A cherished destination for menswear lovers, Pitti Uomo 95 welcomed 36000 visitors in Florence this month, including 9000 international buyers.
The energy of the fair was rather contagious, reflecting a growing menswear market where customers enjoy fashion’s playful side and dress for their own pleasure. Sportswear fatigue is definitely in the air, even though it will take a while before stores update their offering to embrace more tailored items. You could already feel the influence of Hedi Slimane’s work at Celine with brands cleaning up their silhouette and pushing the suit as a must-have. Italian designer Aldo Maria Camillo -whose CV includes collaborations with Berluti, Valentino and Cerruti- delivered an inspiring and sharp show where the jacket was an ongoing focus.
If visitors come to Pitti to check out the new ranges offered by the Monclers, Zegnas and Borsalinos of this world, the fair is nevertheless becoming an exciting playground for singular talents and identities. Pierre-Louis Mascia, whose gorgeous silk patterned pieces are produced in the Como region, designed a lavish and decadent collection for men, inspired by refined dandies. Milanese bag brand Serapian, which was founded in 1928 and recently acquired by the Richemont group, offered desirable, elegant and sustainable-minded bags, which were chic and timeless. Certain styles had been made in vintage leathers carefully sourced from the company’s atelier, which gave depth and narrative to the bags, as well as a special patina.
The same desire for individuality was reflected in Y/Project’s striking show, beautifully orchestrated by Glenn Martens: “Opulence is definitely a word I like at the moment, and I want my clothes to reflect that feeling. The idea of pleasure -and breaking free from boundaries- is key within fashion now.” The hybrid garments Martens is famous for designing seemed to have subconsciously influenced other brands, and sartorial codes were mixed-up to create new forms. Officine Creative’s footwear range, which was previewed at the fair, encapsulated that feeling of fusion between formal and playful, utilitarian and elegant.
If the Made in Italy label remains a promise of innovation, craftsmanship and expertise, foreign brands also come to Pitti to promote their work. Fernando Bonastre, a Pitti regular who is Spanish but Paris-based, designs minimal and graphic bags that answer the requirements of his busy clients: “I love coming to Pitti, because it’s a great environment to showcase your brand. Department stores get to see your new styles first and I have Asian clients ordering here every season, because they enjoy the atmosphere of the fair. Florence is obviously a magical place, and it’s easier -and less stressful- to look for new brands here than in Paris and Milan.”
/ Words by Philippe Pourhashemi /