Christian Louboutin

MILAN — Christian Louboutin, Federico Curradi and Alanui will be among the guests at the upcoming edition of international men’s wear trade show Pitti Uomo, running in Florence from June 13 to 19. The brands are the latest addition to this edition’s exclusive program, which includes the already announced events organized by J.W. Anderson and Off-White to present the labels’ men’s collections on June 14 and 15, respectively. While the location of the Off-White event is still undisclosed, J.W. Anderson will host a runway show at Villa La Pietra, which houses a New York University campus.

During the seasonal press conference showcasing the fair’s program on Friday, Pitti Immagine chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone said Christian Louboutin will organize a special sports-focused event on June 13. During the day, the brand will organize an outdoor tournament in a location in the heart of Florence. Details on the event were not available.

Hugo Boss will also be among the fair’s guests. In particular, the German brand will host a fashion show on June 13 at the Manifattura Tabacchi venue to present its Hugo spring 2018 collection.

One of the most promising men’s designers on the Italian scene, Curradi will present his latest spring collection at the Bardini Museum on June 14, while the following day, Alanui, the luxury label offering high-end luxurious belted cardigans founded by siblings Nicolò and Carlotta Oddi, will stage an installation at the suggestive Tepidarium del Roster greenhouse.

Alanui's Nicolò e Carlotta Oddi

Alanui’s Nicolò e Carlotta Oddi  Courtesy Photo

In order to continue to boost the international appeal of the trade show, Pitti Uomo teamed with the Australian Fashion Chamber and The Woolmark Co. to present the work of eight Australian designers, including Chris Ran Lin, Commas, Double Rainbouu, Ex Infinitas, Sener Besim, Strateas.Carlucci, P.E Nation and Ten Pieces. The trade show also continued its collaboration with Japan Fashion Week to host in Florence the fashion show of Japanese designer Yoshio Kubo.

Among the 1,220 companies presenting at Pitti Uomo, Bally will unveil a new collection of sneakers; Tommy Hilfiger will showcase the spring 2018 lineup of its Hilfiger Edition line; Paul Smith will present his PS by Paul Smith contemporary line; Belstaff will show its “Origins” collection designed to facilitate the body’s movements, while Japanese accessories brand Hunting World will debut its first ready-to-wear collection with an event at the Stazione Leopolda.

According to the organizers, this June, Pitti will feature a new setting, with the Touch, Make and Futuro Maschile relocated and enlarged.

“We moved 250 companies in order to give more and more space to niche brands,” said Pitti Immagine vice general director Agostino Poletto. “We now host more than 600 niche labels, which represent 50 percent of our offering. The remaining 50 percent includes brands focused on a reinterpretation of classic men’s wear and on contemporary sportswear.”

Pitti Uomo will open in a quite positive moment for the Italian textile and fashion compartment.

According to research by Italian fashion and textile consortium SMI Sistema Moda Italia, the sector posted a 1.8 percent growth in the first quarter of the year. In particular, the textile segment grew 3 percent, while revenues of the rtw and accessories companies rose 1 percent. In addition, exports registered a 2 percent increase in the same period.

The research also highlighted that 63.5 percent of the interviewed Italian fashion and textile entrepreneurs expect the market to be stable in the short-term.

The data released by SMI revealed that the Italian fashion and textile compartment is expected to close the 2016 fiscal year with a 1 percent increase to 52.9 billion euros, or $58 billion at current exchange rate. Exports grew 1.7 percent compared to the previous year with all the categories registering positive increases except for the yarn and footwear segments.

Claudio Marenzi

Claudio Marenzi  Courtesy of Herno

“In 2016, we saw an increase in our business even if it was quite modest compared to the significant growth of 2015,” said recently appointed Pitti Immagine president Claudio Marenzi, referring to the fashion and textile industry.

Last year, Italian textile and fashion exports directed to European countries increased 2.2 percent with Germany and France maintaining their leadership.

Exports toward non-European markets also registered a 1.1 percent growth.

While the exports to China and Russia increased 3.1 and 7.3 percent, respectively, those directed to the U.S. were down 5.6 percent in 2016.

“There is a problem with department stores in the U.S., where many of them are closing several locations,” said Marenzi, who pointed at the Japanese market as one of the most appealing for Italian fashion and textile companies in 2017.

In addition, Marenzi forecasted a slowdown of the exports directed to South Korea this year, due to an internal crisis caused by the drop of Chinese tourists visiting the country.