Let’s go to Pitti Uomo, the world’s number one men’s fashion fair which takes place twice a year in Florence Italy. If I tell you that the pandemic has profoundly changed our lifestyle and that it has shaken up the menswear market, what do you say? I started every interview recorded at Pitti Uomo in this way by asking my guests what trends they saw emerging. My guest today is Antonio de Matteis, CEO of Kiton, which is famous worlwide for the excellence of textures and tailoring, especially the jackets crafted in Naples. We talk about the transformation of Menstyle and the KNT project.
January, 2023 | Florence
By Delphine Souquet
Introduction of the episode with Kiton at Pitti Uomo on Menstyle
Delphine [00:00:00] My name is Delphine Souquet and I welcome you to 2Goodmedia, the French media, which analyzes the emergence of new strategies from a commercial and creative point of view. I am known in France as the Loïc Prigent of the podcast, a well-known insider of Parisian fashion shows. Because my specialty is covering the backstage of events in the creative industries in France and abroad, on podcast, to meet brand CEOs. We’re good let’s go! If I tell you that the pandemic has profoundly changed our lifestyle and that it has shifted the lines of the men’s fashion market. What do you say? This is how I started every recorded interview at Pitti Uomo, asking my guests what trends they see emerging.
Antonio De Matteis [00:01:09] Antonio De Matteis, CEO of the Kiton Group. Kiton is part of the fashion world, even if in a sector we say classic, formal. But I think it was a need that we heard many years ago, because Kiton started about twenty years ago in the transformation of its collection. Then in 2018 we launched this new KNT project, which immediately received excellent feedback. The public understood it and we believe it is the future. I believe that young people certainly want to dress like this in an elegant way tomorrow, because in my opinion, elegance is part of the Kiton world and therefore we never want to abandon what are the canons of elegance, but in a modern way. And that is the answer.
Description of the episode with KITON at Pitti Uomo
how Kiton, a great Italian name in Neapolitan tailoring, managed to transform the way of dressing to meet the needs of the new generationsDelphine, Founder of 2goodmedia
Delphine [00:02:02] I m arriving at Kiton’s booth at Pitti Uomo and I am very honored to speak with the brand’s CEO.
Antonio De Matteis [00:02:11] It’s a pleasure for me. Thank you.
How to transform menswear collections to meet the needs of new generations
Delphine [00:02:14] I had a very specific question to understand how Kiton, with his experience in tailoring, a great Italian name in Neapolitan tailoring, managed to transform the way of dressing to meet the needs of the new generations.
Kiton started about twenty years ago in the transformation of its collectionAntonio de Matteis, CEO of KITON
Antonio De Matteis [00:02:41] I believe that clothing has always changed in the world. We certainly don’t dress like our fathers did and our children don’t dress like we do. So I believe that fashion is a constantly evolving sector. Kiton is part of the fashion world, even if in a sector we say classic, formal. But I think it was a need that we heard many years ago, because Kiton started about twenty years ago in the transformation of its collection. Then in 2018 we launched this new KNT project, which immediately received excellent feedback. The audience understood it. Then, unfortunately, there was the pandemic. So for two years this project certainly slept a bit and now we’re relaunching it in a big way, and we believe it’s the future. I believe that young people will certainly want to dress like this in an elegant way tomorrow, because in my opinion, elegance is part of the Kiton world and therefore we never want to abandon what are the canons of elegance, but in a modern way. And that is the answer. With KNT.
The know-how and tradition of Kiton showing at Pitti Uomo
Delphine [00:03:57] If I have understood correctly, the whole Kiton tradition is always at the service of this modernity. They are not separate capsules for KNT, everything is integrated into Kiton’s kow-how. Is this also important to you?
Antonio De Matteis [00:04:14] Definitely yes. Behind this project there is all Kiton’s know-how, starting from the production of fabrics. This was born precisely in experimentation, in an attempt to make new fabrics, modern fabrics. During these attempts we had such good results that we decided to do a separate project that we then called Kiton New Texture, which are the reason why the project is called KNT. Certainly all the company’s know-how is available behind it. The garments are made in the same artisanal way as Kiton products. Here there is no difference in processing, just as there is no difference in price, which many customers ask us for. But does it cost less? Absolutely. No, because the garment is made in the same way as a Kiton product.
How to educate the new generations to elegance and style
Delphine [00:05:04] The tastes of the new generations for tailoring. It’s a very important thing today. How how do you see it?
Antonio De Matteis [00:05:14] Certainly yes, because they will be the customers of the future, they are the customers of today. Today, many of our customers are already 30 to 40 years old, so they are not children, but they are not even mature people. So fashion is evolving, those who do not evolve close, those who do not evolve die, and KITON certainly has no intention of dying, but wants to grow and wants to evolve with young people and will transform like all fashion companies. I believe that this is a normal evolution of our world.
