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Elegance, stability, continuity — those are a few of the key values at the core of the Corneliani brand, according to Stefano Gaudioso Tramonte, the company’s general merchandising manager and creative director.

“We are not a pure fashion brand, we are a classic label, which means that we offer beautiful, long-lasting clothes,” he said, explaining the reason behind the company’s decision to present at Pitti rather than hosting its usual fashion show in Milan. “We thought a lot about the value of the show and we realized that for us it was not relevant anymore to concentrate our presentation in the span of 10 minutes since we want to communicate a sense of [continuity].”

After more than a decade, Corneliani is making its comeback at Pitti with a presentation inside Fortezza da Basso’s Sala delle Grotte, a space featuring several rooms connected by archways.

“This space will enable us to create a sort of home, where we can fully unveil our DNA,” said Gaudioso Tramonte. “We will create a sort of exhibition path where guests will immerse themselves in our world.”

Carpets and paintings will enhance the homey feel of the space, which will host different installations where products of the same color will be mixed and matched to create sorts of “tonal islands,” Gaudioso Tramonte explained.

According to the creative director, the Corneliani fall collection will include blazers and suits in classic silhouettes crafted from fabrics inspired by the company’s archives from the Sixties and Seventies.

At the same time, the company combined its sartorial expertise with a high-tech approach to deliver luxurious, functional sportswear pieces inspired by the ski world. “We created a range of advanced and innovative styles featuring hidden details that are designed to be protective and versatile – some of them include three different pieces in one garment,” said Gaudioso Tramonte.

Although the company won’t unveil its first full collection of accessories until next spring, at Pitti it will tease the line by showcasing both footwear and bags. “We will have more classic bags in saffiano leather and more sporty styles in soft deer leather,” said the designer, adding that Corneliani is also developing a range of small leather goods featuring a technology that protects contact-less payment cards.

In Florence, along with the Corneliani line, the company will present for the first time its younger and more casual CC Collection. This will include eight parka styles cut in different lengths and developed in materials that will range from the more traditional and formal to high-tech thermo stitched versions. The collection will also include lightweight knitwear, as well as deconstructed blazers and suits, sporty pants and four shoe styles. — ALESSANDRA TURRA



The winner of the ninth edition of Vogue Italia’s talent contest Who Is On Next? Uomo, Bologna native Luca Magliano is unveiling its fall 2018 collection with a runway show on Jan. 11 at Florence’s Dogana venue.

A fashion design graduate from Bologna’s Libera Università delle Arti, Magliano cut his teeth on Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s team in Milan prior to moving back to his home town in 2013 to work with designer Manuela Arcari on the Ter et Bantine fashion line.

In 2015, the designer decided to go solo and launched the “I Was Naked” independent women’s brand. “It was exciting, but at the same time traumatic and extremely consuming since I didn’t have a team and an organization,” said Magliano.

The following year, Arcari, who is also the president of the Arcari e Co. manufacturing company, offered the designer the chance to produce his own line under license and the Magliano brand was born.

“I would describe my line with the term ‘vernacular’ since it speaks a language which is contemporary and constantly evolving. Season after season we are better defining the identity of the brand,” said Magliano. “We focus on the staples of the men’s wardrobe but our most important customers are women. The collection can be considered genderless since the codes of the contemporary world are unisex.”

For the fall season, Magliano said he conceived the “wardrobe for a man in love.” He explained that the collection pays homage to some of the most iconic romantic characters “but it also includes more conceptual references.”

In particular, Magliano said he destroyed and rebuilt classic men’s staples in a creative way.

The lineup includes Nineties boxy outerwear pieces with strong shoulders, as well as suits featuring shorts paired with silk shirts printed with hearts. High-waist pleated pants with wide legs are matched with short-sleeved Western shirts, while denim jackets feature puffy sleeves. A sailor top is embellished with Tyrolean buttons and a cushion-inspired T-shirt is padded and finished to resemble a bed sheet.

The collection is capped off with a Frankenstein-like pair of shoes with a chunky sole. “It’s a very unusual footwear style, which looks like it was sketched by a child,” Magliano said.

