Highlights From Pitti Uomo’s Biannual Trade Show

Featuring highlights from the Tim Coppens guest show to veteran designer Tommy Hilfiger’s Fall/Winter 2017 presentation, Pitti Uomo continues to be one of the world’s most important platforms for men’s clothing and accessory collections. Designers, along with fashion reporters, gather at the biannual menswear trade show held in Florence to launch new collections or projects and to flaunt their best street style. The shift from traditional menswear to more eclectic offerings was most evident this season. Here is a roundup of some of the collections:

Photo Credit: Tommy Hilfiger

TOMMY HILFIGER

After a successful collaboration with Gigi Hadid and his See Now, Buy Now showing at New York Fashion Week, veteran American designer Tommy Hilfiger hosted an exclusive presentation during Pitti Uomo to showcase the Fall 2017 Hilfiger Edition collection on January 10th, 2017.

“I am very proud to be presenting my menswear collections at Pitti Immagine Uomo,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “Since I first launched my brand in 1985, menswear has been a key part of the Tommy Hilfiger brand. Men’s fashion is really having a moment right now, and it’s great to be here at Pitti — one of the greatest platforms in the world for menswear designers — to celebrate the growth and achievements of the men’s fashion world.”

Hilfiger Edition pays homage to Tommy Hilfiger’s storied menswear heritage, with time-honoured classics reimagined for today. The designer also showcased looks from Tommy Hilfiger Tailored and the Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collections all under one roof.

Photo Credit: Luca Tombolini / Indigital.tv

TIM COPPENS 

Tim Coppens showed his namesake label’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection at Pitti Uomo.  The American designer displayed both men’s and women’s looks on the runway. These included everything from plaid and functional sportswear to a sneak peak at his sneakers for the Under Armour UAS line, of which he is executive creative director.

Z Zegna 

The game of fashion musical chairs last year included designer Alessandro Sartori back at the helm of the Italian luxury giant Ermenegildo Zegna Group as Artistic Director. For his Z Zegna F/W ’17 presentation at Pitti, the designer looked to the ski-slopes for inspiration. The collection included skiwear, shearling jackets, and other sportswear staples.

Photo Credit: F.Y!

Ordinary People 

Ordinary People, launched in 2011, is designed by Korean designer Jang Hyeong-Cheol, who brought his label to Pitti Uomo and took part of the Concept Korea event. We recently featured The Best Of Seoul Fashion Week ss 17 and it helped to introduce us to the many talented designers Korea has to offer. Jang Hyeong-Cheol has now been added to the list.

This collection featured many coats that I am now coveting and have begun saving for. Jang Hyeong-Cheol showcased a layering of edgy and luxury pieces that were done to perfection for Fall/Winter 2017. There was nothing ordinary about this collection.

Photo Credit: Vogue Runway

Sansovino 6

Another brand designed by an American that generated a lot of buzz during Pitti is Ohio native Edward Buchanan’s knitwear brand, Sansovino 6. For his runway show, which featured our friend and first issue cover model Stacey McKenzie, the designer served up the many possibilities of knitwear.

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“When do we want it? NOW!”

With women’s fashion month in its final stretch for the spring/summer 2017 season, we couldn’t help but touch on the topic of the season, see now buy now! For those of you who may not be in the loop, the “see now, buy now” model is as simple as it sounds. Collections are shown on runways in the fashion capitals and are immediately available for sale following the show. As more and more designers (Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff, Ralph Lauren, Alexander Wang x Adidas, Moschino, Michael Kors, and Proenza Schouler to name a few) jump on the bandwagon we wanted to see if this new business model has been successful or whether the hype is all for nothing.

One of the first brands to adopt the model was Burberry. Starting off last February having select pieces such as bags and scarves from their Fall/Winter 2016 collection available online following their show. This time around the brand decided to go full force and have the entire collection available not only in stores, but also on Snapchat, WeChat, Kakao and Facebook Messenger (where the show was live streamed)!

