FLORENCE — Pitti Uomo: an increasingly influential men’s wear platform with good vibrations. That was the consensus of retailers attending the 94th edition of the fair, which wraps today.
But they were also in town for an appetizing lineup of shows, including Paul Surridge’s debut effort for Roberto Cavalli Men’s; the launch of Comme des Garçons offspring Fumito Ganryu’s namesake brand, and Craig Green who on Thursday night staged his first show outside the British capital, as the headlining guest designer. Tom Kalenderian, Barneys New York’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager, hailed the choice as “emblematic of the importance to focus on new ideas for the future of young men who will become our core consumers.”
Green himself on the morning of his show described the event as an “incredible” platform for designers. “There are buyers who have been buying my collections, but who have never yet been to one of my shows because they don’t come to London,” he said. “The reach of Pitti is so much bigger than anything we’ve done before.”
Among the reigning trends at Pitti Uomo, retailers said streetwear and fluro are both still very apparent, as is sustainability and outdoor-inspired activewear.
“The overall message is a stronger focus on sportswear,” said Kalenderian, lauding the show’s “good energy. The suppliers are more focused on the reality of the increasingly more casual lifestyle of men and concentrating on what they need today. One of the best features of the show, he added, “is the opportunity to experience the best luxury products fine-tuned for the next generation; giving the end user the modernity they seek yet with credibility of artisans with a history. For example, today bags are evolving again, getting even smaller for men who carry less paper and really just need a catchall for phones, tablets and essentials,” he said.
With all of the casual sport influence and buzz, for Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue, it was refreshing to see the return of sartorial style at Pitti.
“Tailoring is back on the rise,” she said, signaling a fresh return of the double-breasted jacket as well as novelty-stripe deconstructed jackets, pants and shirts. Other trends included texture on linen and sport fabrications as well as novelty prints, such as seersucker and bold stripes, on traditional jackets, pants and shirts.
“The Twenties, Americana and tennis references were prevalent, in addition to fluid fabrics and relaxed layering in tailoring,” added Patel, highlighting Brunello Cucinelli’s “tennis-meets-‘The Great Gatsby’” collection; Boglioli’s collection with deconstructed jackets in novelty colors; Nick Wooster x Paul & Shark’s capsule debut collection, and Z Zegna’s “chic and sporty” take on tennis.
“Pitti was infused with a spice market color palette — turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon and pumpkin hues — and the moody blues — navy, sky blue, denim and turquoise hues,” she said.
Berlin concept store pioneer Andreas Murkudis hadn’t attended the event in four years, but said he’d found it more interesting than Paris in terms of sourcing brands. He mentioned presentations by MCM and Birkenstock, which launched a Sport Tech line, as among the highlights. “More and more brands are coming,” he said, listing among his favorites Second Skin, offering basics made from a Japanese paper yarn; Ruffo, from which he placed an order for a minimalist light blue suede shirt. “The quality of the production and the leathers was exceptional. They showed maybe six different jackets in total, including one that came with a waterproof case; you buy it as a set,” he said.
Federica Montelli, head of fashion at Rinascente, was relieved to see fewer peacocks strutting the Fortezza. “The show overall was more concrete and business-oriented,” she said saluting the focus on artisanal Italian brands “showcasing the authentic value of Made in Italy.”
In terms of sections, Montelli lauded the new “I Go Out” space geared to performance and outdoor brands, as well as the Scandinavian Manifesto area.
“We also found the selection of ath-leisure brands interesting — retro sportswear is such a big trend now,” she said.
Praising the show’s “great layout and brilliant assortment of brands,” Lee Goldup, men’s wear buyer at Browns Fashion, also spent a lot of time in the “I Go Out” hall.
“We lost our minds at Arc’teryx Veilance, which has a new category specifically for running,” he said, listing Descente Allterrain, Roa, Hoka One One, Situationist and Dyne among the other discoveries and standouts. “Outdoor/hiking is still a huge trend and we’ve seen a lot of walking shoes/boots, tech jackets and trousers, which means this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,” he said.
