Defying Y2K Trends, High Waisted Men’s Pants Are Poised for Spring 2024 Surge

Defying Y2K Trends, High Waisted Men’s Pants Are Poised for Spring 2024 Surge

Against all odds, including a wave of Y2K influences, several directional designers showed some of the highest-waisted pants in in recent runway history. For them, low-rise doesn’t seem to be apart of the equation for now.
At Rick Owens, the show opened with radical flared pants featuring a very high, cinched waist, “giving an appearance of endless legs not seen since the modeling heydays of Nadja Auerman,” quipped WWD international editor, Miles Socha. 

Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson focused on a similar silhouette with jeans pavéd in tiny crystals that almost reached the ribcage. “Stretching out the proportion,” the designer explained post-show. The runway set, with its towering fountain sculptures by Lynda Beglis, reinforced this idea. 

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Elsewhere, tucked-in shirts emphasized hiked-up waists at Officine Générale, JordanLuca and Dries van Noten, but it was Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons who took the styling trick to extremes with shirts that had extra-wide, extra-long sleeves, adding to the illusion of a shortened torso. 

Out-of-the-box waist treatments also aided in keeping baggy pants from dipping below the navel. 

At Juun.J, jackets were inverted and tied at the waist, exaggerating the hip to hourglass proportions. A swath of olive green fabric did the same at Burk Akyol, while Luca Magliano, winner of the LVMH Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize for 2023, furthered his rough-hewn, downbeat aesthetic with dangling hook and bar closures and layered belts. 

And while full-volume legs were certainly the dominating pant shape for spring, Anthony Vacarello continued to push for skinny versions done in black grain de poudre at Saint Laurent. These had waists so tight they “strangled the hips of his young models as they lurched forward on glossy, high-heeled boots,” observed Socha.

Some Key Brands to Check Out at the Chicago Collective

Some Key Brands to Check Out at the Chicago Collective

Paul Stuart
Although Paul Stuart was founded in 1938, it wasn’t until fairly recently that it started wholesaling some of its collections. The retailer started with footwear a few years ago and then expanded into formalwear and formal accessories 1.5 years ago, with its tuxedos now being carried at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom launching this fall.

Now the company is setting its sights on the specialty store market and it will be bringing both footwear and formalwear for the first time to the Chicago Collective.

“We really want to attract the independents,” said Paulette Garafalo, Paul Stuart’s executive chairman. “The business with the majors needs to be balanced. Specialty stores know their customers and have a different point of view. And because we’re a retailer, we’re one of the only brands that is very proprietary.”

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Paul Stuart operates a flagship on Madison Avenue in New York as well as units in Chicago, on Oak Street, and Washington, D.C.

A formalwear look from Paul Stuart.

Courtesy of Paul Stuart

The collection that will be highlighted at the show was designed by Ralph Auriemma, the store’s longtime creative director. The offering will include classic single- or double-breasted tuxedo jackets with shawl collars or peak lapels in gray flannel with frog closures. Lapels on some models feature a wide, ribbed grosgrain, a detail that is also found on several models of pants as well as top coats.

One jacket sports an eye-popping Art Deco pattern, high and wide peak lapels that Auriemma paired with more subtle formal pants. There is also a velvet moire printed jacket in purple and a variety of velvet dinner jackets, some with satin lapels, in a range of colors.

The fit of the garments is modern and contemporary in the company’s younger-skewed Phineas Cole line or fuller in the more traditional Paul Stuart line.

Most of the tuxedos retail for $2,495 to $2,985 although the company also offers an opening price point option with a satin lapel and waistband that will sell for $1,695.

For the summer months, there are 100 percent unlined linen dinner jackets in blue, white or other hues that can be worn with white tuxedo shirts and light-colored pants.

The formalwear accessories include matching bow ties and cummerbunds in a variety of patterns including Scottish tartans, vertical regimental stripes and prints inspired by old wallpaper patterns with raised velvet blocking. There are also solid silk grenadines for the less adventurous.

Paul Stuart has been wholesaling its footwear for several years.

Courtesy of Paul Stuart

In footwear, 18 core styles and 25 for the pre-spring collection will be offered at the show, ranging from dress shoes to espadrilles and sandals.

Billy Reid

Billy Reid has experienced his share of ups and downs over the past 25 years. The Alabama-based designer launched his first brand in 1998 under the William Reid name, but despite initial success, it was forced to close when sales dropped after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. After returning to his home state to regroup, he relaunched in 2004 under the Billy Reid name and now, 20 years later, he’s on solid footing.

Reid, who has won three Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards and has become known for his innovative textiles and Southern-skewed perspective, sold a minority stake in the business to some well-heeled local investors a few years ago. He now operates 12 stores around the U.S. and has a solid wholesale business with Nordstrom and top specialty stores.

