“Finally we are here” and “It’s great to see you again” were some enthusiastic leitmotiv-like greetings that echoed throughout Florence’s Fortezza Da Basso, between June 30 and July 2, 2021, during Pitti Immagine Uomo, the first show taking place again as a physical event after the pandemic kicking off the season’s new trends and collections for s/s 2022.

Although international traveling is restricted, a good attendance could be sensed along the open spaces, pavilions and corridors, of this reduced-size edition of Pitti Uomo, being held together with Pitti Bimbo in the same location, and in part overlapping with Pitti Filati held at the Stazione Leopolda distinct location (also see here).

Pitti Uomo, central courtyard
Photo: Pitti Uomo
Pitti Uomo, central courtyard
Between fast tests, vaccination checking, temperature testing and some queuing, entering the show was relatively easy and keeping a distance or wearing a mask seemed to be the standard of this 100th edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo.

Events, special projects and initiatives mostly took place inside the Fortezza, where a selection of 338 brands, of which 28% are from foreign countries, participated in the show.

"We have had about 10,000 people working in total safety this week. And this is the first great result that I want to highlight,” said Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine. “The Pitti salons were the first of the major international fashion events to reopen. We were the forerunner and the model. Stazione Leopolda for Pitti Filati, then Fortezza da Basso for Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo, were the physical spaces and at the same time the symbolic places of a fashion restart that was longed for by everyone: exhibitors, buyers, journalists and, of course, we organizers, together with all those who contribute to the creation and smooth running of the Pitti salons, including the city services. I don't usually indulge in sentimentality, but if there was one special feature of the days of the fair that are coming to an end today, it is the combination of desire, determination and the pleasure of getting back face to face, of measuring oneself and others, clients and colleagues, of exchanging ideas and comments, even of sharing the difficulties experienced and that are still being and will continue to be felt, together with the reaffirmation of an intact love for work through the presentation of the new collections. The data on buyer participation should be read in this context, where quality, motivation and concentration were the elements most emphasized by the exhibitors themselves.”
Raffaello Napoleone, CEO, Pitti Immagine
Photo: Pitti Immagine
Raffaello Napoleone, CEO, Pitti Immagine
According to the organizers Pitti Uomo with Bimbo in the Fortezza (from June 30 to July 2), just a few hours before closing, had already reached about 6,000 visitors (including more than 4,000 buyers), with an overall percentage of foreign buyers of just under 30%.

In addition to European countries (Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Russia, Poland, Greece and Portugal in the lead), buyers arrived from the United States (driven by large department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus), Canada and Turkey, and European representatives of the main department stores and retail groups from China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea, countries from where it is still not possible to move. Although the attendance was limited, the results were extremely significant, Pitti Immagine states.


Every brand tells a story
As a consequence of the spreading of the pandemic and its hard-to-face effects, a more conscious and responsible attitude has become the standard that almost every brand is trying to align with.

Thus the show presented the third edition of Sustainable Style, spotlighting a new selection of eco-friendly brands focused on ethics, sustainability, research and business. “Sustainable Style has reached its third edition, confirming its attitude in scouting all over the world. Every brand has a story to tell, an ambitious value path to follow, ideas and projects aimed to safeguard local expertise and craftsmanship,” said Giorgia Cantarini, curator of the project.

Among participants, Arbo Paris is a man’s ready-to-wear brand at the crossroads of several genres that revisited tailoring and wardrobe classics. It includes shirts, jackets and pants but also dresses for men. It is made by recovering stocks of unused fabrics from fashion houses and employed them, in its own way, generating a reduced carbon footprint.

Patchouli Studio offers knitwear pieces made with yarns obtained from unsold stocks or unused test quantities of fabrics and yarns. It also recuperates vintage, damaged or second-choice pieces that are then assembled into new ones.

Patrick McDowell is a London designer who opened the first Swap Shop during the London Fashion Week and collaborated with global brands by promoting sustainability and creating entirely digital collections. In 2020, he was named sustainability design director for Pinko.

Reamerei is an Italian 100% made in Italy apparel brand strongly focused on using biological materials, either regenerated or upcycled.

Vitelli, founded by Mauro Simionato, is a sustainable brand offering hippie-inspired items made with Doomboh, a special fabric obtained from the upcycling of weaving textiles by Bonotto and added onto needle-punched wool fabrics.

