If you didn’t have the time or opportunity to go to Pitti Uomo this year, this is THE podcast to listen to for a quick insight into men’s fashion trends for 2022-2023. You may be familiar with the name of this major men’s fashion event that takes place in Italy in Florence twice a year. But why is it so important for the trade and what really sets it apart from Fashion Weeks? We tell you all about the latest edition in January 2022 and the outlook for the Menswear market. Our analysis covers the goodbye to Streetwear, the Activewear trend, and the Vintage as the little brother of eco-responsibility.
18 Janvier 2022 | Florence
De Delphine Souquet
My guest on the podcast is Ludovic Alban, expert in men’s style and present every year at the fair. Stylist and former creative director of major French luxury brands such as Hermès, my guest is now specialized in stretching fashion and sports brands with his creative agency Paris Phoenix Studio.
What is Pitti Uomo for Menswear?
The name Pitti Uomo derives from the Pitti Pallace
But just before we talk about this new edition of Pitti Uomo, let’s have a quick reminder about the origins of the show. Pitti Uomo, literally “the Pitti Man”, is the world’s number one men’s fashion fair founded in Florence, Italy over 30 years ago by its current CEO, Raffaello Napoleone.
Pitti Uomo is a unique concept in the world, intimately linked to the city of FlorenceRaffaello Napoleone
The history of the show is intimately linked to the city of Florence. Pitti Uomo is a unique concept in the world and this is also related to its roots in the city of Florence, as its founder is keen to point out. Let’s take a look at the history of men’s fashion. Pitti Uomo takes its name from the Pitti Palace where the very first shows in the history of men’s fashion took place, just after the Second World War, in the now famous White ball room.
Over the past 30 years, Pitti has grown into an international trade fair with the largest number of exhibiting men’s fashion brands and international buyers. It is both a trade show and a fashion trends hotspot.
The Congolese sapers are part of the ever active memory of the Pitti
The image of the fair is often associated with the Pitti People, influencers and enthusiasts of men’s fashion from all over the world who meet every year at Pitti Uomo. In particular, we think of the Congolese saper movement that is part of the folklore, or rather I would say the memory of Pitti.
Pitti Uomo sets the trend for the Menswear Market worldwide
Pitti Uomo is the event that allows us to take the pulse of the global Menswear market, which is in constant evolution. How are the cards redistributed between the different brands?
A very nice balance between commerciality and creativityLudovic Alban, Founder of Paris Phoenix Studio
Pitti Uomo is also a very nice balance between commerciality and creativity. It is the level of attractiveness of a Milan-type Men’s Fashion Week, with the added reality of the Market.
This year the Pitti fair has two editions in one: Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo.
Italian brands show resilience through Pitti Uomo Menswear fair
“The performance of the Pitti Uomo organization is to maintain the fair this year while the equivalent for sportswear, the ISPO in Munich, is postponed for the second year in a row. Naturally the fair is reduced in number and size of exhibition stands. There are half as many exhibitors as usual, and only 30% of foreign brands. The Italian brands are however very present with new collections. In the end the event attracted 5000 international buyers, about a quarter of what the fair normally represents. The fashion shows and other events in the Fortezza da Basso, the headquarters of Pitti Uomo, are reduced to a minimum, the event of the brand Caruso was canceled at the last minute for lack of attendance. But the fair has almost doubled its size compared to June 2019, so it’s a winning bet for Pitti Uomo and Italy shows if it were necessary that it is a leading nation in Menswear.
It’s crucial for brands to open the sales ball at Pitti Uomo Menswear fair
Pitti Uomo opens the season of fairs and fashion weeks for men. It is an event that remains fundamental to fill the sales book of brands, meet new buyers and consolidate their presence on the retail market.
The particularity of Pitti Uomo is that it is an international event that attracts buyers from all over the world, especially Americans and Chinese, two major markets of the fashion business. This particular year, and for the second year in a row, is in half-tone from this point of view.
