Pitti Uomo turns 30 this year. As an internationally renowned platform for men’s fashion for the past three decades, Pitti Immagine is mounting a retrospective exhibition on the subject conceived by fashion historian and art curator Olivier Saillard.
The exhibition, called “Romanzo Breve di Moda Maschile [Brief Novel on Men’s Fashion], 1989-2019: Thirty Years of Men’s Fashion, According to Pitti Uomo,” will bow on June 11, the first day of the trade show, and will run through Sept. 29 at the Museum of Fashion and Costume, housed at Florence’s Palazzo Pitti. The show — organized by the Pitti Immagine Discovery Foundation — will mark the celebrations for the fair’s 30th anniversary.
“Pitti Uomo represents for men’s fashion what Cannes and Venice do for cinema,” said Saillard, who was appointed to the role of artistic consultant by the Florence-based company last July, signaling an effort to amp up its relevance in the cultural sector.
The showcase will include a selection of looks from around 150 designers and labels that have presented at Pitti Uomo throughout the years including special guests and projects, as well as brands that by showing their collections at the trade show have represented turning points for the fair since 1989.
The list already includes designs from Haider Ackermann, JW Anderson, Giorgio Armani, Neil Barrett, Hugo Boss, Thom Browne, Brooks Brothers, Roberto Cavalli, Brunello Cucinelli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Craig Green, Martin Margiela, Antonio Marras, Missoni, Moschino, Rick Owen, Jil Sander, Raf Simons, Paul Smith, Valentino, Dries Van Noten, Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto and Ermenegildo Zegna, among other labels.
“A lot of men, but also women, who have shaped men’s fashion as a creative subject stopped by Florence,” Saillard noted. “Against different sets, traditional or daring, along with the city of Florence and its prestigious places, creators were able to conceive the craziest shows to serve their collections.”
As part of the project, Marsilio Editore will publish a catalogue of the exhibition featuring pictures by Astra Marina Cabras and written contributions by fashion journalists Suzy Menkes, Frédéric Martin-Bernard and Angelo Flaccavento, among others.
Following the temporary exhibit, a selection of outfits donated by fashion houses will contribute to the installation of the Pitti Immagine Discovery Foundation’s permanent collection of men’s wear pieces. The institution has already pledged to donate them to the city’s Museum of Fashion and Costume.
Saillard, who served as director of Palais Galliera Muséè de la Mode de la Ville de Paris from 2010 to January 2018 and is also artistic director of footwear label J.M. Weston, has previously developed several projects in collaboration with Pitti Immagine, including the “Dressing Like a Man” exhibition in 2011 and the “The Ephemeral Museum of Fashion,” a poetic show hosted in 2017 at the Costume Gallery of Palazzo Pitti, combining historical costumes, vintage designer gowns and contemporary fashion creations.