MILAN — The forthcoming European trade show Pitti Immagine is set to get a taste of California.

This story first appeared in the March 29, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Fair organizers confirmed on Monday that Los Angeles-based designer Scott Sternberg from Band of Outsiders will headline the 80th and spring edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo, Europe’s largest men’s trade fair. Meanwhile, Rodarte’s Pasadena-based design duo Kate and Laura Mulleavy have been tapped as guest designers for the eighth edition of Pitti W, the fair’s sister event that showcases women’s pre-collections.

“It couldn’t be a bigger or cooler honor,” said Sternberg from his studio in L.A. “Presenting at Pitti is a sort of rite of passage to enter the European market. We are really poised from a business and distribution perspective to grow there.”

Sternberg added he couldn’t divulge any details on his show plans, but said it would be a “big production, totally over the top and unlike anything you’ve seen from us.” He has yet to choose the specific venue.

The two fairs are set to run concurrently from June 14 to 17 in Florence.

“The European curiosity about California culture and the landscape played an important role in Pitti’s decision to invite both designers to Florence at the same time,” said Lapo Cianchi, director of communication and events at Pitti Immagine.

Band of Outsiders is expected to unveil its spring-summer 2012 men’s wear line at the fair in a runway format, while Rodarte is gearing up for its first show in Europe, with a special collection for Pitti W. According to fair organizers, both presentations are slated for unique locations around the city. Details are to be confirmed shortly.

The California-based designers join a roster of international talents tapped by the Florentine fair. A designer triumvirate that included Trussardi, Gareth Pugh and Alberta Ferretti pepped up the trade show in January. Thom Browne, Undercover, Walter Van Beirendonck, Kris Van Assche, Maison Martin Margiela and Raf Simons have all headlined Pitti Uomo in the past.

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