After a successful return to a standalone in-person trade fair in June, Pitti Uomo is gearing up to launch its next edition.
Slated to run from Jan. 10-13 at Florence’s historic Fortezza da Basso, the Italian menswear trade show will kick off the fall/winter 2023 men’s selling season as the industry still faces a plethora of headwinds.
As the men’s industry prepares for another in-person fair, see here a round up of all the events, fashion shows and happenings taking place in Florence this January.
Martine Rose Teams Up With Ugg
London-based, swagger-serving Martine Rose brought her mix of thrift cool to Pitti on Thursday, revisiting Italian tailoring and sportswear flair.
She decked a 16th-century loggia in central Florence in saffron yellow carpeting and covered columns with mirrored tiles, sending models down the runway in what she dubbed as an homage to Italian culture. It came across as a subtly and fetish-y sensual lineup where 1980s and 1990s garb had currency.
Models shambling trading the runway revealed Rose’s tie-up with Ugg. The designer reinterpreted the Fuzz Sugar Clog, an eco-minded style crafted from low-impact, plant-based and recycled materials including Tencel’s Lyocell and a Sugarsole midsole. It telegraphed a too-cool-to-care attitude that blended in with the collection.
Lotto Taps Into Fashion Nostalgia
The peacocks gathering at the fairgrounds’ courtyard would say sneakers are dead, but on the actual city streets consumers are not giving up on them as easily. Tapping into fashion nostalgia, Lotto’s latest collection hinged on the glorious days of Italian basketball. The “Hoop Stars” high- and low-top sneakers references just that, its cool edge enhanced by the distressed effect. It is available in a crackled leather version and a suede and leather combo.
Edward Green’s Winning Dress Boots
Pitti Uomo crowned the season’s winner footwear, the Balmoral dress boots, which could be spotted everywhere, sported by attendees and exhibitors alike and omnipresent in the fall collections. British legacy brand Edward Green, known for its dressy lace-ups, moccasins and loafers, had several polished interpretation of the style, from full grain leather to Cordovan versions. It also beefed up its assortments of unlined styles including chukka boots and loafers, the latter high in demand across Europe, Japan and Korea, where it has a significant blueprint.
Fessura Readies U.S. Return
As the brand readies its return to the U.S., a market it lost during the pandemic-disrupted years, and plans to do so with a directional approach geared at opening a flagship store in Miami or Los Angeles with an omnichannel strategy, the fall collection hinged on the trademarked Reflex system based on reflexology. It turns the season’s chunky styles decked in offbeat color combinations, including this lime and fuchsia combo, into energy-boosting devices embracing the wellness trend that often intersects with fashion.
Paraboot Continues Engineered Garments Collab
The French brand’s styles have become quite a classic for the men’s pack. The most intriguing, updated version had the lace-up and moccasin designs crafted from hairy cow leather or accented by a rabbit fur upper panel. In sync with the seasonal trend of dressy – and hiking – boots, the firm gave plenty of interpretations, from polished leather outdoorsy options to grainy untreated ones. Paraboot continued its collab with Engineered Garments for an hiking-inspired range done in an all black or forest green suede iterations.
Voile Blanche Is Still Evolving
It was a sneakers feast at Voile Blanche where the hero Club style keeps evolving with new and bold color combos and silk-screen prints, including the brand’s logo, peppering casual footwear designs.
Flower Mountain Goes Outdoors
An outdoorsy and mountaineering vibe ran through the Flower Mountain fall offering. Inspired by the traditional Japanese embroidery technique known as Sashiko the sneakers’ upper part boast textured and oftentimes 3D effects adding edge to the lifestyle reinterpretation of performance shoes. A capsule collection developed in tandem with young Japanese brand Nape Tokyo further cemented the seasonal link with the Asian country.
Jan-Jan Van Essche x Petrosolaum
As this season’s Pitti Uomo designer project, Antwerp-based Jan-Jan Van Essche brought his flair for “open shapes” to Florence, revisiting the workwear trend reigning supreme at the fairgrounds through his poetic creative spirit, with layered looks and nods to Japanese designs.
The show held inside the 13th-century Santa Maria Novella complex combined a catwalk, dance performance orchestrated by choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and a static display with models standing against the frescos in the landmark’s cloisters to the beat of Japanese taiko player Tsubasa Hori.
The designer continued his collaboration with longtime Japanese shoe partner Petrosolaum, established in 2012 by Sotaro Ogino and his brother Ryo offers handmade shoes with an artisanal flair.
“Normally they make three or four shoes for us because for the catalogue and showroom we didn’t need more,” said Van Essche, whose Florence display was his first runway. “Now they had to make thirty-something shoes. They did an amazing job just having these ready in four months, all handmade,” he said.
Styles included round-toed lace-up derbies in earthy tones such as burgundy and maroon, similar designs boasting a thin outsole as if they were ballet flats, as well as dressy boots in full grain leather. They will retail via Petrosolaum stockists and website as a co-branded effort.
