By Lee Leonard, DLS Outfitters
Vroom Pitti Vroom was the theme of Pitti Uomo 84: It was all about motorcycles, the passion for two wheels and the feeling that riding creates. We saw bikes flying in the wind, designer bikes, vintage bikes and pictures of bike racing and images of road trips.
Our great group of retailers had a lot of fun and camaraderie on off the grounds of the Fortezza da Basso where Pitti Uomo is held and in Florence itself. From 1,043 brands where the world’s manufacturers present their new collections and launch their global strategies to start off the buying season in an exhibition area of 59,000 square meters of floor space… The special events and fashion shows are off the charts and the food and wine make for the sweet life in Italy, Dolce Vita.
It’s a whole new world of vendors, modern silhouettes, styles, fabrics, designs, displays, presentations and classifications including accessories from watches, sunglasses and small leather goods for all your technology. Scarves a must-have for Italy. Hats, bow ties, and fragrances. Shoes are a dominant category.
It’s still all about color but neons have been added into the mix in all categories. As far as presentations go Pitti Uomo is like a candy store, with fun and tasty treats farther than the eye can see. Palm trees made of recycled tires. Cars got into the act at Canterelli. Pink umbrellas and outdoor party scenes. The pink camouflage tent…the treats were endless.
As the categories go the soft coat is still king but why not try in a double-breasted model in shirting fabrics shown by G. Inglese? DB models were in the forefront from most vendors and looked very fresh.
As far as other soft coats, JB Britches presented garment-washed cottons from in lots of colors. The Sand collection worked prints into the mix. Cantarelli’s new line of shirt jackets came in many colors but eggplant was fresh in a subdued plaid. Angelo Nardelli worked in tropical print shirts and checkered pants with their soft coats. Altea, which we know best for ties, was working all the categories in their presentations; it is always one of the best.
And when you think of fancy pants I’m sure the trousers from Monocrom don’t come to mind. The J.W. Brine trouser line had their presentation down with using accessories to set the mood. PT01 Pantaloni Torino had the inside popping with prints and a button fly to match. When we say pants on wheels usually that means consignment but in Italy it means this in colors.
Camicia or shirts as we call it…All kinds of colors in solids were available from Orian—pick a color any color. White shirts looked fresh especially when you add a bow tie. Prints were in abundance from Alessandro Gherardeschi. Ganesh had an outside exhibit across from the recycled tire palm trees with a selection of print shirts. Eton looked fantastic and had it all together with new modern silhouettes from tasty patterns to wild prints.
Gitman Vintage had all the conversational prints you could find that popped in color in short sleeves. They carried the same prints in their neckwear and believe it or not, took some of the conversational prints and put them into shorts—a strong classification for the summer. The other novelty shorts I liked was from Marina a yachting inspired collection.
A couple of outerwear resources stuck out even though it can be a tough sale for some of the stores for spring and summer. One was a new company which will be coming to the states called Up to Be. Another is Peuterey, a maker of cool, hip looking jackets.
Last but not least in the building called New Beats, the place for new talent, the focus is mostly graphic tees and fun sport shoes. Check out the vintage Vespa for the sole purpose of highlighting a shoe. And I cannot go without talking about the biker chicks with vintage graphics.
In wrapping up and discussing with our stores about what they saw at Pitti Uomo, the consensus was “Digest what you see and interpret what would be appropriate for the store, adding newness with a touch of shock value.” The product was all there to interpret.
Psycho Bunny had neon already added to their line with their Grande Bunny sported by yours truly, Lee Leonard (aka Leonardo), DLS Apparel Group.