FLORENCE — The increasing concerns about international political instability, Brexit and the Iran-U.S. crisis didn’t wreck the mood at Pitti Uomo. The fashion proposal at the fair was strong, with a good balance between established brands, busy revamping their offering with a high-tech approach, and international emerging labels keen to find their own place in the arena.
Franck Nauerz, Le Bon Marché men’s department director, described this season’s Pitti Uomo as “a trade show giving space to revisited formal attires after several years of streetwear influence.” The executive noticed “a return to tailoring with more flexible, comfortable materials and a more casual approach to clothing,” as well as “a desire for elegance and beautiful materials” rather than just strong looks.
Dean Cook, head of men’s wear buying at Browns, agreed. “Florence is known for a smarter aesthetic, but in general, I think we are definitely seeing a shift toward the more formal with greater emphasis on dressing and buttoning up more than ever,” he said. “This is a new category for us at Browns so it’s been great to see this attire at the forefront of men’s fashion again with a move away from simply just trainers and streetwear.”
“The general mood is pushing forward sustainability as the main message behind most collections. This is not anymore a marketing stunt for brands, but a prerequisite to be relevant to buyers and customers,” noted Rinascente head of fashion Federica Montelli, who listed Sease and Jet Set among the highlights of the trade show. “We are also scouting for creativity coming from the Far East,” she added, citing Ffixxed Studio, Untitlab, RoaringWild and Trickoo as the most interesting labels in the new “China Energy” area.
“We are seeing an evolution of the shirt jacket in different fabrications and an expansion of outerwear with heavy touches of mixed material in leathers, suedes and shearlings. We’re seeing some great, key color trends — canary yellow, rust, ivory and mushroom. Lastly, a wide range of corduroy, from micro to chunky vintage,” said Madison Blank, men’s market manager at Saks Fifth Avenue, which next fall hopes to attract customers especially with “outerwear and new takes on novelty knitwear.”
Here are some of the top brands from the show:
Designer: Brunello Cucinelli
Inspiration: Usually associated with a peaceful countryside environment — Brunello Cucinelli’s love for nature and silence is known globally — for the fall 2020 season, the brand wanted to channel a more urban, metropolitan and dynamic inspiration. This was highlighted by the set up of the label’s extensive booth at Pitti Uomo, which this time was peppered with post-industrial elements adding a new, modern twist to the always chic and polished space. Silhouettes were highly relaxed, the signature neutral colors were juxtaposed to vibrant tones of orange, yellow and aubergine, while mixed media injected a more experimental feel into the lineup.
Key styles: While blazers continued to be cut close to the body, coats and puffers, sometimes mixing nylon and corduroy for graphic color blocking, showed roomier volumes and elongated lengths. Relaxed pants with drop crotches were paired with textured sweaters, including cozy mohair styles. Shearling was matched with corduroy for a cool bomber and with laser-cut soft leather for zipper outwear styles. Playing with hybrids, a classic coat was combined with a denim jacket in a design featuring a detachable vest-like detail, while a wool fabric resembling denim was crafted for suits offering a cool take on tailoring.
Price range: Not available.
Lardini by Yosuke Aizawa
Designer: Yosuke Aizawa
Inspiration: Lardini’s knowhow in the world of classic men’s wear met the edgy, forward-thinking design approach of Yosuke Aizawa, founder and creative of Japanese label White Mountaineering, in a high-end capsule collection that fused sophistication and functionality. “In this historical moment, the most important thing is to create a blend of tradition and innovation, enabling them to coexist,” Aizawa said. “While Lardini has a long history, and an established place in the world of Italian fashion, I have made the creation of innovative products my own signature. Working together on this collection, I think we succeeded in combining and enhancing our respective strengths with great results.”
Key styles: Sartorial constructions, multilayer advanced materials and sleek, minimal silhouettes define the capsule, which includes eight outerwear staples, spanning from a bomber, a field jacket and a hooded down jacket to a parka, a coat and a single-breasted blazer. All waterproof and designed for breathability, they are crafted from Japanese fabrics including performance nylon, flannels and stretch wool. Utility pockets, water-resistant zippers and thermo-stitches enhance their functional, urban appeal. The capsule also counts three sneaker styles developed in the same materials used for the outerwear range.
Price range: Retail prices range from 650 euros to 1,100 euros.