Andrea Rosso’s Myar offers custom-made solutions for upcycling secondhand items using innovative techniques for applying single-exemplar patches or stock fabrics.
Myar booth in the Sustainable Style section
Photo: Pitti Uomo
Myar booth in the Sustainable Style section
Other brands part of Sustainable Style and therefore located right next to it included Superduper Hats that presented hats made with biological cotton and dyed with natural substances. Unfeigned (also see here) and Olow use certified sustainable materials such as organic cotton, among others. German label Buttertea presented its sustainable high end cashmere line with cashmere fibers coming from Mongolia, all hand-knitted in Tuscany.
Cashmere scarf by Buttertea
Photo: Sabine Kühnl
Cashmere scarf by Buttertea
Lots of innovation is being developed in footwear as Re49 sneakers are made by using recycled fabrics such as tapestry, cot fabrics and denim, and soles made with recycled tires. Another sneaker brand called “.0” recycles wood remains, adding them to natural glues for creating one single material that can be used either as a yarn for knitting the sneakers’ uppers or for producing its soles and decorative elements. After long tests, it manages to use almost 90% sustainable materials.


Sustainability is inside
Other brands hosted throughout the show launched some of their most sustainable and innovative pieces. Among them Roy Rogers launched three different jeans made with organic cotton, recycled cotton and washed according to sustainable practices such as the Smart Foam technology saving water and energy, using special rubber stones instead of pumice stones and a sustainable solution for fading jeans.

Paul & Shark offers tops made with Re-Cotton, a special recycled cotton, that instead of using 5,000 liters of water for producing a T-shirt only uses 3,000 liters. Its jackets, instead, are made with Econyl, regenerated purified nylon obtained by recycling fishing nets found in oceans and, starting from f/w 2021-22, also Seaqual, a polyester made with recycled post consumer plastic collected in the sea.
Paul & Shark booth
Photo: Maria Cristina Pavarini
Paul & Shark booth
One highlight was the presentation of designer Thebe Magugu's collection, this edition's Special Guest Pitti Immagine Uomo. His collection includes bags and cowboy boots made with leather treated by Cuoio di Toscana, a historical consortium of tanners operating according to sustainable and low-environmental impact practices.
Backstage at Thebe Magugu's presentation
Photo: Pitti Uomo
Backstage at Thebe Magugu's presentation
How accessories become indispensable (for the planet)
N’Go Shoes sneakers have their uppers woven by Vietnamese craftspeople. Moreover, the brand recently also launched a line of backpacks made with recycled plastic.

Moaconcept Master Legacy is a new concept that offers shoes made with alternative leather materials such as, for instance, Organicraft, a biodegradable and sustainable leather that requires less water, is dyed with vegetal pigments and finished without chemicals. Regenesi offers a selection of bags made with recycled PET and another one made with leather production remains.

Goodyear Eagle has launched a sneaker made with carbon fiber and other sustainable materials. It also presents a 100-piece limited edition of bags in carbon fiber as a celebration of Pitti’s 100th edition.

Gandhara offers a line of bathing suits and T-shirts made with eco-friendly materials such as Econyl and organic cotton.


Pitti goes high-tech
Along with a high concentration of eco-friendly developments, many high-tech products are invading fashion also.

Among them there is Alphatauri presented its collections in a highly versatile mobile sci-fi showroom. For instance, it hosts a special robot system that can operate it and, among other tasks, it also can show the collection to clients remotely. Among its newest developments Alphatauri presented a collection of lightweight, essential design, highly breathable and easy-to-pack pieces made with technical fabrics such as Taurex and Taurobran developed in collaboration with Schoeller Textil AG, including 3D seamless knitwear and a mix of cashmere and Coolmax.
AlphaTauri booth at Pitti
Photo: AlphaTauri
AlphaTauri booth at Pitti
AlphaTauri looks
Photo: AlphaTauri
AlphaTauri looks
Another innovation made its debut. The AccYouRate technology can monitor the bio-vital parameters of the individual. It is made up of a ISO-10993-1 certified washable and reusable material that can be printed on a T-shirt but also on gloves, shoe insoles, headbands and masks with sensors. This material has the intelligence of a sensor capable of detecting biomedical exact parameters such as heartbeat, breathing rate, sweat monitoring, muscular effort, temperature and others. Such results are then communicated to remote devices via the cloud.

[Please note: this article was updated on 3 July, 2021]



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