At its third day, the 80th edition of Pitti Uomo (also see our previous reportage) registered growth results such as a plus of 7.6% in international buyers and a plus of 2% in Italian buyers. Important international markets registered an increase: Germany +8.2%, Japan +6.5%, Spain +2.5%, UK +15.5%, The Netherlands +23%, South Korea +20.17%, US +38,5%. In addition, positive performances also came from buyers from Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Taiwan, Brazil and Singapore.

“It is an edition full of energy," commented Raffaello Napoleone, CEO Pitti Immagine. “Our exhibitors are meeting the most important international boutiques and department stores. And, as we all know, at this moment, export is the crucial factor that is driving the economic recovery. We are very satisfied: if these percentage variations remain unchanged until the end, we will reach 20,000 buyers (7,450 international buyers and 12,500 Italians)”.

The event at the kick-off of the s/s 2012 season, hosted 995 brands, 347 of which from foreign countries (almost 35% of the total) and a total of 825 companies were attending the event occupying an area of 59,000sqm.

Travel was the main inspiring theme of this edition leading visitors through a “Magical Pitti Tour". Decor elements were characterized by a huge metaphorical style map with routes, stations, transfer point destinations and panoramic stops in most different style directions.

Also the collections offered focused on travelling and a general relaxed inspiration with Sahara jackets and shirt-jackets, aged and outlived apparel, creased shirts carrying micro design prints or in plain colonial colors such as khaki and beige are hot, even if often highlighted by bright color accents added by colored shoe soles and bow-ties.

Like a movie star
Band of Outsiders
Band of Outsiders
Scott Sternberg, designer and owner of the men’s Band of Outsiders and women's Band of Outsiders and Band of Outsiders brands, presented his new approach to modern menswear and womenswear with a balance of sport and tailoring, laid-back and buttoned up. Re-inventing the must-haves of a men's wardrobe in a newly redesigned selection of colorful blazers, V-necked tops with contrast color detailing. Its women collections offered innovative dresses inspired by traditional seersucker jackets and poplin shirts, sleeveless white dinner jackets with black lapels and side bands. Indispensable elements of his signature are irony and fun, bright colors, '80s reminiscences and movie musicals like West Side Story and Singin’ in the Rain. “Guys like Gene Kelley and George Chakiris represented a completely different masculine ideal... a guy who can just break out into dance with full confidence as a means of expression. It’s so different from today yet somehow felt very fresh to me,” commented Scott Sternberg, Designer of Band of Outsiders who previously worked in the movie industry.

Back to workwear
Traditional names like Smith's America, newly distributed in Europe by Italian company Bridge Srl, focused on a new menswear focusing on linen-cotton blazers and aged sneakers and laced-up leather shoes, whereas Carhartt, for the first time at Pitti, presented its own sportswear-minded approach to workwear for both men and women. Other brands that were inspired by workwear include Woolrich Woolen Mills, also debuting at Pitti, and presenting the collection of its new designer, Mark McNairy. Museum presented a series of redesigned outer jackets by Japanese designer Cho Sung June. Soft and creased shirting is hot as seen at the newest BD Baggies new laundry-style concept corner.

Inside-out meets camouflage
Reversibility was a theme for many sportswear brands (see also our previous reportage on Pitti) including Combo, now also launching its new women's complete vintage-chic collection, and also by more formalwear-focused brands such as Lardini's water-proof reversible blazers and jackets. Camouflage is back as shown by Blauer in a floral new version or vegetal-inspired as seen at C.P. Company. Mason's focused on camouflage, too, as did Edwin that also offered "Overworks Factory", a series of reproductions of its own archive pieces made with authentic precious Japanese cotton fabrics. A special edition camouflage was decorating the inner lining of a special rubberized parka designed by the musician, James Lavelle, for Denham. The camouflage effect was recreated by printed motives completed by mirrored prints of Lavelle's lyrics.

Aged and artistic
Jeanswear is a must-have men will never do without. Vintage and rustic effects are important together with visible aging treatments as presented by Ra-Re's new fits characterized by arched legs and highly aged effects. Denham presented a special jeans product completely hand-stitched. The special five-pocket model carries 3,785 handmade-only stitches that can be produced in five days. Another special edition of jeans they presented was a pair of jeans with 17 stitches per inch for a very delicate visual aspect. Even more artistic-driven was the presentation of Unlimited Jeans that celebrated its 35th anniversary together with French artist, Bernard Aubertin, also known as “le Pyromane”, who burnt denim pieces with the intention to make art pieces out of them. Borsalino presented Fashion Balloons, a series of hats in straw, hemp or fabric decorated by street artist Willow with comic-like balloons.