MILAN — Spring renewal is gaining momentum at Pitti Immagine Uomo.

This story first appeared in the May 24, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

As Europe’s largest men’s trade fair now showcases contemporary sportswear and advanced fashion, the organizers are continuing to modernize — even renovating the look of some long-standing areas — in an effort to please a more international crowd and cement Pitti’s status in design and lifestyle as well as in men’s wear.

The fair’s spring edition in June will host some 890 brands, almost the same number as last June. More of them — 292, or 32.8 percent — are from overseas, a 2 percent increase compared with last year.

“The worst seems to be over,” Pitti president Gaetano Marzotto said at a press conference here last week, urging Italian brands at the 78th edition of the fair, which runs June 15 to 18 in Florence, to think globally and enter emerging markets.

The special guest spotlight will fall on Jil Sander, making a Florence debut with a spring 2011 men’s wear collection on June 17 at Villa Gamberaia in lieu of a Milan runway show. “This onetime collaboration with Pitti Uomo mirrors the openness of the brand and will offer the possibility to reinforce the awareness of our men’s collection,” said Alessandro Cremonesi, Jil Sander chief executive officer.

Expect more fashionable happenings. The English label Daks will unveil a new look at the fair. Other notable exclusives include the preview of Neil Barrett’s collection for beachwear label Sundek, the debut of international casual brand GCW, C.P. Company’s first collection under new owner FGF Industry Spa and the launch of the Levi’s project, Made in the USA, by Levi’s Vintage Clothing. G-Star Raw will return to Pitti with its Raw Essentials collection.

The sixth edition of Pitti W_Precollection, the women’s wear counterpart to Pitti Uomo, will run simultaneously at the ex-Dogana on Via Valfonda and will showcase 60 brands. Special guest Haider Ackermann will headline this season’s event at Palazzo Corsini June 16. Dubbed Opium, the presentation will feature a small group of men’s wear pieces — a first for the designer — alongside his women’s wear collection. Online store TheCorner.com, Ackermann’s exclusive Internet retailer, will run multimedia content around this event, joining Jil Sander in a Web partnership with the fair.

An international panel will judge the second edition of Who’s on Next, an initiative to promote young Italian men’s wear design talent organized by Pitti Immagine Uomo, the Roman couture association Alta Roma and L’Uomo Vogue. The eight finalists include AI, Camo, Dead Meat, FQR, Maurizio Miri, Ozona, Pierre-Louis Mascia and Yuji Miura. Winners for the two categories — prêt-à-porter and accessories — will be announced June 15.

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