Pitti Uomo 101 opens menswear season on Tuesday
Pitti Uomo, scheduled from Tuesday January 11 to Thursday 13, is kicking off the menswear show season for the Fall/Winter 2022-23. The timing could not have been worse for the Florentine event, the world’s premier menswear show: the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is raging, and many trade shows originally scheduled for the start of the year have opted to cancel or postpone. Because of this, Pitti Uomo’s 101st edition will be all the more interesting to follow, to gauge the market situation at such a delicate juncture and discover the new directional trends in menswear.
From early on, organiser Pitti Immagine emphatically stated that the show's January edition would take place in physical format, as it did in June 2021. And despite dozens of last-minute withdrawals, among them that of Brunello Cucinelli, which opted to give the session a miss, and of guest of honour Ann Demeulemeester, which postponed its event to June, it has stuck to its guns. The last two years have been complicated for everyone, and the Florentine event, even if in streamlined form, is crucial for a market that has struggled since 2020. As Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine, indicated in November, “the aggregate revenue of trade events and fairs worldwide fell from €28.4 billion in 2019 to €9 billion in 2020.”
The organisers have opted for prudence and will feature again the “streamlined” concept they tested last season, when Pitti Uomo staged its come-back physical session after being on hold for a year due to the pandemic. For this winter session, cut down to three days, Pitti has again scheduled its two top events - Pitti Uomo 101 and childrenswear show Pitti Bimbo 94 - on the same dates and venue, the Fortezza da Basso. The session will feature 540 exhibitors, as opposed to 400 in June and more than double in normal times. Of these, 37 will be present only on the Pitti Connect website. Notably, 151 exhibitors, 28% of the total, hail from outside Italy.
Health protection measures have been tightened: it is mandatory to wear FFP2 masks and to hold a ‘Super Green Pass’ full vaccination certificate to enter, and it is forbidden to eat food outside the areas reserved for this purpose. A number of Covid testing points have been set up, and the opening ceremony will be staged for the first time inside the Fortezza da Basso compound, and will be live-streamed to minimise travel.
A new take on the classic men's wardrobe
This season's slogan and main theme is ‘Pitti Reflections’, a play on the twin meaning of the verb ‘to reflect’, both to mirror and to contemplate. The focus will notably be on how the classic men’s wardrobe has evolved, its most classic items, suitably reinterpreted, now making a remarkable come-back in-store.
Hence the space allocated this season to the ‘Futuro Maschile’ section, focusing on “the most directional contemporary menswear,” which will be showcased over an area of 6,000 m2 on the first floor of the Fortezza da Basso's central pavilion. ‘Futuro Maschile’ will be part of the ‘Fantastic Classic’ section, dedicated to formal wear, placed alongside two other key areas of Pitti Uomo: ‘Dynamic Attitude’, showcasing sportswear brands, and ‘Superstyling’, which will host emerging labels, with a specific sub-section called ‘Sustainable Style’, dedicated to young designers focusing on sustainability.
Among the names and features worth mentioning: KNT, the experimental line by Neapolitan tailoring brand Kiton; the collection inspired by jazz legend Miles Davis for Caruso; the special installation by Italian label Lardini, in the guise of a winter garden; a special project by iconic British leather specialist Connolly, owned by Isabel Ettedgui; the intriguing sustainable sportswear label by British designer Christopher Raeburn; and long-established US brand Filson, which will celebrate its 125th anniversary.
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