Brunello Cucinelli Toasts Fall 2023 With Florentine Dinner
Brunello Cucinelli hosted its seasonal dinner for press and buyers on the first night of Pitti Uomo. The Italian luxury brand toasted its fall/winter 2023 men’s collection, which was on display at the fair.
Every look is characterized by a key garment that is its focal point, that expresses the overall style but, at the same time, is defined by the harmony of combinations. A tailored cashmere coat, a special hand-knit sweater or a suit made of a precious fabric can constitute this focus of attention, which is then balanced in a contemporary way by overlays, trousers, and accessories.
In this spirit, based on a careful study of codes and alert sensitivity to contemporary influences, the Fall Winter 2023 Collection was designed with a full focus on the importance of time: the time for experience that cultivates knowledge, the time for artisanal creation, the time in which every garment will have the opportunity to renew itself with combinations that enhance its inherent qualities. Just like a classic that, thanks to strong roots, can take on new and richer meanings, day after day.
Scarosso Throws Packed Cocktail Bash
Scarosso threw another bash during Pitti Uomo to celebrate its most recent collaborations, including the second drop of the Nick Wooster tie-up, which kicked off in 2021, along with Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti and menswear expert Matt Hranek. Guests enjoyed drinks, food and live music in the beautiful winter garden of Hotel Helvetia & Bristol, capping off the first busy day at the fair.
Jan-Jan Van Essche to Stage First-Ever Show as Next Designer Project
Pitti Uomo has announced that Jan-Jan Van Essche is the Designer Project of the next edition of the menswear trade fair in January. The Belgian designer will be bringing his fluid and essential concept of fashion to Florence at a one-of-a-kind unique event, scheduled on Wednesday, Jan. 11. The location of the event will be announced in the next few days.
Van Essche said in a statement that he is “really happy, honored and grateful” to be invited by Pitti Uomo to present his work. “This will be our first show ever, so it’s going to be a special event for us in any case,” the designer said. “To be able to hold this first show in the unique atmosphere of the city of Firenze makes it extra special, something I could have only dreamed of. We feel very much supported in creating the presentation and are very motivated to make it an unforgettable moment.”
“Jan-Jan Van Essche is a reserved yet emblematic figure in contemporary men’s fashion to an extent that he would probably be the first to consider superfluous any claims of gender distinction, either to confirm it or decree it has been surpassed,” Lapo Cianchi, director of communication and events at Pitti Immagine, said in a statement. “Instead, he is interested in generating, each time, a different version of the same model of elegance and naturalness and transmitting an idea of freedom.”
Cianchi continued: “Being aware of the privateness of his character and the attention he pays to maintaining the right balance between the content and exhibition of his collections, I was not sure that he would accept our invitation. But he did, something we are very pleased about and which, we hope, will increase interest in his work.”
Van Essche graduated the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2003. In June 2010, Van Essche launched his eponymous label with “Collection#1 – ‘Yukkuri’,” Japanese for ‘take it easy’ or ‘step by step’. This title also became his intrinsic and conceptual approach to contemporary wardrobes as a designer.
Martine Rose Named Guest Designer
Martine Rose has been named the next guest designer of Pitti Uomo. The Anglo-Jamaican designer will showcase her fall/winter 2023 collection at a special event during the menswear trade fair. Specific event details are not yet known.
In a statement on Tuesday, Rose said that she was “honored” to be showing as part of the next edition of Pitti Uomo. “Pitti were celebrating mens design [sic] way ahead of the curve, and many of the designers I respect have been a part of it,” Rose said. “We are all so excited to come to Florence, a city I love, with our next collection!”
Lapo Cianchi and Francesca Tacconi, heads of the special projects of Pitti Immagine, added in the statement, “At the first meeting with Martine for the special event in Florence, we ended up talking more about family, schools, daily shopping and cycles of life in popular neighborhoods than about fashion shows. Yet it was evident how all this was closely related to her work, a cognitive and emotional baggage that mixes with great creative freedom with social and cultural thoughts and that is reflected in her collections.”
Rose launched her eponymous label in London in 2007. She is most inspired by her Jamaican-British heritage and her deep interest and personal involvement in the music and high/low melting-pot cultures of London. Family and community are at the heart of the company. Famously, her shows have been held in spaces such as the covered markets of Tottenham, a neighborhood cul-de-sac in Camden and the Torriano Primary School. Plus, her exploration of masculinity, the sexual edge of the collections and sensitivity to character and mood define her work.
In 2021, the label received investment from U.K. brand accelerator Tomorrow, acting as a collaborative and global licensing partner. In 2019, Martine Rose participated in the exhibition “Get Up, Stand Up Now,” a celebration of 50 years of Black British creativity at Somerset House in London. That year she was also nominated for the BFC’s Menswear Designer of the Year award and the Urban Lux Award. Martine Rose was nominated for the BFC’s British Menswear Designer of the Year award in 2018 and 2017, when she was in addition shortlisted for the LVMH prize and nominated for the ANDAM award for emerging designers.