Pitti Uomo’s 91st edition shows why forgotten trends like athletic wear and comfy-casual outfits are must-haves this season. Exploring the depths of what fashion concepts can be curated out of athleisure and oversized pieces are the primary focus of what this year’s exhibition had to offer the creatively curious.
Dressing like a Pitti Uomo attendee means accessorizing, if not dressing in head-to-toe designer sportswear and thick jackets and knits. This year’s exhibition re-introduced the idea of casual sportswear and Arctic attire as high fashion. With celebrities integrating brands like Puma, Adidas and Nike into their everyday looks, it’s no surprise that the influences are seeping into the European fashion industry. The fixation on sportswear and dressy-casual is an evident attention-grabber for the younger clientele advertised as Pitti Uomo’s target audience, and it’s working.
Based on what this year’s exhibition has in store, it’s clear that sticking to pre-existing trends is no longer what shoppers and buyers are looking for. The up-and-coming companies of 2016 have included some fresher additions to the world of fashion, like Furla and Stone Island. Comparatively, well-respected companies like Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana are reaching a plateau in their market sales. As the presence of athleisure sparks a curiosity wildfire both locally and internationally, some of the greatest sales of 2016 have come from sports shoes, and designer track suits. Overall, the continuous fascination with dark colours and camouflage remains ever-present across the board, as well as the integration of mixed prints and patterns against otherwise solid pieces. This season, it’s all about maintaining warmth and comfort, while still pulling off a high-fashion appeal.
Reigning in $9-billion at the close of 2016, the men’s fashion industry succeeded with the prevalence of sportswear and high quality winter wear. The projection of positive closure with these sales by the end of the year was met. Italian men’s designs also did well in international markets, and while exact target numbers experienced a little instability, the market capped off an impressive $4-billion. While imports may have dropped slightly, the volume of Italian men’s fashion exports are on the rise, with exports to EU markets coming in at +3.9%, especially with Germany, the UK and Spain.
Across the ocean, however, sales have slipped in the American markets. Eastern markets like Hong Kong and Japan have shown a significant incline this year, capping off at +14.6% and +11.3% increase in sales. All in all, it has been concluded that the overall success in the industry this year has been the sale of knit outwear for men, bringing in a total increase of +8.7% with exports. Many other previously popular fabrics and materials have slipped in sales, though, with leather and ties experiencing the brunt of the fall at -12.9% and -8% declines this year.
Unfortunately, the market projects a negative opening this season. While conditions are expected to remain relatively stable, Pitti Uomo is heading off interest in Italian menswear by opening up the realms of interest to a diversified, unique fashion taste not seen before on the fashion front. Whether this will lead to a positive market year, or remain relatively stable, remains in question.