Luxe renderings of American classics, cycling and retro references abounded at Pitti Uomo in Florence this past week.
Louis Leeman’s spring ’18 collection was inspired by Los Angeles. Espadrilles and skater sneakers came embroidered with palm tree motifs and dress slippers were done in denim, camo and banana leaf prints. The embroideries recalled badges on cheerleaders’ uniforms and baseball caps while the prints all gelled with American culture from work wear and military garb to indigenous flora.
On which note, look out for the spring campaign. “We just shot it in the grounds of James Goldstein’s house in L.A.,” said Erica Pelosini, one half of the design duo. There are lots of banana trees like the prints and monkeys playing with the shoes. Footwear News has seen the evidence of her on iPhone and can certainly vouch for the cute factor.
As for the luxury angle, many of the badges, just like the label’s signature crests, are rendered in real gold thread by a London company that also does embroidery for Queen Elizabeth II. Oh and there’s also a slipper bejazzled with around 11,000 Swarovski diamonds. J.W. Anderson too did a luxe, glitter festooned version of another American staple, Converse’s classic Chuck Taylor boot.
Christian Louboutin went see-now, buy-now for Pitti. The brand staged a bicycle polo tournament which it used as a clever vehicle to debut a new fall ’17 sneaker silhouette; the Aurelien low-top looked to ’90s basketball styles. As for Sir Paul Smith, his spring ’18 PS collection was also inspired by cycling ∏ his favorite sport. Cue some snazzy Teva-esque sandals in blue Velcro while elsewhere faded plimsolls had a ’70s vibe.
Bally too plumbed the decades for spring. It revisited its sports shoe roots of the ’70s and ’80s, releasing new interpretations of styles from decades past including its Super Smash tennis sneaker and Vita-Parkour. There was also a Pitti specific capsule of its classic Competition sneaker in four colorways. ’80s rapper Doug E-Fresh wore a pair of these bad boys on his 1986 album cover “Oh My God.” Someone call Jay-Z.
For more of the top trends at Pitti Uomo, check out the gallery ahead.