Pitti Uomo 95: menswear show set to surprise with new format and innovative projects
“How would you define Pitti Uomo other than a giant, wonderful box of tricks? We want surprise to be the main feature of the show's 95th edition. The event is an ever-changing repository of constantly evolving content,” said Agostino Poletto, general manager of organiser Pitti Immagine, referring to the new edition’s theme, ‘The Pitti Box’, conjured up by prolific, talented designer Sergio Colantuono. The show’s January session, dedicated to the autumn/winter 2019-20 collections, will host 1,230 exhibitors - 542 of them from outside Italy - from Jan. 8-11, 2019.
The Florentine event will open the menswear show season on Tuesday with a new layout, characterised by a series of different enclosures scattered around the nearly 60,000-square-metre area of the Fortezza da Basso venue, each of them designed to signpost the various steps of the visitors’ journey through the ancient fortress. Among them, the Infinity Box, a 40-metre-long gallery offering a “visual/energising/emotional experience,” showing videos by 12 international artists; the Silence Box, where visitors can decompress in absolute silence for five minutes; the Park Box recreational area and the amusing Show Box, a selfie station also used for mini conferences.
The show’s structure has changed also as a result of the modifications introduced to some of its main sections. Starting from ‘Touch!’, the section for creative, avant-garde labels, which last year was relocated right at the show’s entrance. “We are completely revolutionising the section, using slightly brutalist, light-coloured minimalist materials, to create a genuine pool of quality brands, each distinct from the other but all of them slotting into a coherent whole,” said Poletto. The section’s design was commissioned to the Andrea Caputo Studio agency.
‘Touch!’ will feature a strong contingent of Japanese labels, with an area reserved to the six finalists of the Tokyo Fashion Award (Anei, Cinoh, Jieda, Nobuyuki Matsui, Postelegant and Rainmaker) and to the Japanese White Leather Project, presenting the collections of four labels specialised in the thousand-year-old white leather technique practised in Himeji, in Japan’s central Kansai region: Ed Robert Judson by Satoshi Ezaki, Kozaburo by Kozaburo Akasaka, Mary Al Terna by Ryuki Yamaka, and Midorikawa Ryo by Ryo Midorikawa.
The highly coveted ‘Futuro Maschile’ section, dedicated to classic contemporary chic, will feature a “new and surprising” mix of labels. The ‘I Go Out’ section, dedicated to outdoor apparel, was first introduced last June to a resounding success, and Pitti organisers are keen to steer it more in the direction of urban fashion, while the ‘Unconventional’ section, home to alternative labels, is set to veer towards “high-end street style.”
After several editions in which colours and a fun, pop-inspired mood took centre-stage, Pitti Uomo 95 will focus on “a return to austerity, understated colours and a certain kind of elegance,” as shown by the black and white visuals which promote the event’s January session. The programme will strike a balance between designer brands, emerging labels and well-established ones, with a plethora of events held both inside and outside the walls of the Fortezza da Basso, in some of Florence’s iconic spots.
Pitti Uomo 95 will open in style on Tuesday 8, when many of the special events scheduled for this winter session are scheduled. Among them, the section dedicated to Portuguese fashion, which will be inaugurated on the first day, the installation at the Marino Marini museum by Slam Jam, a long-standing Italian streetwear distributor and partner of many alternative labels, while on the same day Rossignol will unveil its collaboration with Philippe Model Paris, and the Gucci Garden museum will reveal its new interiors.
On Wednesday 9, Canali - which is leaving Milan for Florence this season - will present its new collection at Palazzo Antinori, while the iconic Moon Boot will fête its 50th anniversary with a gala evening. Korean label Beyond Closet will show at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, and in the evening the spotlight will shine on Parisian label Y/Project and its Belgian designer Glenn Martens, the guest of honour at Pitti Uomo 95.
On Thursday 10, the must-see event is the catwalk show at noon by Haculla, a streetwear label founded by Chinese artist, photographer, designer and entrepreneur Jon Koon, whose style is inspired by the work of New York street artist Harif Guzman. Also on the menu, the debut show of the new Fila Fjord line by young Danish designer Astrid Andersen and, at the end of the day, the show by former creative director of Cerruti 1881, Aldo Maria Camillo, who will be launching the first menswear collection for his new label Aldomariacamillo.
This eclectic calendar of events is further bolstered by countless other initiatives, reflecting the multi-faceted identity of men’s fashion: from Barbour’s 125th anniversary to the Allegri-Cottweiler and Les Hommes-Sergio Tacchini collaborations, to the return of eco-sustainable label Ecoalf, with a capsule collection 100% made in Italy, and that of Ben Sherman.
Other highlights are the launch of the Rewoolution activewear line by Reda, the launch of Vilebrequin Denim, John Varvatos’s first appearance at Pitti Uomo, and the installation/event by Woolrich. Finally, a collection to look out for is the one created by interesting British designer Eleanor McDonald, winner of the ITS competition for emerging designers in Trieste, Italy, last summer.
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