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April 19 2014

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5 posts tagged "Raffaello Napoleone"

Pitti Weighs In on the Overcrowded Menswear Calendar

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Pitti Uomo

“We’ve offered so many olive branches,” Dylan Jones, the editor in chief of British GQ, and chairman of the London Collections: Men, told WWD last week. “[The Italian organizers] seem to be intransigent and don’t appear to be particularly interested in working with London, so we’re just going to go ahead.” His statement was in response to an ongoing scheduling conflict that the newly established London menswear shows, which will run from January 6 through 8, have with Florence’s long-standing menswear fair, Pitti Immagine Uomo, whose eighty-fifth installment is set for January 7 through 10. In an interview with Style.com today, however, Pitti CEO Raffaello Napoleone and director of special events and projects Lapo Cianchi argue that they’ve been more than cooperative. “We have had very good conversations with [British Fashion Council chairman] Caroline Rush,” offered Napoleone. “And we are totally open to finding a balance and solution to this situation.”

The concern on both parties’ ends is that, due to the current two-day overlap, editors and buyers will have to choose one fair over the other, and will miss key events in either city. Burberry, for instance, will present its Fall ’14 menswear lineup at 2 p.m. in London on January 7. Meanwhile, Diesel Black Gold—Pitti 85′s guest brand—is meant to hold its Fall ’14 show in Florence later that evening. Pitti’s (rather opulent) answer this time around is to charter a plane and fly about fifty editors to Florence immediately following the Burberry show.

The problem ends up involving all four major menswear cities: If Pitti were pushed back to accommodate London, Milan and Paris would have to alter their calendars as well. According to Napoleone, the Pitti team proposed a fix, to which Milan and Paris are reportedly not opposed: London would always run from January 6 through 8, Pitti would begin on the 8th, Milan on the 12th, and so on. “We’d have to show on the weekend, which is not exactly what we feel would be best for our clients or exhibitors,” expressed Napoleone, noting that while there would still be a one-day overlap, it was at least an improvement. “But as the French say, faute de mieux—if there are no other solutions, you have to accept it. The last time I was in London with Dylan and Caroline, I left them this very fair proposal, and we didn’t receive any answer.” As for why Pitti didn’t just concede to start on January 8 this season, Napoleone said, “The seventh was decided with Milan and Paris two years ago, before the new London fashion week had started.”

Napoleone insists that he has “no idea” what inspired Jones’ comment. “Dylan Jones is a supporter of Pitti. He always attends,” said Cianchi. “The real olive branch in this story is that every city is open to renouncing something. We are completely open,” Napoleone added.

Courtesy of Pitti Uomo

Pitti’s Plans

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Yesterday afternoon, Raffaello Napoleone, the CEO of Florence-based fashion fair Pitti Immagine, hosted a lunch at Il Cantinori—the much-loved Italian restaurant in New York’s Greenwich Village. The purpose was to discuss the upcoming Pitti Uomo (June 18 to 21), Pitti W (June 18 to 21), and Pitti Bimbo (June 27 to 29). And while the fettuccine and branzino may have been old-school, Napoleone’s plans for this season’s fairs felt forward-thinking. Napoleone told Style.com that, in general, fashion fairs are not often, well, fashionable. Pitti aims to be the exception to this rule. “We try to do as much research as we can, because the Italian and international buyers need to see something new season after season. We have to offer them something that they cannot find easily on the map,” he explained.

Addressing the press and buyers in attendance, Napoleone highlighted Pitti Uomo’s and Pitti W’s guest designers—Japanese menswear label Kolor and Paris-based womenswear label Damir Doma—who will show on the evenings of June 20 and June 19, respectively. A focus has been placed on new designers from emerging markets, with six young talents from Korea and seven from Pitti Uomo’s guest nation, Turkey, slotted to present their latest wares. And Pitti’s Italics platform will lend its support to up-and-coming brands MSGM by Massimo Giorgetti, Aquazzura by Edgardo Osorio, and Stella Jean.

Other highlights include the debut of Tom Dixon’s project with Adidas; a new premium collection from G-Star Raw; an automobile collaboration between Italdesign Giugiaro, Cerruti, and the Woolmark company; and a fashion show for Andrea Pompilio’s collaborative range with Japanese sportswear label Onitsuka Tiger.

