As Pitti Immagine chief executive Raffaello Napoleone pointed out at an Il Buco luncheon yesterday, fashion types aren’t usually interested in numbers. But this year’s 94th Pitti Uomo menswear fair in Florence has some impressive stats: 30,000 visitors are expected to attend in total and 1,240 brands are participating. A whopping 561 of them are based outside of Italy, from countries including Georgia, Russia, Denmark, and Pitti’s biggest market, Japan.
Pitti has become a legitimate hotbed for international talent. In January, it hosted Japanese brands Undercover and Takahiromiyashita The Soloist in a back-to-back show, and this summer, it will promote even more Japanese talents (including Bed j.w. Ford and Fumito Ganryu). Pitti has also invited six designers from Tbilisi, Georgia, which just wrapped its own Fashion Week. Below, read six more things to look out for in Florence June 12–15.
Craig Green is the featured guest designer.
London-based designer Craig Green is the headliner this season, scheduled to show his Spring 2019 menswear collection on June 14. Like the guest designers before him—including Raf Simons, Virgil Abloh, Jonathan Anderson, and Gosha Rubchinskiy—Green already has a serious following, but the Pitti seal of approval is significant. Having only participated in London Fashion Week Men’s in the past, this will put his disruptive work in front of a more international audience.
Roberto Cavalli’s new creative director, Paul Surridge, will also be there.
The fashion industry got a sampling of Paul Surridge’s new vision for Roberto Cavalli in his recent women’s shows, but he’s chosen Pitti as the launchpad for his revived men’s line. It’s a bit of a homecoming for the brand: Cavalli himself was born and raised in Florence. Surridge’s women’s collections have focused heavily on Cavalli’s signature animal prints, so we’re expecting to see more of those, plus lots of leather and rich, earthy ’70s tones.
Georgia is the guest nation.
Tbilisi Fashion Week continues to grow and gain international attention. Pitti has invited six designers from the Georgian capital to show their collections in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Aznauri, Anuka Keburia, Gola Damian, Situationist, Tatuna Nikolaishvili, and Vaska. You’ve likely heard of Situationist by Irakli Rusadze, whose designs have turned up on Bella Hadid. He’s also the designer behind Aznauri, a newer men’s label with ’90s vibes and post-Soviet influences.
Moncler’s Genius Project will launch its first collection.
In February, Moncler hosted the fashion event of the season: a massive exhibition for its eight new collaborators, or “geniuses,” including Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha, Craig Green, and more. Their respective collections will launch every month, and Fujiwara’s label, “Moncler 7 Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara,” is first up. His collection leans heavily on ’90s American grunge, seen in plaid flannels and mohair sweaters, and he also made shiny down-filled coats featuring retro-looking Moncler logos.
Football fans are getting a special exhibition, too.
“Fanatic Feelings: Fashion Plays Football” is a special exhibition that will highlight the impact football (i.e. soccer) has had on the men’s fashion world. A separate photography exhibit will trace the lives of stylish soccer icons, including David Beckham, Eric Cantona, and Gigi Meroni. Perhaps this is really where the “athleisure” and streetwear movements began.
Birkenstock wants to prepare you—and your feet!—for a whole month of menswear shows.
Everyone’s favorite ugly-chic sandal company, Birkenstock, made its Fashion Week debut during the men’s shows in Paris last June, and it’s planning another special party for Pitti: a show in the historic Giardini Torrigiani garden. It will feature runway looks styled with the new Spring ’19 shoe collection, a soundscape by Michel Gaubert, and a “natural skin-care foot treatment suite.”
“I Go Out” will explore the relationship with fashion, outdoor activities, and the environment.
No, “I Go Out” isn’t about going out to parties. Inspired by the current trend for rugged, outdoorsy apparel—see: Raf Simons’s rain gear, Balenciaga’s windbreakers, and parkas at Hermès—this exhibit will place clothing, accessories, and objects for outdoor life in a fashion context. The mash-up will also be reflected in an interactive, eco-minded setting.
The 94th men’s fair will also launch Pitti’s Tutorship Reward in partnership with Parsons School of Design.
Last year, Pitti established its Tutorship Reward to support recent graduates from schools around the world. Last week, it was announced that Parsons would be included in that group. Later this month, a judging panel of Parsons faculty will select three designers to participate in the project, and the director of the tutorship program, Riccardo Vannetti, will choose a winner to receive mentorship on brand development and career management.