The brand, which is positioned in the more affordable segment of the luxury market, is available in Machine-A in London, Opening Ceremony in Japan, and Sugar, Fiacchini and Guya in Italy.  — A.T.



Following the sale of his family’s business in 2007, Giovanni Allegri is making a comeback with the launch of a new label.

Debuting at Pitti, Major aims to offer men’s and women’s staples that combine sartorial craftsmanship with high-tech techniques.

Allegri, who invested 2.5 million euros in the development of the brand, which is produced in the new Tuscan factory of Montelupo Fiorentino, will present 12 men’s outerwear pieces designed by an international team.

“Since our goal is to offer a full wardrobe starting from the spring season, this time we will showcase the jackets next to knitwear, pants and shoes, which we won’t produce but which will give a sense of the brand’s evolution,” Allegri explained.

The range will include trenches, peacoats, parkas, bombers and field jackets cut in minimal silhouettes and crafted from precious materials, including high-end wool and leather.

“We used technical nylon only inside the garments and we finished them with lightweight yet extra warm detachable linings,” Allegri revealed, adding that the collection is worked in a traditional color palette of blue, black, brown, beige, military green and gray.

Positioned in the luxury segment — retail prices start between 1,000 and 1,500 euros — Major is hoping to hit about 30 Italian stores the first year and, according to Allegri, also targets other key markets such as northern Europe, Holland, the United States and Canada.

“The goal is to open a flagship within three years,” said Allegri. “Even if the heart suggests it should be in Florence, we know that Milan is the right location.”

In February, Major will launch its first women’s range with a presentation at TriBeCa’s Spring Place during New York Fashion Week. — A.T.

Peak Performance x Nigel Cabourn

Founded in Åre, Sweden, by three Swedish skiers, Peak Performance has been a key player in the outdoor industry for over 30 years, best known for its high-quality technical outerwear.

But in recent years the company has taken more of a turn toward fashion, offering pieces for the style conscious consumer who may spend more time on urban streets than on the slopes.

Enter Nigel Cabourn.

For the second time, the U.K.-based designer has collaborated with Peak Performance on a special capsule that will be shown at Pitti. The collection celebrates Jim Whittaker, the first American to ascend to the top of Mount Everest in 1963, and features a tight assortment of jackets that fuse references from the designer’s vintage archive with Peak Performance’s technical proficiency.

The nine-piece collection of parkas and down puffers along with layering pieces — and a beanie — includes Cabourn’s personal favorite: a down parka that he describes as “a bit of a work of art. It’s a very special piece. We’ve taken a fairly commercial old-fashioned lining and proofed it to make outerwear out of that.”

Cabourn said while he’s designed “a lot of practical and functional clothing collaborations over the years including hunting, fishing, mountain wear,” his work with Peak Performance marked his first foray into skiwear. “When Peak Performance approached me I was attracted by their 35-year heritage, shared values and the opportunity to work with such a well-known and respected Swedish skiwear brand. It also gave me the opportunity to do something that crosses over from skiwear to urban/streetwear as well,” he said.

He worked closely with Sophia Gromark, Peak Performance’s head of design, whom he met at an event in Stockholm a few years ago. They came up with the theme together, chose the fabrics and then produced the line using Peak Performances factories “and Nigel’s amazing fabric and trim suppliers,” she said.

Gromark added, “He is a legend. He is a nerd in a positive way which I equate with knowledge.” And a master of contrasting “between the crafted and the technical.”

She said while the first collaboration, which centered around Swedish mountain troops in World War II, was “much more conceptual,” this edition is more commercial. “It has been an amazing door opener for us into more premium fashion accounts.”

The collection is priced slightly higher than the core collection, ranging from 110 euros for the beanie to 1,500 euros for the Mountain Parka.

Peak Performance will also show its core Urban collection of X-Jackets at the show. This collection features traditional models such as a puffer, down parka, liner and field jacket that have been tweaked to combine cutting-edge technology with an urban aesthetic.

“We want to work with and examine designs that somehow redefine the way we look at clothes and the definitions of what is technical, what is outerwear, what is streetwear and what is fashion,” said Andreas Eklöf, Peak Performance Urban’s designer.