At the Chicago show, Reid will bring his spring 2024 line, which he titled “Sanctuary.” As he describes it: “When the ground thaws and the weight of winter lifts, there’s an innate pull within each of us to return to nature. We seek open space, a place to breathe, a sanctuary.”

The collection was inspired by a trip to Mexico City, where Reid was surrounded by open-air architecture, botanical gardens and sun-drenched terraces. That translates into a collection of softly tailored pieces that can work as well at an outdoor wedding or garden party as on a boat cruise.

Billy Reid’s spring 2024 collection.

Courtesy of Billy Reid

Key pieces include Archie jackets in garment-dyed linen, basket weave double-breasted or slub versions; a zip-front trucker; suede workshirts or patch pocket jackets; canvas peacoats; a denim overshirt; a safari jacket, and a cobalt blue windbreaker. These are complemented by jacquard printed shirts, linen pants, shorts embroidered with a pelican patter and lightweight sweaters. Fabrics include a linen and cotton blend in knits and wool/linen/silk for blazers.

“The jackets are the highlight of the collection,” Reid said. “Men are buying jackets again. After a period when we were not making any, we’re doubling our production now. We’re really leaning into soft tailoring and the versatility of the pieces to transition from work to play. We also looked at how people are wearing the line and we found this helped us bring in the right product at the right time.”

He also noted that his denim shirt continues to the brand’s top-selling piece and it’s available on replenishment for wholesale clients.

A denim shirt has been a bestseller for Billy Reid for years.

Courtesy of Billy Reid

Reid said in recent years, he has embraced specialty stores as a key part of his overall business and regional shows such as Chicago have proven to be valuable to the company and he is working to ensure deliveries to wholesale clients are on time and in sync with the Billy Reid direct-to-consumer offering.

“We offer a program specific to our wholesale customers,” he said, adding that retailers have responded to his textiles as well as the “democratic fit” of his menswear. “It’s timeless and ageless.”

L.B.M. 1911

L.B.M. 1911 is one of the brands in the portfolio of the Mantua, Italy-based men’s suitmaker Lubiam, which launched the label more than 15 years ago. 

For its latest collection, L.B.M. 1911 drew inspiration from the Impressionism art movement to inject a dash of unpredictability in the sartorial staples it is best known for, via a palette including wisteria color and sage green tones, among others. 

Highlights of the collection include the brand’s signature garment-dyed wool suits in lilac hues as well as houndstooth blazers in shades of ivory and beige and fitted double-breasted jackets with wide lapels. These are joined by more casual pieces, such as jersey suits in pinstripe patterns paired with drawstring pants and outerwear that mixes jersey and denim.

As a counterpoint to the soft-toned palette, L.B.M. 1911 introduced a new capsule collection dubbed “Blackout,” hinged on easy-to-approach designs in cotton and jersey rendered in white or black. Items in the line include minimal trenchcoats; blazers crafted from a blend of cotton and linen; zippered bomber jackets, as well as logoed hoodies and T-shirts.

A look from the L.B.M. 1911 spring 2024 collection.

Courtesy of L.B.M. 1911

Although best known for its tailored menswear and outerwear, L.B.M. 1911 increasingly expanded the assortment to offer total looks through the years, with a catalogue now ranging from knitwear to shirts and accessories such as bags, shoes and scarves.

In general, retail prices for the brand start from 120 euros for knits and swing between 140 euros and 210 euros for pants; between 300 euros and 600 euros for outerwear, and between 600 euros and 750 euros for suits. Stockists include the likes of Brian & Barry in Italy and Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom in the U.S. 

The brand is not new to capsule collections, having partnered with other designers and companies in the past on focused ranges. In 2019 it collaborated with Efisio Marras, creative director of the I’m Isola Marras brand and Antonio Marras’ eldest son, on a line of sartorial looks revisited with a punk vibe that included tartan suits styled with chain accessories and tailored outfits embellished with floral prints. That year, L.B.M. 1911 also made its first steps into womenswear with a capsule collection of blazers. 

The label’s tailoring know-how is rooted in the tradition of its parent company, which was founded in 1911 by Luigi Bianchi. Today Lubiam offers collections also under the names Luigi Bianchi Sartoria, Luigi Bianchi Cerimonia and Luigi Bianchi Flirt, in addition to L.B.M. 1911.

Il Bisonte

Florence-based brand Il Bisonte has a tradition in handcrafted leather goods, kickstarted in 1970 when Wanny Di Filippo established the company in a small factory with the commitment to promote high-quality craftsmanship and preserve the tradition of Tuscan leather manufacturing.

The brand’s signature vegetable-tanned leather pieces are manufactured through a supply chain located within 18 miles of Florence, ensuring commitment to local small- and medium-sized enterprises and workshops.

