Read more updates from Pitti Uomo 90 here.
This quiet last day of Pitti Uomo provides the perfect opportunity to analyse the intense past three days in the beautiful city of Florence. No big events are scheduled, so menswear buyers from department stores are finishing their last deals and the press is preparing to fly to Milan Fashion Week.
A bit of chaos is coming into the menswear fashion world. Fashion weeks dedicated to men are losing their attractiveness because of the inclusion of menswear collections inside womenswear shows by many major European fashion houses.
The always-rainy London Fashion Week is often marked by a certain sartorial bipolarity between young avant-garde labels and the classicism of old English houses.
In the upcoming weeks, Milan and Paris fashion weeks will unveil their last fully booked calendar. Next season, the fashion calendars will drastically change the landscape of menswear fashion. Those most affected by these changes will be the buyers from department stores.
Between the London and Milan Fashion Weeks, Pitti Immagine Uomo sets itself apart with a five-star schedule that mixes streetwear from Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy, the passion of “Ametora” of Visvim, the creativity of Belgian artistic director Raf Simons, a photography exhibition of Karl Lagerfeld and the chicest French luxury house, Cartier. The fair also serves as a “breeding ground” for young sportswear, contemporary or artisanal brands, in addition to the presence of classic Italian brands.
The recurring images of Pitti Uomo are young men seated outside in the main part of the fair. These gentlemen wearing colorful suits that maybe a little bit too much are commonly called “Peacocks” by the industry. They are willing to stay under the sun, smoking, talking on the phone, drinking a glass of Prosecco, with the ultimate goal to be photographed.
This peacock phenomenon is illustrated in a funny new short film, “The Life of Piti Peacocks”, created by independent filmmaker Aaron Christian.
My deepest concern during Pitti Uomo 90 was Gosha Rubchinskiy’s fashion show. From my perspective, the collaborations with six brands, including iconic Italian sportswear brands from the ’80s such as Fila, Kappa, Sergio Tacchini, as well as Superga, Levi's and Retrosuperfuture, are a pretty smart move to target Millennials. But the passion of the creator for the Soviet Union era is quite disturbing. Models looked like skinny boys from Eastern Europe and the location was an abandoned tobacco factory from Italy's Fascist period, Manifattura Tabacchi.
The biggest problem for me was the theme “Russian Renaissance”, which most of the fashion crowd applauded without knowing the true meaning. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion it smells of populism over high-priced sportswear.
My favourite show at Pitti was designer Hiroki Nakamura and his label Visvim. The show electrified the guests with positive energy at only 10 in the morning through a magnificent collection mixing vintage Americana and Japanese craftsmanship. The Vivism SS 2017 collection gave a breath of fresh air to the slightly morose fashion crowd. Japanese designer Nakamura delivers beautiful casual garments of high quality. The true stars of the show were the senior Italians that danced and put a smile on everyone’s face. I look forward to seeing the next strategic choice of the Visvim brand.
Year by Year, Pitti Immagine Uomo is becoming an indispensable event in the menswear industry. Over the years, I have seen many young labels develop their business at the fair. International journalists and buyers are pretty happy to have so many interesting brands within their reach. Not to mention, the city of Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. When I flew over the Alps, I was wondering how they could possibly organise a better show than this year’s Pitti Uomo 90.