That line retails for under 100 euros for T-shirts, lightweight sweatshirts and leggings, to over 1,000 euros for outerwear, with the bulk of the jackets selling in the 300 to 700 euro range. — JEAN E. PALMIERI


Spotlight Finland

After spotlighting Australia in June, Pitti Uomo for the eighth edition of its Guest Nation section this time will gather men’s wear talents to watch from Finland for the event’s international audience.

The space, located in the Fortezza da Basso, will host eight brands spanning emerging talents such as Julia Männistö, a finalist of the 2016 LVMH Prize, and more established names like urban workwear label Formal Friday, classic footwear brand Saint Vacant, and the minimalist, gender-neutral, Helsinki-based label Nomen Nescio.

Lapo Cianchi, director of communications and events at Pitti Immagine and general secretary of Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery, described Finland as “one of the most dynamic and creative places in fashion today.” Commenting on the selection, he said: “They all have their own ideas [for] expressing the essence of [contemporary] Finnish design and lifestyle, and they are open to experimentation and cross-pollination between tradition and modernity.”

Finnish heritage brands R-Collection and Turo — an established suit maker that since its founding in 1938 has dressed a number of Finnish presidents and in 2016 underwent a massive rebranding as it eyes international expansion — will present collaborations with Maria Korkeila and London-based Finnish designer Ikla Wright, respectively.

Considered part of Finland’s new wave of fashion talents, Korkeila cut her teeth in the design studios of brands including Rick Owens and Saint Laurent, and scooped an honorable mention from the jury at the 2017 edition of the Hyères Festival, while Wright has held designer positions at Jens Laugesen and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and since 2010 has been head designer at luxury British men’s wear label E. Tautz. He launched his namesake label in 2016.

The space will also host brand launches by two of the country’s rising stars: 2017 Hyères Festival finalist Rolf Ekroth and MM6 Maison Margiela design director Heikki Salonen, whose new men’s wear label is dubbed Vyner Articles — ArtWorkWear.

A preview of the section will take place on Jan. 9 at 3 p.m., with a party scheduled for the night of Jan. 10 at Florence’s Palazzo Borghese.

Steering the project are Miia Koski and Martta Louekari of Helsinki New and Juni Communication & Production. In the role of creative directors are Tuomas Laitinen and Chris Vidal of SSAW Magazine, working with local journalist Jani Niipola. Linda Bergroth designed the space.

The following institutions are also partnering on the event: Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture, Finpro, Tekes, Finnish Textile and Fashion, and the Finnish embassy in Rome. — KATYA FOREMAN

Les Benjamins

High-end streetwear label Les Benjamins will unveil its fall collection during Pitti Uomo with a presentation on Jan. 10.

“I think that there is such a refreshing energy at Pitti, which is so important for the industry,” said creative director Bunyamin Aydin, who established the brand in 2011. “I think that in Florence people tend to be more open to discovering new brands and fashion content. Everybody is more relaxed and more comfortable. People are very tense in Milan and Paris, where everything is pre-planned.”

At Pitti, Aydin will host “the biggest presentation I’ve ever done” at the Teatro Niccolini, the most antique theater in Florence. “We are going to have 60 models and we are also showing some women’s looks,” he added.

According to the designer, Les Benjamins’ fall line is “highly inspired by ancient skyscrapers and how their shapes are influencing the contemporary ones also in a mathematical perspective.”

Triangles will be the iconic elements of the lineup. “They will appear as pockets, prints, collages and embroideries,” said Aydin, explaining that, in keeping with the brand’s signature aesthetic, “silhouettes will be oversized and layered on top and slimmer and narrower on the bottom.”

Mostly crafted from jersey, corduroy and velvet bonded with cotton, the pieces will be worked in a color palette focused on navy, burgundy, black and white, as well as pops of green.

An accessories range of 20 different men’s and women’s bag styles will complete the lineup.

Les Benjamins, which is carried in around 120 stores around the world, recently opened eight stores in China with a local partner and will open its first flagship in Istanbul in April.

“We will create a sneaker bar inside the store,” revealed Aydin, which have developed four collaborations with Nike over the past few seasons. — A.T.