Men’s Fashion Flies High at Pitti Uomo 97

The German brand Falke is celebrating its 125th anniversary at Pitti Uomo 97

The flag of fashion is flying high above Florence this January thanks to the winter edition of Pitti Immagine. This semi-annual program explores the latest fashion tendencies and contemporary lifestyles in three not-to-be-missed trade fairs: men’s fashion at Pitti Uomo 97 (Jan. 7 – 10), Pitti Bimbo 90 (Jan. 16 -18) and Pitti Filati 86 (Jan. 22 – 24).  Bringing a high quotient of Italian and international glamour to the city, organizers feel that the event is best expressed by the symbolic power of a handcrafted piece of exquisite fabric: a flag for the “United Nations of Fashion.” The special project, with art direction by Angelo Figus and set design by Alessandro Moradei, will convey the theme at all three shows.

Pitti Uomo 97 will host more than 1200 brands – 45% from outside Italy – to reveal men’s fashion and lifestyle collections for fall/winter 2020/2021. As always, projects and the calendar of events will be staged at the Fortezza da Basso, the main set accessible only to buyers and the press, and in select venues throughout Florence.


Many happenings will enliven various locations during Pitti Uomo 97. Jil Sander, the iconic German fashion label founded in 1973, is Pitti Uomo 97’s Guest Designer. The creative co-directors, Lucie and Luke Meier, will present a new menswear collection during a special event at the Santa Maria Novella complex (January 8, 5 pm). Stefano Pilati, a former Yves Saint Laurent creative director and head designer at Ermenegildo Zegna, is the Special Guest. He will be unveiling his independent ready-to-wear brand “Random Identities” at the Stazione Leopolda on January 9 at 7 pm.

Thanks to Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery, a special project by the innovative unisex brand Telfar will explore the fashion concepts of “simplex” (simple and complex) and fluid, where esthetics and functionality work together, during a fashion show in the spectacular setting of Palazzo Corsini on January 9 (5 pm).  Another beautiful palace in the heart of Florence will be the setting for the premiere of a capsule collection by Maria Korkeila for the iconic Finnish brand Fiskars (Palazzo Pucci, Jan. 7, 9 pm). An Italian fashion designer extremely popular in the U.S., Chiara Boni, will debut her first menswear collection, Trailblazer, at the brand’s new store “La petite robe” in the Loggia Rucellai, via della Vigna Nuova (Jan. 8, 8:30 am – 11 am).

The British Institute will be the stage for an exclusive reception promoting the “Campaign for Wool,” (by invitation only, Jan. 7, 6:30 – 8:30 pm). Earlier, a video message from HRH The Prince of Wales will official inaugurate Pitti Uomo at Palazzo Vecchio (ceremonies begin at 10:30 am).  The Odeon Theatre, created in 1922 referencing the period’s Art Nouveau style, will host the premiere of the fall 2020 collection by Canali, the luxury menswear brand founded in 1934 (Jan. 9, 4 – 9:30 pm). The students of Modaterch will present their capsule collection for the Italian outerwear label Peuterey at Talent Lab, a networking breakfast at the Student Hotel (Jan. 8, 8:30 -10:30 am).

“Celeblueation by Renato Balestra” will be inaugurated at the Fondazione Zeffirelli (piazza San Firenze) on January 8 between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. This exhibition of 300 sketches, designs, and garments will run until Feb. 2, 2020 (open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm, ticket €10).  Considered globally a master of haute couture design, Balestra also created costumes for famous theatrical productions like Rossini’s Cinderella, Strauss’s Knight of the Rose, Puccini’s Turandot, and many others. “Human Landscapes” is an exhibition presented by American workwear brand Blauer at La Dogana. Conceived as a road trip through the United States and illustrated by British photographer James Mollison on behalf of Blauer, it is a genuine snapshot of contemporary America. The show will make its debut on January 7 at 4 pm (by invitation only) and then will be open to the public from January 8 -10 (9 am – 7 pm).

For culture buffs, “Footwear in the Ancient World and 20th Century Revisitations” is running until April 19 at the Pitti Palace Fashion and Costume Museum (open Tuesday to Sunday, 8:15 am – 6:50 pm, admission €10 until February 29, €16 thereafter). Curated by Lorenza Camin, Caterina Chiarelli and Fabrizio Paolucci, the show explores the history, social role and symbolism of footwear from the classical period to the modern era. Exhibits from the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., comprising finds from archaeological digs in northern Europe, are on display together with the work of fashion designers from Emilio Pucci to Salvatore Ferragamo in a special section of 20th century footwear inspired by antiquity. There are also pieces from epic “sword-and-sandal” movies as CleopatraQuo VadisBen Hur and The Gladiator.


The itinerary through trends of menswear and market tendencies for the next season will be distributed over 12 sections, including the classic menswear elegance of Futuro Maschile, the high design products of Pop Up Stores, and fresh proposals mirroring urban culture of My Factory and the experimental brands of Touch!  The six finalists of the Tokyo Fashion Award, Fumie Tanaka, Ihnn, Meanswhile, Re:Qual, Shoop and Yuki Hashimoto, will also showcase their collections at the Touch! section.

Many prestigious brands are expected, such as Brioni, host of the first-ever men’s fashion show at the Pitti Palace’s Sala Bianca in 1952. The Italian couture house will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a special presentation curated by Olivier Saillard (Jan. 7, 5 – 8 pm).  Other exhibitors include Herno, the Italian label renowned since the 1940s for the quality of its outerwear, the iconic British label Hunter and Jet Set, a luxury sportswear brand, founded in St. Moritz in 1969.  A|J Armani Exchange A|X will launch a special capsule collection for men and women at the Area Monumentale (Jan. 8, 4 – 8 pm). The German brand Falke, known for high-quality knitwear, including socks, leggings and clothing, will toast to its 125th anniversary with cocktail parties held on January 8 and 9 from 3 to 6 pm at the Giardino del Glicine.

Pitti Uomo will honor the legacy of the fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld with “A Tribute to Karl: The White Shirt Project,” an exhibition curated by fashion editor Carine Roitfeld, style advisor of the Karl Lagerfeld namesake label. A bespoke edition of Lagerfeld’s iconic white shirt silhouette created by a group of artists, actors, models, designers and friends, including Cara Delevingne, Lewis Hamilton, and Tommy Hilfiger, will be on display at the Lagerfeld booth.

The Scandinavian Manifesto will be held for the first time in the Sala del Rondino, headlining collections by emerging designers and more established brands from Denmark, Sweden and Norway, such as Garment Project, Hgbbstudio and Magnified.  The fashion and contemporary culture publication DUST Magazine will stage the collective catwalk show “Otherwise Formal,” dedicated to the evolution of formal wear (Piazzale della Ghiaia, Jan. 8, 12 noon).

Anrealage’s debut at Pitti Uomo is one of the most highly awaited appointments on the packed schedule. The founder of the brand, Kunihiko Morinaga, a Japanese designer and 2019 LVMH Prize finalist, will unveil a capsule collection in collaboration with the Tokyo Knit group at the Central Pavilion (Jan. 8, 11 am – 12 noon).  A conference, “The Time Is Now! New Citizen 1.5,” will highlight the perspectives of sustainable fashion in collaboration with IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) on January 9 at 12 noon.

For the complete program, visit the Pitti Immagine website.  (celeste giampietro collins)