Discussed most over cocktails and mens fashion events were Prada’s stock prices, on the agenda for the 24th of June in Hong Kong, and those of Ferragamo, due on the 29th at Milan’s Stock Exchange. As Ferruccio Ferragamo jokingly put it last week at the presentation at that temple of Milanese finance, Mediobanca, “the idea of printing share certificates in Chinese wasn’t in our hearts but we decided first and foremost to support Made in Italy”. And effectively, this last fortnight dedicated to menswear Spring and Summer 2012, buyers seem to have rediscovered an appreciation of Italian collections, whilst many manufacturing companies are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
During the first three months of 2011 the turnover for textiles and fashion, compared to the same period in 2010, grew by 5.6%. This was in spite of the buying power of Italian families being “the thorn in the side” of mens fashion: in the calendar year of 2010 a new shrinkage of total sales of 2% was registered. Export was better: Japan showed a recovery of +13.7%, while the United States achieved one of 18.5%.
It is no coincidence therefore that America and in particular California were the main players in the 80th edition of Pitti Uomo. The Rodarte sisters, Laura and Kate Mulleavy, special guests of Pitti W, and the 36 year old Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders, an exceptional designer of menswear, are all Californians. The fashion show paid homage to American musicals. Instead Alberto Guardiani’s collection of shoes, created together with Sebastien Clivaz, fashion director of the British magazine Wallpaper, gave the o.k. to British style.
“A decidedly energetic Pitti Uomo”, commented Raffaello Napoleone, managing director of the event that closed its doors to the tune of a 7.6% growth in International buyers. Energetic but also technological: 27 June will see the entry into operation of e-Pitti, a digital platform that will host trade fairs online. In a few months’ time the marketplace area will also be up and running with the collection of labels that will be subscribing to the service Showroom B2B. “What interests us is the potential of the brand. We kept our rates low (4 thousand euros a year) because we will receive 5% commission on trading ", explained Francesco Bottigliero, Chief Executive Officer of Fiera Digitale to Fashion United,.
Milan fashion week
Once the fair in Florence closed, the fashion world moved to Milan for menswear Spring and Summer 2012 (84 collections and 39 catwalks) and for White. The fair also opened its doors to womens collections and was forced to give in to a change of name from White Homme to White June. Good attendance on Sunday 19th, first day of opening. Many were attracted to Antonio Marras’ installation of a perfumed garden, with dresses from the womens collection, in cool white cotton, hanging from the ceiling and surrounded by trees and daisies. In the basement of the venue a Florentine artisan of the Monaco Metropolitano brand could be seen, busy sewing a leather bag.
The vision of Carlo Pignatelli, needle and thread in hand, was another unpublicised event after all the partying and sequinned, sparkling marketing that typified fashion week. The stylist from Turin paraded as special guest Sì Sposa Italia, a fair on in Milan until 20 June. The bridal sector, after a 2009 at -15,8%, closed 2010 up 2%.
Returning to menswear, sober and elegant, with suits in “technological” silk was the collection of Ermenegildo Zegna. L’Uomo by Dolce & Gabbana, instead ascending the catwalk to the notes of “Goodnight Moon” by Shivaree, was found to be wearing black, grey and dark brown.
From college style to formal outfits, punctuated by a few nods towards street style for Trussardi’s collection designed by Umit Benan. A nice idea that of having the models, dressed to the nines, arrive in private cars and taxis in front of the fashion house, in piazza Scala.
From our correspondent in Milan
Photo: Band of Outsiders
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