belvedere. Emilio Pucci hasn’t disclosed the details of its event yet because it’s waiting for approvals from the Superintendence to the historic and architectural patrimony.

This initiative will help generate even more buzz around Pitti Uomo, which will host 1,030 exhibitors and about 30,000 visitors, including more than 18,100 buyers.

“After many years, positive signals are coming from both the international and European markets. The Italian fashion companies are exporting more,” said Pitti Immagine president Gateano Marzotto, who cited research conducted by Sistema Moda Italia forecasting that this year Italian brands will increase their exports and domestic sales by 8 and 3 percent, respectively.

According to Marzotto, European countries are registering the best sales of the past several years. “Consumers are more relaxed and many international investors are returning to invest in Italy,” he said.

“This season, Pitti Uomo will be a festival of creativity, contents and business, in a moment when it’s essential to work as a team,” said Pitti Immagine chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone, illustrating the fair’s tight schedule. Once again this season, Pitti will overlap with Men’s Collections: London, but that is expected to change in January when Pitti’s dates are pushed back until after the London calendar is over.

Among the highlights of this edition, Pitti Uomo will host the launch of the new Z Zegna, which has just been restructured by the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, incorporating the Zegna Sport brand into the Z Zegna line. The show will take place the evening of June 19 at the Stazione Leopolda.

Confirming its leading role in supporting emerging brands, the Pitti Italics program will offer Au Jour Le Jour Garçon and Marcelo Burlon County of Milan the chance to make their debut at the trade show.

Au Jour Le Jour Garçon, a division of the fashion label launched by Diego Marquez and Mirko Fontana in 2010, will host a runway show at former customs house Dogana on June 19, while Marcelo Burlon will present his Marcelo Burlon County of Milan label with a special performance and runway show inspired by extreme sports at the Parterre.

A number of special projects will also be launched at Pitti. Italian label Lardini will unveil Nick Wooster Lardini, a capsule collection designed by men’s fashion guru Nick Wooster; G-Star Raw will present “Raw for the Ocean,” a special project created in collaboration with Pharrell Williams; Italia Independent will unveil an exclusive collection of 60 customized sunglasses; Valstar will introduce Valstar — Starting Over, a capsule collection developed in collaboration with retailer United Arrows, and labels Tiger Jay and North Sails will showcase a new co-branding project.

In addition, Italian high-end e-tailer will unveil “De’ (Millennials) Costumi,” a style guide realized by W’s editor in chief Stefano Tonchi, who, taking inspiration from Monsignor Della Casa’s “Galateo overo de’ Costumi,” analyzed today’s men’s fashion.

Increasing the focus on accessories, Pitti is joining forces with Milan-based eyewear trade show Mido to launch Pop-Eye, a special space dedicated to independent eyewear companies. Pitti organizers also are reshaping the Attico hall. The space, which hosts the Classico Italia formal men’s wear area, will be redesigned by architect Patricia Urquiola to resemble a gentlemen’s club.

A series of events will take place around Florence to coincide with Pitti. Among them: La Perla will unveil its new men’s line with a show at the Dogana; Italian jewelry firm Damiani will celebrate its 90th anniversary with an exhibition at Palazzo Pitti’s Galleria d’Arte Moderna; Pinko will fete the opening of its new Pinko Hybrid Experience, while Del Toro Shoes founder Matthew Chevallard will throw a cocktail party on the terrace of the Hotel Continentale to present his new footwear collection.

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