Alix Morabito, fashion director at Galeries Lafayette, found no clear trends, however. “It’s all a bit confused, the message is harder to read than in seasons past,” she said, pulling out nylon raincoats and printed or plain short-sleeved shirts among the few dominant stories.
Justin Berkowitz, men’s fashion director at Bloomingdale’s, said soft jackets still reign in tailoring, with pleated carrot-shaped trousers with a little more volume “seen on nearly every attendee and in every booth.” He also flagged an abundance of wovens in short sleeves, shown in various prints and colors, and the tropical focus of past seasons updated with more sophistication.
“Pitti is strong; the organizers are doing a great job bringing special events and shows to Florence, which creates an added element of interest. The special groupings and pavilions within the show have a curated point of view, which helps us as retailers read quickly what is important,” said Berkowitz.
In sharp focus, he said, is the outdoor-inspired activewear category, “With the dad sneaker morphing into the trail sneaker and amphibious sandals. Technical fabric innovations in outerwear and utility jackets will be a spring 2019 must.”
Here are some of the highlights from the show.
Designer: Alessandro Sartori
Inspiration: The Zegna family’s passion for tennis and the impressive tennis court built in 1956 by Ermenegildo Zegna in Biella’s Oasi Zegna served as major inspiration for Alessandro Sartori’s summer collection. “Everything revolved around the idea of blending a tennis mood with streetwear and tailoring,” said the designer, who put the focus on the high-tech, advanced constructions and materials defining the lineup. “Performance and comfort are key for contemporary customers.” The designer mainly worked a vertical, layered silhouette and focused on a color palette of fresh white, pale pink, aqua green and light gray, with pops of navy, red and yellow.
Key styles: The versatile wardrobe, which was injected with a dynamic, energetic feel, blended sporty accents and street references. Athletic leggings with the Z Zegna logo were worn under relaxed shorts and rounded bomber jackets, while high-end nylon hoods were layered under deconstructed yet impeccable suits. Innovative technical materials were crafted for lightweight joggers with sporty drawstrings and elastic cuffs and a new acetate was used for color-blocked tracksuits injected with a retro-inspired feel. The collection included a range of travel-friendly suits worked in Ermenegildo Zegna’s Wash & Go Techmerino wool, which was extended to a wider range of products including outerwear and accessories. According to Sartori, the Techmerino product offering is one of the best-performing categories for the company and accounts for 30 percent of Z Zegna’s business.
Retail prices: Outerwear retails from 500 euros to 1,200 euros, while knitwear ranges from 250 euros to 700 euros. Trousers are available from 250 euros to 450 euros and fleece features prices spanning from 250 euros to 600 euros. — Alessandra Turra
PAUL & SHARK
Designer: Nick Wooster
Inspiration: American men’s wear guru Nick Wooster teamed with Italian brand Paul & Shark to present a cool and creative capsule collection. “Over a year ago, I started working with Paul & Shark to refresh their collections,“ Wooster said. “I wasn’t planning a collaboration with my name but then they proposed it…the great thing about this company is they totally let me be me.” The capsule offers a compilation of Paul & Shark’s most signature elements and pieces revamped through Wooster’s unmistakable and unique style.
Key styles: Bold colors, eye-catching prints and patchwork techniques define the collection. Different striped patterns are combined on a zippered, hooded jacket, layered over a neon-hued cashmere sweater and paired with coordinated baggy short pants with multiple utilitarian pockets. A hibiscus floral pattern was reworked with the introduction of the brand’s signature shark logo and waterproof jackets featured a patchwork of national flags, while a classic polka dot was printed on ripstop nylon for covetable shorts. — A.T.
Retail prices: Outerwear goes from 800 euros to 1,300 euros.
Designer: Luigi Lardini
Inspiration: The charming atmosphere of the French Riviera infused the collection. The manufacturing company, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, focused on a resort mood for its Lardini men’s wear label founded in the Nineties. The illustrations of legendary artist René Gruau, who during his career sketched a range of impeccable, sophisticated men with his signature graphic and colorful style, also influenced the lineup’s aesthetic.
