The new season got off to a strong start with tempting trends and orders written in Florence.
Brands and buyers were in positive mood at the autumn 14 edition of Pitti Uomo, which took place on January 7-10 in Florence, Italy.
Because the show is the first large-scale menswear trend indicator for the new season, Drapers was eager to see what brands would produce, and found there was plenty to pique our interest, such as new camo prints and updated varsity jackets.
Several larger brands introduced new lines or capsule collections, while other brands made their Pitti debuts. Influences were broad, from classic suiting to street and sports wear, and innovation was strong - particularly from tailoring brands - in terms of details, fabric and embellishments.
Although the first two days were relatively quiet, there was a strong turnout of German, Italian and Japanese buyers, and by Wednesday afternoon the show was markedly busier, with buyers flying over from London Collections: Men.
Mark Hickling, director of Marc Alexander agencies, which represents brands including Circle of Gentlemen, said there had been a healthy crop of UK independents throughout the week, and James Hall, sales manager at UK coat brand Gloverall, said although the show has been quieter in the past few years, the quality of buyers is still strong.
“It hasn’t been as busy for the last two years, but we do write a few orders here. We see a lot of Dutch customers but tend to see our UK customers again at our showroom or later shows,” he said.
Italian brand Relive is now in its fourth season, with a collection of jumpers, cardigans and bombers made in southern Italy. It already has stockists in Italy and Japan, but hoped to pick up some UK interest at Pitti Uomo. Knitwear with textural 3D patterns has continued from spring into autumn 14, and key colours include red, beige and grey, with graphic colour blocks featuring throughout the range. A silver metallic thread is used across boxy black jumpers to add a little sparkle to youthful, fun pieces. Wholesale prices range from €50 (£41.31) to €85 (£70.23).
00 39 33 55 27 97 21 www.reliveman.it
Brand to watch - Diesel Black Gold
There was plenty of anticipation ahead of Diesel Black Gold’s first menswear collection under new overall creative director Andreas Melbostad, who previously only oversaw womenswear. Highlights included a heavily embellished black biker jacket, which Melbostad told Drapers was his favourite piece, while elsewhere, military met rock ‘n’ roll with tough leather pieces and slim, masculine silhouettes. The brand’s current stockists include Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Brown Thomas in Dublin. Wholesale prices range from £30 for a T-shirt to £720 for an embellished leather jacket.
020 7520 7700 www.diesel.com
Now in its fifth season, British brand Smith-Wykes is backing cropped boxy jackets and deconstructed camouflage print for autumn 14. The 40-piece collection includes vintage-style cotton jackets in khaki shades and oversized grey pea coats. Printed knits made in Nottingham factory B&B Knitwear have proved popular with buyers. The label’s UK independent stockists include Wolf & Badger in London. Wholesale prices range from £20 for a jersey T-shirt to £120 for a waxed jacket.
07583 174466 www.smith-wykes.com
Since G-Star decided to forgo Bread & Butter this season, Pitti was the only trade show opportunity for buyers to view its autumn 14 collection. Highlights include the premium Raw Essentials line, which features a leather T-shirt, reversible bomber jacket and rubberised knitwear. Following the launch of its new store concept on Oxford Street in December, G-Star gave Pitti visitors a taste of the new-look shop, complete with a 3D denim runway.
07833 231242 www.g-star.com
Brand to watch - Atelier Scotch
New from Scotch & Soda, this premium men’s tailoring sub-brand showed its debut collection at Pitti. It is headed by a new team, with former Boss Black brand director Rob van Bilsen at the helm, and operates on a price level about 40% higher than the mainline (wholesale prices have yet to be finalised). The 100-piece collection has a strong emphasis on tailoring and Italian
fabrics, with pieces designed to work as layers, including voluminous cardigans with unstructured shoulders to fit over a blazer.
020 3137 3901 www.scotch-soda.com
Barbour sub-brand Barbour International unveiled its autumn 14 collaboration with Australian motorcycle brand Deus Ex Machina. It includes printed T-shirts, trousers and a beeswax jacket, which wholesales at £121.90. Barbour International has also continued its Steve McQueen line for a fifth season, which includes chambray shirts and knitted jumpers. Selvedge denim is top of the agenda for the first time this season, with a new range of jeans in three styles and four washes. Wholesale prices from £40.40 for jeans to £129.30 for jackets.
0800 009988 www.barbour.com
Circle of Gentlemen
The film noir-inspired collection from Circle of Gentlemen introduces denim and tailoring for the first time. Premium jeans, featuring stretch fit, wholesale for £70, and the tailored suits, made in Portugal using Italian fabric, are between £230 and £300. Standout designs include blazers lined with film graphics and suit jacket buttons adorned with iconic film stars of the 1940s. Wholesale prices start at €50 (£41.42) for classic white shirts and go up to €183 (£151.59) for blazers.
07768 834304 www.circleofgentlemen.com
Continuing to grow beyond swim shorts, Orlebar Brown has launched its first autumn range, set for an August delivery. The 30-piece collection offers long-sleeved polo shirts, brushed cotton sweatshirts and tailored sweatpants in bright colours. Key items include a cobalt blue gilet with knitted detailing and heavy cotton shirts. A range of UK-made cashmere jumpers has also been launched. Wholesale prices range from £45 for polo T-shirts to £115 for outerwear.
020 7759 2218 www.orlebarbrown.com
French tailoring brand Marchand Drapier is looking to break into the UK with its twist on classic suiting. Designer and owner Benoit Carpentier, a third-generation fabric agent, launched the label to bridge the gap between formal suiting and fashion. The 100-piece collection features raw edges on jackets, covered buttons and tongue-in-cheek measuring tape detailing along the inside fly trim of trousers. Shirts are bestsellers for
the brand, with coloured trims on collars standing out. Wholesale prices range from €50 (£41.31) for shirts to €220 (£181.76)
00 33 0143 3692 10 www.marchand-drapier.com
Eden Park has expanded its premium lifestyle range to 40 styles, up from last year’s 15. The range, which specifically targets the UK, offers leather jackets, Egyptian cotton shirts and 100% merino wool jumpers. It incorporates pared-back branding to differentiate it from the mainline, with subtle bow tie logos under jacket lapels and on jumper hems. The full collection has 120 styles including polo shirts wholesaling at £21, shirts at £30, and jackets up to £120.
020 3432 6387 ww.uk.eden-park.com