by Stephen Garner

On Friday, Pitti Immagine announced that it will cancel its upcoming in-person editions of Pitti Uomo, Pitti Bimbo, and Pitti Filati that were slated to take place in February. Instead, the Italian tradeshow organizers will exclusively host its shows digitally this season on the Pitti Connect platform through April to ensure an “in-depth exchange” between international buyers, press, and brands.

“In the last few weeks, the probability of being able to hold the fairs in a physical format had clearly decreased,” said Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine. “But we had decided to keep the option open until the suspension was officially confirmed, because we were aware of the strong desire of our exhibitors and buyers to physically meet in person, despite the many problems that this could entail.”

“This was not superficial optimism, nor a kind of stubbornness in the face of clear evidence, but rather a determination to leave no stone unturned and possibly also offering a useful message for the coming months,” maintained Napoleone. “The advice given by trainers to volleyball players comes to mind: even when it seems almost certain that you have lost the set, score as many points as you can, keep standing, this will be a sign to your rivals that you will be giving them a battle again in the next set.”

Napoleone noted that Pitti will move forward with planning the physical shows slated for this summer, which will feature spring/summer 2022 collections. He also noted that for Pitti Uomo, he can already count on the participation of around 250 companies for the summer in-person edition.

In the meantime, Pitti Uomo has announced the second iteration of this special project curated by fashion journalist and talent scouter Giorgia Cantarini, called Sustainable Style. Focusing on fifteen international talents, all participants are new, responsible menswear designers from all over the world, from Peru to South Korea, from the United Kingdom to Thailand and Italy. The selected participants approach fashion by creating quality product, based on excellent manufacturing standards, where certified fabrics, recycled textiles, and innovative hybrids are essential points of reference.

For some of them, it is a return, for others a debut within the project. The featured designers include DNI, Luca Kemkes, Flavia La Rocca, Ksenia Schnaider, KidsofBrokenFuture, Nous Etudions, Myar, Philip Huang, Raeburn, Reamerei, S.S. Daley, Uniforme Paris, Vitelli, Yatay, and Young N Sang.

“There is no sustainability without style. This is the starting point of the project,” explained Cantarini. “We must educate to subvert the idea that a responsible brand is not noteworthy. The eye is attracted to what it likes, so the design must strike. I don’t think the world can change from one day to the next. It does so step by step. Sustainability represents the only possibility not to destroy the planet and our future. It is useless to ignore it. We start from responsible choices to build something beautiful, worthwhile, and lasting over time.”

Spencer Phipps

Also of note: Reda, a Biella-based company leading the production of sustainable fabrics like pure Merino wool, established the “Reda x Sustainable Style” award during the first edition of Sustainable Style. The inaugural winner of this prize is Phipps International, founded by American designer, Spencer Phipps. Phipps will create a mini capsule for Rewoolution, the Reda Group’s activewear brand in merino wool, designed for outdoor technical clothing aimed at sport and leisure.

“Spencer Phipps will create a capsule collection that will include five pieces for a total menswear look,” said Luca Martines, CEO of Reda Consumer. “The mini collection, with the label ‘Phipps International x Rewoolution,’ combines the designer’s great passion for the mountains and outdoor activities with the Rewoolution lines, with a nod to the 70s looks inspired by the famous film ‘All That Jazz’ by Bob Fosse.”

“Working with Rewoolution was a big project for me,” added Phipps. “Their team is made up of such experienced and knowledgeable people, with such an important history behind them. Together we tried to have fun and at the same time to think outside the box in developing the garments, to go a little further in the creation process.”