Key styles: Channeling a summer holiday mood, the collection offered a men’s wardrobe rooted in effortless elegance. Beautiful blazers were worked in multicolor vertical striped patterns and matched with lightweight polo shirts in high-end silk and cashmere blends. A safari-inspired green shirt was matched with a sunflower yellow T-shirt and a pair of relaxed linen pants for a casual yet always sophisticated look. The collection’s chilled-out attitude influenced tailoring, where suits showing modern soft constructions were crafted from fresh blends of wool, silk and linen.
Retail prices: Jackets retail from 700 euros to 1,450 euros and pants from 180 euros to 500 euros. Suits are sold at 950 euros to 2,100 euros. — A.T.
Designer: Brunello Cucinelli
Inspiration: The elegant style of the Twenties, when for the first time formalwear was influenced by references coming from different sports, in particular tennis and golf, served as major inspiration for Brunello Cucinelli spring collection. Echoing a “The Great Gatsby”-inspired atmosphere, the designer transformed its booth at Pitti Uomo in a Hamptons-like mansion with a white wood deck and a polished fence.
Key styles: In keeping with the inspiration, double-breasted suits worked in light tones of camel and white were worn with blue shirts with white collars, while V-neck sweaters with graphics echoing tennis and golf styles were layered under blazers and relaxed pants. Lightweight fabrics took center stage in the lineup, including fresh blends of wool, cotton and linen, as well as cotton, wool and silk. The covetable leather outerwear also got the soft treatment with napa and suede bombers and biker jackets, which were washed and treated to obtain a lived-in effect.
Retail prices: Not available. — A.T.
Designer: Stefano Gaudioso Tramonte
Inspiration: The brand continued to build on its sportswear offering with the introduction of three capsule collections: the Beyond Rain raincoat capsule, nodding to the house’s roots; the Style & Freedom sportswear capsule, and the high-tech Connected Style capsule.
Key styles: Highlights from the raincoat capsule inspired by archive designs and fabrics included a silk and nylon style in a British-inspired check, with leather thermo taping; a washed silk bomber and a modern, urban laser-cut coat. The Style & Freedom line included a sport-chic garment-dyed frosted sweatshirt, a stretch suede jacket lined with jersey and a new family of sneakers. The tech capsule included a field jacket with an inside pocket in which one can recharge a cell phone via a wireless charger, with a matching backpack, small travel bag and computer case.
Retail prices: Prices range from $240 to $330 for a polo shirt; jackets go from $1,600 to $2,300, and trenchcoats from $1,800 to $3,600. — Katya Foreman
Designers: Franco Loro Piana and Moreno Ferrari
Inspiration: The brand caters to the lifestyle of a cosmopolitan man living in one of the world’s fast-paced capitals, but who also needs to escape, to recharge their batteries and reconnect with nature. “The customer I see is a dynamic person who needs solutions for the city that are light and informal, but sophisticated at the same time,” said Loro Piana, pointing out a hoodie in a suiting fabric.
The brand has a sustainable supply chain, working with materials including bio-based nylon and conscious denim using regenerated yarns from post-consumption denim.
The project launched in November with a concept store in Milan offering kits geared to the mountains or the sea. The plan, before growing its own retail business, “is to have partners that can help us bring forward the message and represent it in the right way,” Loro Piana said.
Key styles: The centerpiece was a sunrise-themed outerwear capsule made from a high-tech version of the Solaro fabric invented by the British army around two centuries ago to protect soldiers from the sun in tropical climates. The fabric was later adopted for suits and became a dandy sartorial icon. “A tailoring fabric used for suits becomes a super high-tech sailing jacket or ski jacket or trench for the city,” said Loro Piana.
Other items include a travel bag made from recycled sails, handmade in Italy.
Retail prices: The line’s Trophy T-shirt goes for 150 euros; the Pressure linen vest 590 euros, and the George jacket in Sunrise 1,350 euros. — K.F.
THE COOPER COLLECTION
Designer: Mark Strachan
Inspiration: Into its third season, the brand is based on the archives and heritage of the Lee Cooper brand, founded in London in 1908, with a contemporary high-end range built around that.
