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Fashion / Retail

Pitti Uomo: 94th edition

This week the fashion world gathered in sunny Florence for the spring/summer 2019 edition of Pitti Uomo, the fêted menswear tradeshow. Things were a little different this time at the Fortezza da Basso. For one, where were all the Pitti Peacocks? These Italian men, who famously come dressed to the nines (in three-piece suits, top hats and the rest) and spend their days posing, were far less omnipresent than in previous seasons. Many attribute this to the fact that these dandies have finally embraced streetwear (that most ubiquitous of phenomena) and so were wearing trainers and hoodies, much like everyone else. There were other shifts, including a Scandinavian section and a stellar new hall (“I Go Out”) dedicated to outdoor gear. We scoured the stands and perused the 11 pavilions of the Fortezza in search of our new-season picks so you can start planning for your next summer jaunt.

Birkenstock sandal (Germany)

Season after season Birkenstock proves adept at bringing a new edge to its time-honoured styles. This season there were sliders with chunky Velcro straps in shades of coral pink and royal blue, and this Rotterdam sandal, which is made from polyurethane (synthetic) leather and has natty clips that will keep you looking sharp on the beach.

birkenstock.com

Sease jacket (Italy)

Sease is a new Milanese brand dedicated to the outdoors; its vast stand at Pitti was filled with elegant yet hardy gear that’s perfect for camping, sailing or hiking. This “Spray” jacket is made from a fabric that’s a technical reinterpretation of the shiny solaro textile historically used in suiting. It is breathable, windproof and waterproof (ideal for sailing trips) and demonstrates Sease’s skill at creating outerwear that nods to more formal Italian style.

sease.it

Schnayderman’s shirt (Sweden)

Swedish shirt-maker Schnayderman’s was one of the standouts in Scandinavian Manifesto, a new section of the fair dedicated to Scandinavia’s best menswear talents. (Other notable brands included Danish labels Mfpen and Organic Basics: see numbers 5 and 6, respectively). This season Schnayderman’s has introduced oversized shirt styles and a small collection of shorts, but this sunflower-yellow number – made from crinkly lightweight typewriter poplin – was what caught our eye.

schnaydermans.com

And Wander jacket (Japan)

This was the first Pitti outing for Tokyo outdoor brand And Wander. It was one of the standouts in I Go Out, the excellent new pavilion dedicated to high-performance labels. And Wander had many covetable designs, including backpacks, water-repellent shorts and this superlight nylon parka. “I decided to come to Pitti this year for the first time – instead of going to New York – because of this new pavilion,” says founder Keita Ikeuchi. “We wanted to meet new buyers.”

andwander.com

Mfpen shirt (Denmark)

Young Copenhagen designer Sigurd Bank – another standout in the Scandinavian Manifesto section – favours an understated colour palette, cropped boxy silhouettes and interesting materials. This shirt (which also came in a short-sleeved, camp-collar version) is a clever exercise in contrasting textures: the white stripes are woven from bumpy seersucker, while the blue ones are smooth poplin.

mfpen.com

Organic Basics underwear (Denmark)

Four friends launched this Copenhagen underwear brand in 2015 and, for the first two years, they focused on selling direct to consumers (they even relocated to San Francisco for a stint to develop their online model). Now, however, they are expanding into wholesale. Their products are excellent – as is their branding, making use of natty brown-paper packaging for men and pale pink paper for women. The T-shirts and briefs are made in Turkey and Portugal from organic Turkish and Portuguese cotton.

organicbasics.com

De Bonne Facture jacket (France)

Parisian designer Déborah Neuberg is a Monocle favourite and her latest collection did not disappoint. “[The collection] is inspired by the painters, ceramicists, materials and landscapes of Vallauris and the Esterel mountain range in Provence,” says Neuberg. Relaxed linen suits feature prominently, as do painter’s trousers with distinctive pockets and colours such as clay-red and tan. This item, modelled on a classic golf jacket, is French made from cotton ventile sourced from the UK.

debonnefacture.fr

Timo Trunks polo shirt (Thailand)

Bangkok swimwear label Timo Trunks always has one of the brightest stands at Pitti. This season it has produced a line of swimming shorts with patterns and images hand-painted by children, plus this cheeky polo shirt. The shirt’s standout feature is a roomy sailor-style fold-down pocket that will protect your valuables from wayward spray while you sail the high seas.

timotrunks.com

Ermenegildo Zegna swimming shorts (Italy)

The Italian luxury powerhouse launched its beachwear last year and has followed up with a stellar new collection. Its Pitti stand was kitted out like a beach cabana, with white floorboards and a backdrop depicting a shimmering sea. Models wore tomato-red trunks and navy pool slides, and there were Zegna-branded towels and even surfboards. We particularly liked the trunks and slides adorned with maritime-themed illustrations.

zegna.it

Woolrich Outdoor caps (Italy/Japan)

This was the second collection from Woolrich Outdoor, a line designed for Woolrich by Japanese high-performance label Goldwin (which owns shares in Woolrich). The collection was filled with playful and desirable pieces. A parka came in salmon-pink, pyjamas came in yellow or powder-blue seersucker and there was a camo backpack ideal for mountain hikes. We couldn’t go past these stripy seersucker caps, which would bring summer cheer to even the cloudiest of days.

woolrich.com

Correspondents
Jamie Waters, Daphné Hézard

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