Designer: Giulia Bianchi
Inspiration: The British tradition served as starting point for the L.B.M. 1911 collection, which incorporated different inspirations and vibes. In particular, London’s dynamic, metropolitan and edgy spirit resonated in the lineup next to more vintage, nostalgic references to the Brick Lane flea market. Moving to the island’s western coast, the port of Liverpool inspired the naval mood which was incorporated into styles with a marine feel.
Key styles: In keeping with the collection’s multifaceted inspiration, L.B.M. 1911 unveiled a versatile wardrobe meeting the different needs of today’s gentlemen. If impeccably tailored suits were crafted from high-tech performance machine washable and anti-crease fabrics, which offered a combination of functionality and elegance, Shetland wool and classic sartorial fabrications were employed for rustic sweaters and blazers showing a Seventies mood. This was conveyed both through cuts and the vibrant palette of rust tones, yellows and greens. Corduroy, sometimes showing textured micro motifs, also took center stage in the lineup with garment dyed pants, jackets and coats, showing charming color effects. On a different note, during Pitti Uomo, L.B.M. 1911 unveiled its collaboration with Antonio Marras, who designed the official off-field uniforms for the Cagliari soccer team, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
Price range: Jackets retail from 460 euros and suits are sold at around 800 euros.
Designer: In-house design team
Inspiration: Operated by Pattern, an Italian company listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, Esemplare is a performance outerwear brand with an ecological heart. Embracing a circular economy approach, the use of sustainable and recycled materials and the search for cross-functionality inform the design and development of the brand’s collections. “I think the circular economy is the real answer and that’s the potential we’re aiming to bring in for the brand,” said Pattern’s chief executive officer Luca Sburlati.
Key styles: A gray fishtail parka crafted from naturally water-repellent wool manufactured by Italian premium textile company Vitale Barberis Canonico featured the brand’s signature overturned “Y” at the back yoke and sleeves. In keeping with the firm’s penchant for layering, it was shown over the “Symbiosis” warmer jackets filled with Thermore Ecodown made of recycled PET for extra warmth. A duffle coat made of a wool and cashmere blend bonded to viscose sourced from carbon neutral-certified suppliers was a refined alternative to the more sporty pieces. A new range of puffer coats crafted from 100 percent recycled nylon was dyed with botanical-based colors obtained from rice, wine, olives and onions waste.
Price range: Outerwear retails from 400 euros for a fishtail parka to 900 euros for puffer jackets.
Designer: In-house design studio
Inspiration: For the first time, Herno reunited its three lines under one roof creating an immersive space to fully showcase the brand’s sustainable approach to urban outerwear that the company has championed since 2016, when it first started to assess its products’ environmental footprints.
Key styles: The latest additions to the Herno Globe range of eco-friendly options were dubbed Fast5Degradable and comprised a puffer jacket and a coat crafted from Fulgar’s Amnisoul Eco fabric that biodegrades in five years in the landfill. A hooded parka style with front pockets was part of the Econyl Regenerated line, which employs pre- and post-consumer nylon obtained from production’s leftovers and from fishing nets. Building on the brand’s collaboration with Gore, producer of the Gore-Tex and Gore-Tex Infinium membranes, a pair of trail sneakers complemented with a Vibram Megagrip sole were a first in the footwear category for the brand, which added them in five colors to its Herno Laminar collection. This line also included new iterations on the range’s signature pieces blending a sartorial look with performance features, as shown for example with a Gore-Tex topcoat with a denim effect and corduroy puffer jackets boasting water-proof qualities.
Price range: Outerwear retails at between 600 euros and 3,000 euros.
A/X Armani Exchange
Designer: Giorgio Armani
Inspiration: The lineup was infused with sportswear references for modern city dwellers with pops of colors, such as neon green and red, as well as sportswear-inspired silhouettes that conveyed a contemporary, fresh attitude. Armani reworked a Nineties urban aesthetic with a cool, dynamic twist and infused it with references to the world of travel.
Key styles: Dark blue denim was worked for cargo pants with tapered cuffs and side pockets paired with a hooded parka jacket in the same fabric accented by neon green details and a matching turtleneck. Drawstrings and fastening belts punctuated the lineup, adding functionality to wardrobe staples such as puffer jackets and anoraks. A red look featured a roomy floor-length nylon parka layered over a technical puffer jacket and gabardine track pants, while the A/X Armani Exchange logo popped up on graphic T-shirts and down jackets. Nodding to the brand’s heritage, T-shirts and cotton fleece sweatshirts were splashed with images from Nineties advertising campaigns lensed by Alexei Hay.
Price range: The lineup retails from 40 euros for T-shirts to 450 euros for outerwear.