Don’t expect to see Jil Sander on the Milan runway in June.

This story first appeared in the March 31, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Pitti Immagine Uomo, Europe’s largest men’s trade fair, has tapped the label as its spring guest of honor, meaning Jil Sander and its creative director, Raf Simons, will show there instead of their usual slot in the Milan men’s collections.

Haider Ackermann, meanwhile, will headline the sister event Pitti W, a small fair for women’s pre-collections. The two fairs run concurrently June 15 to 18 in Florence.

The Jil Sander show marks a return for Simons to Pitti, which will fete its 78th edition. Simons presented a retrospective video installation of the first 10 years of his eponymous men’s wear line there in 2005. For his part, Ackermann is expected to unveil a special collection conceived for the event that will possibly be commercialized.

Designers including Thom Browne, Undercover, Walter Van Beirendonck, Kris Van Assche and Maison Martin Margiela have headlined Pitti Uomo in the past. Corneliani was the guest of honor in January.

“We are very happy that Haider Ackermann and Jil Sander have accepted our invitation,” said Lapo Cianchi, director of communication and special events of Pitti Immagine. “They both represent that outstanding ability to develop original concepts in fashion, which is precisely what we look for in our work with fashion designers.”

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