The fashion world descended upon Florence this week for one of the biggest events in the calendar – Pitti Uomo 93. Unbelievable architecture, appetising food and drink, famous names in the industry and of course the flamboyant ‘Pitti Peacocks’ all combine to make this one of the highlights of the year. Aphrodite sent some of our team out to Florence for the event to get the first glimpse of what the Autumn Winter 2018 season has in store for us.
Pitti Uomo is something else – a maze of buildings and pop up stands housing some of the biggest names in fashion for four days. Industry powerhouses including Canada Goose, Barbour, Belstaff all took up residence to showcase their forthcoming collections whilst lesser known brands try to promote their seasonal offerings to attract new business.
What Brands Stood Out at Pitti Uomo?
Many of the traditional and already successful brands largely stuck to what they know works for them. Why change something too much if it isn’t broken? Tweaking and adding carefully to the collections is key.
Tim Little, Creative Director of Grenson, was there to present his brand and one of the first people we spoke to. It is an extension of what has been tried, tested and perfected for years with the addition of some new pieces which he hopes will work well for Autumn Winter. Grenson Sneakers have proved particularly popular across the last year and he showed us some forthcoming ‘Made in England’ styles which were beautifully handcrafted in their Northamptonshire factory. A running silhouette has also been added to the collection as a follow on from the success of the sneaker.
Barbour were keen to showcase their exciting collaboration with New York based brand Engineered Garments. In all, five jackets took centre stage in their display, utilising their signature wax finish with the technical detailing from Engineered Garments designer Daiki Suzuki.
Outerwear giants Canada Goose housed key pieces from their collection in their own pop up unit complete with a refreshment bar for all guests. Some of the favourite pieces from the brand were on show along with the Black label collection. Their strong collection was fantastic to see as they look to solidify their position at the head of the outerwear industry with so many competing brands having encouraging displays at Pitti.
After a quick spot of lunch at a local café our team were back to the show for round two, taking a look at a number of potential new brands for the season as well as some brands that we currently stock. This included the likes of tried and tested brands for Aphrodite such as Oliver Spencer, Sandqvist, Fracap, Penfield, Belstaff, Paul & Shark and Baracuta.
The diversity of brands and styles of clothing that is on offer at Uomo allows you to compare a vast array of new brands in one session. This ultimately helps our buyers choose which brands to pursue further for the winter season. Some impressive displays of outerwear were to be found, utilising a range of fabrics and fillings, all trying to offer differing technical features that try to separate them from their counterparts.
Designers of boots and shoes were showing their collections, including the likes of Grenson, Clarks Originals, Birkenstock and Fracap, each putting a vastly different take on winter footwear.
The Pitti Peacocks
Buying and trend spotting aside, it is hard to go to Pitti and not visit the famous Pitti wall out of curiosity if nothing else. The ‘Pitti Peacocks’ are unmistakable. Men and women of all ages dress lavishly and flamboyantly, instantly drawing your attention as they stroll through the show. The wall in particular is the place to be if you are a peacock hoping to get your photograph one of the world’s top fashion related blogs and magazines. Photographers buzz around snapping away, shouting instructions and taking videos, culminating in the exchange of business cards and credentials.
Nothing is done accidentally by the peacocks. Accessories are placed on their person or nearby with the photography shot in mind. Intentionally they keep themselves busy, chatting to one-another to make the image look as natural as possible.
Winding Down After Pitti Uomo
After covering around 12km across a full day at the show on Tuesday, our team headed out into the centre of Florence to meet up with a number of associates from the fashion business for an incredible meal hosted by Fred Perry. In a rustic traditional restaurant, an assault on the palette ensued with course after course of delicious appetisers, main meals and desserts offered up plus the obligatory Italian red wine. Days like this in the fashion business are few and far between where you have the opportunity to catch up with so many familiar faces in one City.
Iain, our store manager was lucky enough to bump into designer Angelo Gallamini. The proverbial “can we grab a photo with you?” was asked and Iain took great pleasure in grabbing a souvenir from his trip.
Our team went their separate ways the following day with some making the long journey back to Newcastle airport via Heathrow after a quick cappuccino at the train station. Others made the onward journey to Milan to visit outwear specialists Moncler for their Autumn Winter Grenoble line.
If you were lucky enough to visit Pitti, please leave a comment and let us what you thought was the highlight of your trip. Follow us on our various social media channels for more photos from the event.