The Family business
In my opinion, it is one of the secrets of our company.Antonio de Matteis, CEO Kiton
Delphine [00:05:44] In the management of the company, a company with a strong presence of the family of origin, even all generations are present in the company?
Antonio De Matteis [00:05:55] Today we are the second generation in the company, we are five cousins who run the company. And then there’s the third generation. The children of some of us are already six of them in companies that work every day, which are a great incentive for us to do better, who always push us to risk, to dare. In my opinion, it is one of the secrets of our company.
Delphine [00:06:16] And for instance, where? An example that comes to mind about these exchanges that exist between generations in the company.
Antonio De Matteis [00:06:28] Let’s talk about something very simple: the fit of a jacket, the fit of a product. Young people have a completely different vision from ours and we follow them because in the end they are right. So this shows that young people in companies need us, they are a great stimulus and fortunately we have them. And thet are also very good.
The tradition of Neapolitan tailoring of Kiton showing at Pitti Uomo
the secret of Neapolitan tailoring is especially in the way the jacket is built
Delphine [00:06:47] And does Neapolitan tailoring always have its value in the world?
Antonio De Matteis [00:06:55] I absolutely believe so. I believe that the secret of Neapolitan tailoring is especially in the way the jacket is built, a very light jacket, a jacket that becomes a second skin, a jacket that certainly adapts very well to the person’s body. And today people are looking for comfort, they are looking for convenience, but at the same time they are looking for style, they are looking for elegance.
The Chinese market and the taste for tailoring
I believe that they, too, are a people of great culture and therefore certainly a person of culture loves quality
Delphine [00:07:18] On 2Goodmedia for the first time, we will publish a report in Chinese to create bridges between Pitti Uomo and China. What are the interesting things about this Chinese market? The fashion market? From your point of view.
Antonio De Matteis [00:07:35] I believe that the Chinese market is still a very young market, but it is still very eager for new. [00:07:41]I believe that the Chinese market, like all markets, will evolve and I also believe that they too will seek more quality, they will seek more elegance, they will be much more attentive to detail, something that our young people do today. [13.1s] So I am very confident that the Chinese market will always become, but increasingly important for all of us.
Delphine [00:08:01] According to you, the theme of education for style, for beauty is an important thing to create communities of gentlemen, in the way they dress. And on this, for example, it is difficult, I think for a new market on the sartorial side like China, that there are no such sartorial traditions. How to educate yourself in a very different way of dressing like the sartorial way?
Antonio De Matteis [00:08:36] So I believe that today there are many media such as social networks, such as television, that certainly accelerate all these movements. I believe that even the Chinese will get very close to the world of tailoring. I believe that they, too, are a people of great culture and therefore certainly a person of culture loves quality. [00:08:57]In my opinion, quality is the keyword, quality, elegance are also theirs. [3.4s] By starting to travel, to travel more around the world, they will want to feel more elegant and qualitatively more comfortable.
KITON at PITTI UOMO
Personally, I have only done 80Antonio de Matteis, CEO Kiton
Delphine [00:09:10] Is this why you are always present at PITTI?
Antonio De Matteis [00:09:14] We haven’t missed any Pitti in all time. [00:09:17]Personally, I have only done 80, so I believe it is a fundamental fair for men’s clothing, because it is the first moment where the season starts from and I certainly believe that it is, both for us producers and for buyers, it is an important moment for a discussion to have a chat, to talk, possibly to see new things. [24.2s]
What about the AVATARS at PITTI UOMO?
People want to live, they want to have fun, they want to socialize again
Delphine [00:09:43] And I don’t see much of the metaverse, the avatars at PITTI. I’m surprised, at each edition I think maybe there will be something… An avatar? No, nothing for the moment. What do you think about it? For Kiton.
Antonio De Matteis [00:10:02] I believe that we have just come out of a pandemic where for two years, almost three years, we were forced to stay at home. Let’s just say no one wants to stay at home anymore. People want to live, they want to have fun, they want to socialize again. So the avatars in my opinion are not close. Right now.
Delphine [00:10:21] And thank you very much, it was a pleasure.
Antonio De Matteis [00:10:24] Thanks for everything, it was a pleasure. Goodbye!
Outro of the podcast
Delphine [00:10:29] Hi podcast! I’m Delphine and you’re listening to 2Good podcast. Thank you for listening to this episode recorded at Pitti Uomo. All episodes of this January 2023 edition are available on the 2GoodMedia.com website. You will also find the photos of the event and the transcript of the podcast episodes in three languages: French, English and Italian. If you have discovered this report, don’t forget to subscribe to our biennial Pitti Uomo newsletter, which covers the key moments of this important men’s fashion fair. And this year, for the first time, we will publish a Pitti Uomo Podcast Newsletter, also available in Chinese. See you soon on 2Goodmedia.
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