Key styles: Made predominantly from Italian and Japanese fabrics, the collection is segmented into the core selvage collection and a fashion line.
Retail prices: Prices start at 165 pounds for the Stan pant with cropped leg and slightly dropped crotch, a relaxed tapered fit and original workwear patch pockets in pure ecru and Japanese Kurabo denim versions, moving to the core selvage line in slim, tapered and straight fits and details like hidden rivets at 195 pounds, and capping at 220 pounds with items the Edmund pant in ecru Berto Italian raw denim with a workwear back cinch and grown-on waistband. — K.F.
Designer: Séverine Lahyani in collaboration with Jung Ho Geortay.
Inspiration: Launching at Pitti Uomo, Archive 18-20 is the private-label line of the same-name concept store in Paris’ Marais district opened by Séverine Lahyani in 2016. The boutique stocks clothing brands including Marni, Comme des Garçons and Damir Doma.
Lahyani said in terms of direction, she was looking to capture a vintage feeling, but with new shapes and a more luxurious feel.
Key styles: Reversible double shirts that are plain on one side with reedited Hawaiian prints on the other; double coats with removable linings; logo T-shirts and hoodies; nylon and corduroy anoraks with zipper-trimmed hoods in a color palette spanning hot pink and a pale lilac reflective finish.
Retail prices: T-shirts retail at around 60 euros, hoodies at 145 euros, printed shirts start at 160 euros. Outerwear starts at 300 euros, rising to 800 euros for a double coat with a detachable lining. — K.F.
Designer: Enzo Fusco
Inspiration: The designer turned to “Bay Watch” uniforms as inspiration for a new men’s and women’s beachwear line, also nodding to the brand’s DNA as supplier of uniforms for American lifeguards, from Miami to California.
Key styles: The line houses 25 men’s and women’s swimwear styles and beach accessories inspired by the U.S. military tradition and lifeguards. The collection splits into four lines: Lifeguard, Basic, Heritage and Icon.
Items include swim briefs in quick-drying technical fabrics, nylon satin and ultralight Lycra, and garment-dyed shorts and jackets. The palette spans orange, army green, navy blue and dégradé camouflage. Details include the cord key loop, contrast color stitching and patterned drawstrings.
Retail prices: A jacket goes from around 80 euros to 130 euros; pants from 50 to 70 euros, and T-shirts sell at around 30 euros. — K.F.
Designer: An in-house team.
Inspiration: The brand’s new running-shoe project is themed around the encounter between creativity, the brand’s Parisian heritage and Italian expertise.
Since being acquired by 21 Investimenti, an Italian private equity fund headed by Alessandro Benetton, in 2016, the brand has opened showrooms and flagships in Paris and Milan. New openings are planned for Rome and Saint-Tropez. The brand is also looking to boost its activity in strategic markets such as the U.S. and Asia, where it recently opened stores in Busan, South Korea, as well as Shenzhen, Xiamen and Ningbo in China.
Key styles: The Monaco collection, a reinterpretation of the iconic Tropez model, features the brand’s coat-of-arms shield logo integrated into the foxing, the strip of material separating the sole from the upper. The line carries a Seventies retro flavor. Materials include nylon, leather and stonewashed effect suede with tone-on-tone or contrasting foxing.
Retail prices: Prices for the Monaco line range from 270 euros to 320 euros. — K.F.
Trending at Pitti
Retro sport (Ron Dorff tennis look)
Pocket mania (Herno anorak with maxi front pocket)
Nineties’ baggy jeans (Snow Peak — shirtless guy in blue jeans)
Pink (Essentiel Antwerp — pink bomber, jeans and T-shirt)
Summer plaids (Boglioli blue checkered suit)
Childlike sweaters (LC23 Charlie Brown sweater)
Resort collarless shirts (DNL blue-and-white striped)
Layered necklaces (Tateossian necklaces)
High-tech sandals (Birkenstock)
Patchwork (Children of Discordance robe coat)