Florence shines for the new season. Despite ongoing difficulties that continue to plague the fashion industry, the mood at the Pitti Uomo menswear fair was thoroughly positive.
The industry is happy to finally meet again. Pitti Uomo is particularly important as an international platform, according to Windsor managing director Jan Mangold, who exhibited at Pitti Uomo with the clothing supplier again after attending last season.
The motto of Pitti Uomo 104 was ‘Pitti Games’ and some exhibitors took advantage of this approach, integrating playful elements into their approach, including a ball pool and a basketball court.
"The mood is very strong. People have been looking for a platform to exchange ideas. But that's actually also what everyone here reflects to us," said Benny Jandl, chief sales officer at German clothing supplier Drykorn. "We want to return to conversations, we want to meet physically and exchange ideas and for that a trade fair is not replaceable. That will become even more important in the next few years."
825 exhibitors and around 12,000 visitors - more than 40 percent of them from abroad - were present at the current edition, according to fair organiser Pitti Immagine. Compared to the 2022 summer edition, there were about 20 percent more international buyers and five percent more Italian buyers this week. Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine, said these figures indicate the fair's recovery after the pandemic and that Pitti Uomo is gradually returning to pre-crisis levels.
This season also saw the return of some brands like Drykorn and Scotch & Soda and the debut of others.
South African menswear label Chulaap held a small presentation on Tuesday, with designer Chu Suwannapha pulling together and styling the looks as if it were a photoshoot. Suwannapha was happy to be there and received a lot of positive feedback, he reported.
Tobias Schellenberger, owner of the German trouser specialist Rossi, was also pleased with his trade fair debut and plans to return next season. Rossi seemed to inspire an international audience with its appearance and so the representatives were in talks with various buyers, even from the likes of Japan.
Everton McDougall travelled from Toronto to present the slippers of his brand Haus by Everton to an international audience. It was only the second collection of the brand, where models with intense colours like purple, colourful patterns and thick soles particularly stoof out.
Sport meets fashion
Sportswear continues to be on the rise and is also increasingly mixing with fashion.
Swimwear brand Arena collaborated with Woolmark for merino wool swimming costumes while also showing some pieces that are worn outside the pool - including T-shirts, jumpers and waistcoats. Fashion for cycling enthusiasts, meanwhile, was available from the PH Apparel brand, which now offers styles for casual cycling in the city as well as without a bike.
It wasn’t only sportswear brands, however, that tried their hand at the category – clothing suppliers also experimented in the sports sector. The sustainability-oriented brand Ecoalf showed its new line for yoga, biking, running and surfing. Italian brand Herno, which is the formalwear supplier for FC Barcelona football club for the 2024/25 season, integrated headbands into some looks. Windsor presented its first Summer Wool swim trunks, created in collaboration with producer Reda Active.
From the American Dream to the high seas: The trends at the Pitti
Brands didn't just focus on swimwear, but also drew inspiration from the sea. Of course, nautical styles with blue-striped shirts and boat shoes, as seen at the Italian brand Paul Shark, always play an important role in summer for beach holidays. Brands also dreamed of the high seas and the adventures of sailors. The Italian brand Germano showed trousers with a ship and anchor print. Chulaap additionally put ships on pieces like suits, shirts and trousers. The brand's entire collection revolved around the sea and included a bag in the shape of a fish, an octopus belt and large hats with feathers reminiscent of pirates.
The accessory of the season is the scarf. Whether it's a classic look with a suit like Walker Slater, a playful version like Petronius1926's colourful prints with chillies and lavender, or a casual streetwear look with a loose shirt, basketball cap and jeans at Karl Kani, it can be used everywhere. In addition, retro looks with loose knit shirts like at Drykorn and the Italian brand Cruciani were also popular.
This season, Pitti Uomo once again thrilled with a guest designer as well as a special show. Italian fashion house Fendi showed its menswear collection in its new factory in Tuscany and US brand ERL by Eli Russel showed a silver-grey, sparkling collection on a neon-green catwalk, with looks reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty in New York and big hats like those of "Uncle Tom".
This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.DE. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.