The great nation missing from Pitti Uomo is France
But the big missing nation is surprising France. Perhaps because the brands have organized themselves in the meantime to develop e-commerce. The wholesale market has shrunk over the period.
This is explained by the fear of investing to prepare this event and being subject to a last minute cancellation by the organizers. For the Americans and the Chinese, the conditions of return and isolation in their countries due to Covid are also a brake.
Has Streetwear just gone from Pitti Uomo’s Menswear fair?
Streetwear was not present
The men’s market is changing. The logo brands that reinterpreted the iconic sportswear models of the 90s have disappeared. Sportswear also tragically lost its founding father this year, who was Virgil Abloh.
Is this a reflection of reality? We can not certify it because the even at Pitti Uomo was still on a smaller scale and constrained in its organization. Nonetheless, it seems that we are in a new creative cycle.
What is Activewear?
This year’s Pitti has made the choice to highlight activewear. Brands that were once small are now taking an important part in the market.
What is activewear? It’s the combination of comfort and everyday chic, a redefinition of the male wardrobe. Each brand has its specific value. Some around eco-responsibility, others around a more timeless style.
Italian brands are very strong in this area. They are the ones who have created or boosted this segment. In the spearheads there are Prada linea rossa, Moncler, Herno. During this Pitti Uomo we see the emergence or reaffirmation of Italian brands such as Duno, Colmar, and a very interesting Spanish brand, Ecoalf which recycles fishing nets for a style without compromise between creativity and eco-responsibility.
The Vintage in the spotlight with Angelo Vintage
Eco-responsibility has thus become an endogenous pillar of Pitti Uomo and of our consumption patterns. And as a logical consequence, a new building has opened this year at Pitti on the theme of Vintage. Because vintage is the most eco-responsible, there is no manufacturing.
This new Vintage pavilion of Pitti Uomo revolved around the mythical Vintage shop of Florence called Angelo, which was the central point.
More and more menswear stores are offering a selection of vintage pieces for everyday wear in addition to the new designers. This is a very interesting trend from a stylistic point of view. For Ludovic Alban, as a trained stylist, vintage is the point of reference and often the starting point for creation.
Classic Menswear strengthens its identity
Pitti remains for many the ultimate reference in sartorial. This year what was particularly interesting was the work of brands around innovation and strengthening their identity. In this respect, we can mention Caruso and Tombolini, who dared to use prints and materials with new textures. Something interesting is happening around product innovation.
We have left the sartorial defined as the everyday suit to go to work, like a work uniform, to move to something more fun and sophisticated.
We can congratulate the resilience of Italian brands that are strongly present and fighting to move forward.
The return of Jeans, Vintage’s little brother
Last strong trend of this Pitti Uomo 101, the jeans. Return of some historical brands like Lois, a Spanish brand mythical of the 60’s. But also Roy Rogers, an Italian brand less known, which opened a store in Florence and offers a very nice collection around the mythical jeans of the 80’s, 90’s revisited with different washes. And last but not least, another interesting brand this year in the same vein, but more workwear, is Filson.
This year with the difficulty of international travel due to the Covid crisis, it was more difficult to get to the fair. But we were lucky enough to get Ludovic Alban’s impressions after the fair for a special interview on the 2Goodmedia podcast.
I immediately hand over the floor to my guest (direct link to the podcast at the top of the article), Ludovic Alban to discuss this winter 2022 edition of Pitti Uomo, an event that I know very well and that I particularly appreciate for its effervescent and colorful atmosphere. Less Fashion than the Fashion Week, more professional too, and very authentic. This is the world of Real Fashion as some influencers like to describe it. Welcome to Pitti Uomo 2022.
If you want to know more about Pitti Uomo you will sure like the following article about the Pitti Uomo influencers.
You can contact Ludovic Alban, on the https://parisphoenixstudio.com/paris-alpine-studio/ websites.
Language of the episode : French. The interview is always in the original language of the interviewee to hear the direct voice of people that shape the Art and Fashion industry today. You can find the transcript of the episode in Italian and English on our website.
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