Pitti Uomo heralds “exciting” come-back June edition over 4 days
In the last two seasons, the Pitti Uomo show had to be staged in reduced format, in terms of numbers, size and duration, but it is looking forward to returning to its former glory in June. The 102nd edition of the Florentine show, a benchmark in men’s fashion, dedicated to the Spring/Summer 2023 collections, is unlikely to reach pre-pandemic levels in terms of visitors and exhibitors, but it nonetheless promises to be a great event. It will again be held over four and not three days, from June 14 to 17, and it is going solo - no longer staged together with Pitti Bimbo - expecting 650 exhibitors and 15,000 visitors.
To celebrate the return to normality, the show’s Florentine organiser, Pitti Immagine, has picked an ‘island’ theme, inviting the menswear industry to head for Pitti_Island, because “we are still going through a transitional phase,” said Managing Director Agostino Poletto, presenting the event at a press conference. “An island is also a place you reach after a long journey. Where you can recharge your batteries. It’s a place for meetings and conversations, where you stock up with images and new discoveries, before you leave. Even more than an island, this [edition of] Pitti Uomo will notably be an archipelago of styles,” said Poletto.
The show will feature most of its regulars, like the majority of well-established men's labels, but also about a hundred new names, especially smaller and niche labels. Also notable is the growing presence of lifestyle brands, presenting accessories and products themed around men.
For the time being, 640 exhibitors have confirmed their participation (compared with 338 last June and 548 in January), 38% of them coming from outside Italy. According to the organisers, plenty of buyers will travel to Florence, all of them “extremely eager to fuel growth again,” notably from top international retailers like La Samaritaine and Galeries Lafayette (France), Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s (USA), Lane Crawford (Hong Kong), Browns and Liberty (the UK) and My Theresa (Germany).
For this summer session, Pitti Uomo will be again staging various special events in the city, outside the main venue. Ann Demeulemeester, who had to cancel her planned event last January because of Covid, will be guest of honour again. Her label, bought in 2021 by Milanese entrepreneur-retailer Claudio Antonioli, is undergoing a fully fledged relaunch. It will be an opportunity for Demeulemeester to dwell on her career, via a special installation showcasing a selection of her finest archive items, which will be unveiled on Wednesday June 15 at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence.
The day before, on Tuesday 14, Pitti Uomo has organised a performance show inside a historic palazzo, with another special guest, Grace Wales Bonner. The intriguing, talented British designer of Jamaican descent notably likes to tap the richness and diversity of black culture. Finally, another show-event on the calendar is that by Danish label Soulland, which mixes design, research, craftsmanship and skateboarding culture. Soulland was founded by Creative Director Silas Oda Adler and CEO Jacob Kampp Berliner. It will celebrate its twentieth anniversary this year, and is renowned for its minimalistic looks and collaborations with artists and premium labels.
The next edition of Pitti Uomo will hinge around five main sections: ‘Fantastic Classic’, focusing on the evolution of classic menswear in its directional versions; ‘Futuro Maschile’, featuring contemporary menswear brands; ‘Dynamic Attitude’, dedicated to outerwear, sports and streetwear; ‘Superstyling’, dedicated to avant-garde and niche labels; and ‘S Style-Sustainable Style’, a selection of nine cutting-edge eco-friendly labels (Bennu, Connor McKnight, DNI, Curious Grid, Junk, Margn, Maxime, Mworks, Philip Huang and Waste Yarn Project).
There will also be a section devoted to Scandinavian fashion called ‘Scandinavian Manifesto’, and another featuring Ukrainian fashion talents. Pitti Uomo had already invited Ukraine in 2014, as part of its guest nation programme. In the wake of the Russian invasion, Pitti Immagine is keen to offer its support by shining the spotlight on seven designers (T. Mosca, Katerina Kvit, The Coat, Poustervit, Ksenia Schneider, Bobkova and Litkovska) and two creative artisans, Olk Manufacture and Gunia Project, all from Ukraine. They will be given a dedicated space within the show’s venue, the Fortezza da Basso.
Among other notable events, a special project dedicated to emerging label Sapio, the 70th anniversary of premium denim brand Roy Rogers, the 40th of WIP Lavori in Corso, the 15th of Antony Morato, the return of Fila, and an immersive exhibition by Gore-Tex. “The exhibitors’ presentations will be even more splendid than usual. Exhibitors are extremely keen to introduce themselves in new ways. It will be a very exciting show,” concluded Poletto.
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