Pitti Uomo 2017 has the theme ‘Pitti in Bloom’, but this is a flower that has been blossoming beautifully for years now. Giovanni Battista Giorgini, the founder of Pitti Uomo, first welcomed fashion buyers from the essential American market to Florence in 1951. This led to the first edition of Pitti Uomo, the tradeshow launched by Giorgini in 1972 to present men’s Italian tailoring and style. Interest in Pitti Uomo certainly did not suffer when films like “American Gigolo” helped Italian tailoring become a byword for streamlined style; the tradeshow moved to larger premises in 1982 and has continued to carry on strong.
Today, the incredible success of Pitti Uomo as an ambassador for style is evident in the justification for the number-one entry on the 2017 Esquire list of the 40 best-dressed men in the world, Alessandro Squarzi. Reads the text: “The Italian fashion entrepreneur and street style icon is the real star of the Pitti Imaginaire 'Peacocks.'”
The brands showcased in today’s Pitti Uomo are 60% Italian, 40% international, which has helped the show weather the stormy Italian economy. The president and CEO of Comme des Garçons, Adrian Joffe, said of the show, “The mission of Pitti is to develop the best brands and manufacturers, and select for the buyers the best, not only in Italy, but in the world.” This now includes identifying new, promising designers. The 21,000 fashion buyers that descend on the fair are voracious and include delegates from Russia, Japan, and Australia as well as the Italians. Pitti is known for attracting the most discerning of European and international buyers; although the UK was not well represented in the first days of the fair, the British presence is forecast to increase later in the run.
This year, Pitti Uomo welcomes Paul Smith and Tommy Hilfiger back for their second appearances. The prominence of the artisan trend was highlighted through the new Make hall at the fair, which featured British outerwear brand Lamler among others. Trends noted included camouflage as exhibited by brands such as K-Way and Moose Knuckles; nautical detail; and pastel hues like pistachio and rose, as utilised by Farah, Fred Perry, and Richard James. Another notable collaboration was the one between JW Anderson and Converse.
The interests of the fair are watched over by a protective board; further fuelled by the fair’s closed e-platform, E-Pitti, and by interest given to fairgoers by street style watchers, there is no doubt that the Pitti Uomo bloom will remain fresh for quite some time to come.
Photo source: Giovanni Giannoni for Pitti Uomo