Pitti Uomo 96: The Biggest Stories Including Prada’s Sustainable Collection & Sterling Ruby’s First Show.
An Exclusive by Lucas Pantoja
As a recap to Pitti Uomo’s biggest stories, the world’s largest menswear trade show offered one of its most eventful editions yet. Brands Givenchy and Ferragamo both put on fashion week worthy runway shows.
The final day, Pennsylvanian native and famed collaborative artist to the notorious Raf Simons, Sterling Ruby presented his first fashion collection ever.
In addition there were a few new and noteworthy emerging brands at the fairgrounds this year. And some of Italy’s biggest global brands debuted sustainable collections.
Finally the street style, Pitti peacocks continued to pose along the walls of the central pavilion hoping to get their picture taken by some sorry sap with a nikon.
Pitti Uomo’s Biggest Trends: The Short List
On the final day I was introduced to Japanese shorts’ specialists Gramicci. If you haven’t noticed, shorts have become quite popular amongst fashion enthusiast. And with the breaking down of doors in men’s-style they’re becoming distinctive by the philosophy of: the crazier, the better.
The way in which Gramicci diversifies their collections is by dividing them into three sections. One offers more casualnesses, the second more technical, and the third more lux. Too the brand collaborates with a different company each season.
I’d recommend sporting the raspberry cotton shorts while on a picnic for a vibrant and preppy look. The tie dye shorts while indulging in grimey-ness at Bonnaroo. Or the nylon leopard print pair while on vacation traveling through the airport (shorts while traveling is a thing, but please treat your legs with self-care and hygiene).
Aside from shorts, the lightweight-luxury jackets Gramicci designed in collaboration with a Japanese auto company feature three-layers of lining for weatherproof, comfortable and easy to transport apparel.
Pitti Uomo’s Freshest Brands: L’altro Uomo (The Other Man)
Next up, in the center of Pitti’s fairground guests entered one of the larger pavilions and sections of the trade-show known as L’altro Uomo or The Other Man [in english]. Inside was a selection of brand’s ranging from the antique-prep of Liberty Firenze and the playboy comfort of Swedish brand OVS, to the leather goods of Rust Mood and worn-in aesthetic of Scarti-Lab.
As one of the freshest brands throughout the pavilion, OVS’ (who originally got their start as an espadrilles brand) terry-cloth bathrobes and pullover shirts came in a variety of purely “fun” colorways and prints that’ll have wearers looking like an Ivy leaguer clashed with Hugh Hefner and went to Malibu.
But if OVS is a bit too posh there was Bolognese brand Scarti-Lab, their clothes would have wearers looking like a stylish 1900s train conductor in custom-designed clothes.
Other standout brands Pitti showcased include big-name menswear designer John Varvatos who put out an exhibition of slightly-alternative early punk and rock inspired garments.
Overall the collection kind of felt like something a washed-up dad might wear to try and look cool or to reminisce on the days when music was “good”. But a leather overcoat and a bleached suit in the Led Zeppelin capsule collection had my attention locked.
Prada’s Sustainable Capsule Collection
In regards to sportswear, known sustainable performance wear specialists at North Sails presented a capsule collection in collaboration with Prada for the 36th America’s Cup sailing competition. The collection which was made out of one-hundred-percent recycled materials came in both men’s and women’s sizes including a 3-layer jacket, windbreaker, vest, softshell, polo and cap. All the pieces would work perfectly for that lux-athleisure look that never seems to die.
Zegna’s new “Conscious Lifestyle” Collection
I do not want to forget to mention the technical and sporty-tailoring collection presented by Ermengildo Zegna’s younger brand Z Zegna. Artistic Director Alessandro Sartori presented a body of work titled “Conscious Lifestyle” based upon the concept of desertification and its effects upon global well-being.
Within the collection, materials were crafted from up-cycled and recyclable fibers with water-friendly treatments and washing processes staying true to Zegna’s long term efforts of conscious fashion.
Zegna’s techmerino wash&go project
A notable aspect of the collection is the techmerino wash&go project made of natural wool.
It’s like if a young Luke Skywalker living on a desert planet with his aunt and uncle got a hefty paycheck and went to the local Montenapoleone for some gear.
Pitti Uomo’s Biggest Stories: Artist Sterling Ruby’s First Runway Show
After guests of the Fortezza Da Basso’s fairgrounds exited the gates, artist Sterling Ruby put on his first-ever fashion show under the name S.R. Studio. LA. CA. The spectacle attracted guests from the likes of Virgil Abloh to Raf Simons.
Before the show, L.A. based artist and designer Ruby, who collaborated with Raf [Simons] on his renowned Fall 2014 collection, shared his interest in fashion from an early age.
We’ve witnessed artists enter the realm of fashion before but seeing it come from Ruby’s radical vision is a historic moment for the cross between the two creative outlets.
The S.R. Studio. LA. CA. Collection
Much of the psychedelic collages and prints originated from works derivative of Ruby’s art studio back in LA. The collection, a sporadically-colorful one, showcased a relaxed and bouncy silhouette with grungy-bleached and paint splattered denim and knits.
In regards to how the garments might be perceived, I’d bet collectors and fashion archivist everywhere will drop rent money on the collection. Expect the denim pieces to be worn by your favorite eccentric rappers like ASAP Rocky and Travis Scott.
The project was a long time coming and you could tell by how in-depth the garments went. After the show Ruby laid out a disclaimer that works would always turn out this intrinsic. He also stated his disinterest in releasing collections every season. I’d be excited to see if other designers stop showing scheduled collections, we’ve already seen Pyer Moss do the same.