France may be the birthplace of fragrance but today it is Italy that attracts the industry’s most sophisticated producers. Held annually in September in Florence, the Pitti Fragranze trade fair welcomes independent perfume labels – this year it drew more than 2,000 buyers from over 50 countries. The host nation is a key market for artisanal perfumery with hundreds of mom-and-pop retailers here preferring to stock niche labels over bigger names.
Among the 220 exhibitors at the 2017 edition was James Heeley, a Paris-based English perfumer who has collaborated with Maison Kitsuné on Note de Yuzu, a scent inspired by the Japanese citrus fruit. “There is a great energy in Italy for independent perfume,” says Heeley. “Italians are inquisitive and creative; they have an instinct for what’s good so niche perfumers gravitate here.”
Newcomers this year included New Zealand native Frances Shoemack, the creator of Amsterdam-based perfume label Abel, showing off her brand’s range of organic perfumes – an emerging trend at Pitti, with many fragrances here using natural aromatics. Abel’s master perfumer Isaac Sinclair composes eau de parfum by using concentrated mixtures of natural oils, including bergamot from Italy and Haitian vetiver, with a soon-to-be-released creation based on cedarwood sourced from sustainably managed forests in Virginia.
Newcomers to Pitti Fragranze:
Grandiflora: Sydney florist Saskia Havekes makes the crossover into scents with Boronia, which was composed by Bertrand Duchaufour and pays homage to the Australian flower.
Parco 1923: Inspired by the Abruzzo National Park, the label’s eau de toilette has top notes of juniper and angelica and base notes of treemoss and beechwood.
Susanne Kaufmann: The Austrian skincare specialist promoted its line of creams, gels and body oils that use Alpine botanicals such as St John’s wort and witch hazel.
Famed product designer Jasper Morrison’s first line of functional pieces for his new menswear label, Jijibaba, was conceived with fellow designer Jaime Hayon and former Phaidon publisher Richard Schlagman.
New Yorkers Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel launched their line of Italian-made leather bags and shoes in 2012 to wild success. Now their accessories are joined by a ready-to-wear women’s collection of oversized crewnecks and fine-wool overcoats. The range comes in a kaleidoscope of colours, including this sun-yellow cashmere opera coat.
Since 2000, Tokyo label Scye has won hordes of followers for its elegant collections based on British tailoring. In late August, founders Hisayo Hidaka and Hideaki Miyahara opened their much-awaited first shop in the Sendagaya neighbourhood. Designed by Wonderwall’s Masamichi Katayama, the modern space features a bespoke wood-framed glass display case and terrazzo floor tiles. A 10-piece unisex capsule collection is being exclusively sold at the shop to celebrate. The collection includes a four-button tailored jacket based on a 1940s British hospital coat, and a linen work apron.
In their LA studio, Peter and Mia Maxwell handmake wallets, jewellery and handsome totes such as this vegetable-tanned leather number, which will age beautifully.
Rémi de Laquintane, co-founder of Paris men’s brand Editions MR, launched a women’s label in October. Pieces include virgin-wool jumpers and pinstriped jackets made in workshops across Europe, which can be bought directly from Laquintane’s Instagram account. “The woman I’m dressing has to recognise herself in the pictures,” he says.
Yorkshire-based Neil Morris’s three round-toe shoe styles are stitched in Spain from suede and leather. Buy at End in Newcastle or chcm in New York.
Brooklyn-based men’s underwear company Druthers produces its boxers in New York’s garment district. It roams further for its colourful crew socks, which are sewn in Tokyo and Saitama from cotton and recycled yarns.
Arctic air-con can make shopping in Hong Kong malls a chilling experience, so it’s good to see department store Lane Crawford adding a touch of warmth to its marble interiors with three shop-in-shops by London-based menswear retailer Trunk Clothiers (part owned by monocle’s parent company). The year-long partnership, popping up at the ifc, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui branches, brings across familiar brands and furnishings from Trunk’s Marylebone flagship: think Boglioli suits, Barena coats and Camoshita for United Arrows jackets hanging alongside a fireplace, rattan rugs and vintage furniture.
“We wanted an atmosphere that felt warm and welcoming,” says Trunk’s founder Mats Klingberg, who worked on the design with Lane Crawford. Each space transports shoppers into the large dressing room of an adventurous European – and the range of well-cut everyday menswear supports this lifestyle. “Our customers travel a lot and need clothes that work well for that, just like I do,” says the Swede.
Eric Bergère, former designer for Hermès and Lanvin, has always loved Arles in the south of France. He’s now opened a shop there, Dou Bochi Eric Bergère, with his partner Antoine Rambourg. His brightly coloured clothes, such as this rustic linen dress, are made in his Camargue workshop.
16 Rue Réattu, Arles 13200