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August 2 2014

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California Dreaming: First Hints Of Rodarte And Band Of Outsiders’ Plans For Florence’s Pitti Fair

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Pitti Immagine, the organization that presents the seasonal Pitti Uomo and Pitti W fairs in Florence, convened a group of editors and buyers in Soho today to announce the specifics of this summer’s edition of the fair, which will include, for the first time, a new online component, called ePitti. Several brands will celebrate anniversaries and new debuts at the fair, including the Italian label Lubiam (which will mark its centennial), Pringle of Scotland (which will present a re-edition of iconic archival items, in collaboration with Central Saint Martins), Carhartt, and Victorinox, which will show its Remade in Switzerland collection by English designer Christopher Raeburn.

But exciting the most interest were the fair’s guest designers, both in from California for the occasion. Scott Sternberg will be the guest at Pitti Uomo, where he’ll show Band of Outsiders’ Spring ’12 menswear collection, as well as the Resort ’12 women’s collections by Boy and Girl. “We’re showing at a venue called Manifattura Tabacchi. It’s an old, abandoned tobacco factory,” he revealed. “It’s amazing. It’s huge; it feels kind of like this mini city when you’re in there.” Details were few but he did explain that all three lines will be shown together, as with his Fall ’11 runway show. “We’re always telling a story, and there are usually acts that happen in that story,” he said, “so it’ll all be in the same show, but clearly delineated, one from the next.” Given the parallel to Fall, we had to ask: Would there be looks parachuting in from above? “There will be no rappellers, there will be no one falling from the ceiling,” he promised. He promised this, too: The men’s show won’t appear again in New York in September. “Absolutely not,” he said. “This is your one chance to see Band Spring ’12.”

Kate and Laura Mulleavy were similarly tight-lipped about specifics but did profess a great love for the city of Florence. “There are very few places that you feel are these artistic centers—Florence and Kyoto are the two that really come to your mind,” Kate said. “It’s just unparalleled, the amount of creativity and art that exists in a place like Florence. It’s almost indescribable…It’s also about a connection to a place. A lot of what you’re seeing is frescos, which belong to the environment; you can’t go see a fresco here, you can’t move it. It’s really fascinating. When you talk about Florence, you’re talking about things that you have to be there to see and experience, that are so intertwined in the environment, which has always been an interest for Laura and me in terms of our own design and thought process. Trying to understand the landscape that we live in and that history.”

The collection that they’ll show, they were quick to note, won’t be a traditional pre-collection; it’ll be exclusive to Pitti. That’s not to say it might not one day hit stores. “It can be [sold], yes, to certain stores,” Laura clarified. “We’re figuring out what we want to do to keep it special and do something interesting with it on a retail level.”

Photo: Donna Alberico

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