Napoleone conceded that Europe’s economic troubles have taken a toll. “More companies are suffering, and some of them decided not to exhibit,” he said, noting that about forty labels dropped out this season. But with about 1,010 participating brands, 370 of which are from outside Italy, visiting buyers and press will still have more than enough on their plates.

Photo: Yannis Valmos/ GoRunway.com

Pitti Uomo Chases Down Valentino, Woos Olympia Le-Tan

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After a toast to a new season, a coming new year, and—hurrahs all around—a new Italian government, Pitti Immagine CEO Raffaello Napoleone briefed the crowd gathered for lunch in New York this afternoon on what to expect for the next editions of Pitti Uomo and Pitti W, the menswear and womenswear trade fairs in Florence that have become an increasingly important stop on the global fashion circuit. As has been announced, Valentino will be the invited guest at the menswear fair, where creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli (left) will present their men’s collection on the runway for the first time, after several seasons of showroom appointments in Paris. “We were following them like dogs,” Napoleone told the room with a laugh. “Very hungry.” Every dog, it turns out, has his day.

Also at the men’s fair, Andrea Pompilio, winner of last year’s Who Is On Next award, given by Vogue Italia, will present his collection, as will the revived English suiting line Hardy Amies. The invited guest for the women’s fair is accessory designer Olympia Le-Tan. The designer, who studied Italian literature in university, will create a special collection inspired by classic Italian books.

The fair will also host exhibitors drawn from around the world, many coming for the first time. The Alexander McQueen contemporary collection, McQ, will make its Pitti debut, as will Jimmy Choo’s men’s collection. Milan Vukmirovic, the former Trussardi designer, will preview his new Chevignon Heritage collection. And in New Beat(s), a special section devoted to first-time showings, 20 Japanese brands and designers will show their work, selected by Yuichi Yoshii and produced in cooperation with Japan fashion week.

Photo: Courtesy of Pitti Immagine

Pitti For Kiddies

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At Midtown’s swank A Voce this afternoon, Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine—which oversees Florence’s menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, and textiles shows—was on hand to preach the Pitti gospel to a collection of editors over tagliata and crostata. The biggest names are, at this point, well known: Raf Simons will show his latest menswear collection for Jil Sander at Pitti Uomo, while his friend, Haider Ackermann, will show a women’s pre-collection at Pitti W. (The PowerPoint presentation delivered included a lengthy quote from Ackermann that’s surely worthy of inclusion in the inscrutable show-notes hall of fame: It eludes even reproduction here, but suffice it to say it ended with “…opium.”) What’s lesser known is the new emphasis on design, as in objects, not clothes—pieces will be dispersed around the pavilion, selected by “a platoon of ‘design watchers’ ” including Roberto Valentini di Penelope, Giusi Ferré, and the inaugural winner of Pitti’s Who’s On Next accessories award, Max Kibardin. Patricia Urquiola has also designed a new top floor for the main pavilion (pictured). But the bit of industry gossip most intriguing was slipped in almost in passing. Both Fendi and Gucci are set to launch new children’s collections at the kids’ wear show, Pitti Bimbo. Canny marketing for those who can afford it: Get the customers young, and keep ‘em for life.

Photo: Courtesy of Pitti Immagine

The News From Florence

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Pitti Immagine CEO Raffaello Napoleone held a lunch today at Adour, the Alain Ducasse restaurant in the St. Regis, to promote his organization’s January trade fair in Florence. One of the schedule’s highlights will be Giles Deacon’s Pitti W pre-fall presentation to be held at Richard Ginori 1735, a Florentine porcelain manufacturer. On the menswear front: Lars Nilsson has been invited to preview his new Mr. Nils men’s collection, and up-and-comer Umit Benan, the winner of the first edition of “Who Is on Next? Uomo,” will showcase his full Fall line. In other news, Stefano Tonchi of The New York Times and Maria Luisa Frisa will celebrate the release of their new book All Power to the Imagination: Walter Albini and His Times during the fair. At 300-plus pages with over 1,000 images, it’s a tribute to one of Italy’s most influential (but often overlooked) designers. And speaking of Italian legends, La Spezia, which makes uniforms for the Italian navy, will debut a collection made from military fabrics dating back to the fifties and sixties. If those aren’t reasons enough to book your trip now, Napoleone reports that getting to Florence is easier than ever; the train ride from Milan is now just 1 hour and 40 minutes long.

Photo: Marcio Madeira