Burberry "Seasonless" Collection
Burberry “Seasonless” Collection

Now let’s talk about Tommy. If you didn’t hear about the Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid collaboration you must be living under a rock! This season was huge for Tommy… literally. Tommy Hilfiger converted Pier 16 in New York City into a two-day carnival (one day for the runway show, the second day open to the public) and this show TOOK OVER social media!

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Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid

Standard to most shows during fashion week, Tommy live streamed the coveted show at the “Tommy Pier” located at South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan and made the collection available for sale immediately following the show. As you can just imagine with the power of technology and social media, the collection was almost completely sold out shortly after it’s debut. So this new see now, buy now model is a success after all?! At least for Tommy it was but here is why. Take an Instagram famous super model, pump up fans for the upcoming event (and that it is open to the public the next day for one day only!!!) build an Instagram-savvy show space (which IRL was amazing, FYI) and design a collection with pieces that are seasonless, affordable, and wearable to the general public and you have the equation to the see now buy now model! Not only was this a success for the Tommy x Gigi collection but this event caused such a boom in sales, that almost all items available on the Tommy Hilfiger website sold out or were left with very limited quantities.

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Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid

Rebecca Minkoff also took part in the new model, showing her latest collection on the sidewalk outside of her Soho store location making it ever so easy for her guest to shop the collection right after the show. Not only did she make it easy, Minkoff’s collection was worn by both models and influencers on the runway and half of the guest at her show were customers. R.M. also released that the previous season’s see now buy now show generated a 200% increase in sales that month!

Rebecca Minkoff show outside Soho store.
Rebecca Minkoff show outside Soho store.

Another success story comes from none other than Mr.Wang himself. Alexander Wang surprised guests with his Adidas capsule collection following his show in New York on September 10th with no prior announcement of the collaboration. Following his show, Alexander hosted a festival themed afterparty to celebrate the collection alongside his celebrity-filled guest list. Wang made the collection that isn’t scheduled to hit stores until spring, available in various locations around NYC and other cities in pop-up trucks where fans lined up for hours before the truck even arrived at the location! Are we seeing the pattern here? Affordable, wearable, involve public figures that people look up too and this seems to be how the see now buy now model works, am I right? A new element Wang added to his equation is the element of scarcity. Having the collection available for only a select amount of hours at select locations makes the collection even more desirable than just seeing it on super models!

Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals
Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals

Now with all these success stories you must be wondering how can this work for everyone? Well it didn’t work so well for a few and it isn’t the right approach for all designers. Look at Tom Ford for example. As we discussed a component necessary to the see now buy now approach is “seasonless” clothing. Ford’s latest collection was what he called “fall/winter 2016” presenting clothing for the colder months ahead including fur coats and turtlenecks, which don’t get me wrong were amazing, but are not what one is looking to wear immediately following the show, on the last few days of summer. Another element to the equation is price. The see now buy now model tests the impulsive behaviour in us all. That being said, we have to be able to justify spending a decent amount of money in that very moment. Unfortunately, a fur coat worth thousands of dollars is simply not everyone’s typical impulsive purchase.

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Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2016

What does this mean for the industry? That we will have to wait and see, as the model has already forced changes in the way things work. For example, buyers now must secretly make their way into showrooms where they view collection months before their runway debuts (and sign non-disclosures, of course) in order for it to be for sale following the brand’s runway show. Not only this, but fashion shows are likely to only become larger and larger! As we learned, the see now buy now equation calls for a large production that the public will rave about! Great job Tommy!

Although this all may seem like a new phenomenon, one brand has mastered this approach and been using this business model for years. Swedish brand H&M! Each year, H&M announces a new designer collaboration that typically has a runway show or presentation hours or just days before the collection is available to the public. The collection is relatively affordable and only available while quantities last! H&M never seems to fail using the see now buy now equation even adding in a few extra components, making it a huge publicity stunt and adding the high-end designer prestige! H&M is set to release their next collaboration this coming November with Paris designer KENZO!

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H&M X KENZO