In Chicago, Il Bisonte will display a mix of its spring 2024 collection and heritage pieces, including the Trappola backpack and the Cosimo cross-body style. Among the new designs, the Galileo range will include a travel bag, a briefcase, a cell phone holder with shoulder strap as well as three small leather accessories, all defined by soft lines that further enhance the appeal of the vintage-looking leather.

A travel bag by Il Bisonte.

Courtesy of Il Bisonte

Retailing at between 475 euros for backpacks and 1,250 euros for travel bags, Il Bisonte collections are distributed in more than 30 countries across key wholesalers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Rinascente and LuisaViaRoma, among others. The brand is carried in 54 countries and has 56 monobrand stores worldwide, 51 of which are located in Japan.

The strong exposure in Japan has been boosted by the current owner of the company, Look Holdings Inc., which had been Il Bisonte’s distributor and licensee in the country since the ’90s and is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The firm acquired Il Bisonte in 2019 from former owner, private equity Palamon Capital Partners, and has accelerated the overall international expansion plans of the brand since.

As reported earlier this year, Il Bisonte is increasingly targeting the U.S. to scale its business. The brand operates a flagship in New York but chief executive officer Luigi Ceccon said the company is looking to open an additional unit Stateside by the end of 2023 or the first quarter of 2024 and is scouting locations on the West Coast. 

The brand unveiled its first store in New York, a two-level 1,940-square-foot flagship on Bleecker Street, in 2019. The unit, as some select stores worldwide, offers customers the opportunity to revitalize previously owned products, giving them a second life thanks to a remise-en-forme and leather care service by an expert craftsman. The company also leverages the flexibility of its artisan workshops to offer customized or personalized capsule collections and products.

Alex Crane

Brooklyn, New York-based fashion designer Alex Crane always wanted to create a fashion line, and ultimately decided to take the leap in 2017 with the intent of making sustainable leisurewear. 

After design stints at Jack Spade and Levi Strauss & Co., Crane launched his namesake label out of his apartment, slowly building up brand awareness by presenting collections at trade shows.

“The brand started in my apartment in Brooklyn in 2017. I quit my day job, broke up with my girlfriend — we’re married now so it all worked out — and my only instinct was to design a collection and sell it at a trade show,” Crane stated.

While Crane had a clear vision for his fashion label, he explained that he experienced multiple challenges across production, logistics and retail initiatives in the first two years that made it difficult for the brand to find its footing and develop a consistent customer base. 

With encouragement from his father, Crane decided to keep moving forward with the brand and ultimately started gaining momentum in 2019 with the help of digital marketing that got his brand’s message to more consumers. 

A look from Alex Crane’s spring 2024 collection.

Today the Alex Crane label offers men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and shoes designed with sustainable practices. The brand utilizes natural materials like organic cotton and corozo buttons and has the goal of becoming 100 percent biodegradable. He explained the next line of action is to transition to using 100 percent natural dyes, which he believes he can achieve in the next few years. 

“We’ll know we’ve arrived when we can toss our clothes in the compost and they turn to beautiful soil in 16 months,” Crane said about reaching his sustainability goal. 

The label is mostly carried at specialty stores and this summer embarked on its first major retail partnership with Bloomingdale’s. 

Key menswear pieces that he’ll show in Chicago are the Bo Pants — a longer version of his bestselling Bo Shorts — a range of cotton-linen knitwear and made-to-order suits. 

Crane’s overall goal for the brand is to be the global standard for sustainably made apparel basics, highlighting Gap as a business model he’d like to replicate. However, the difference will be his label offers biodegradable styles and will buy back clothing from customers to recycle the fibers. 

White Sand

White Sand is a contemporary brand born in the heart of the Romagna region in Italy, specializing in the production of modern trousers.

The brand is rooted in neoclassicism and innovation, characterized by an informal elegance and a Japanese-inspired fit, with a genderless offering of pants.

Established in 1979, White Sand combines elements of Japanese fashion and street style with elements of traditional Italian tailoring, and is best known for fusing street-style trends along with military details such as patchwork appliquès, new takes on camouflage and hand-painted prints.

The trousers are characterized by two main design elements, usually a drawstring waistband with adjustable belt, and each pair is decorated with a small black stone, carefully placed near the front pocket.

White Sand

Courtesy from White Sand

The brand also understands the majority of men still need a lot more convincing to move in a fuller leg direction, so it offers more traditional trouser options in a slim-fit leg, cargo pants, slim chino joggers, above the knee shorts and a pleated trouser.

For spring, highlights include novelty styles such as a tuxedo trouser with fraying details on the side, below-the-knee wide shorts with floral embroidering, and a pleated trouser with an ultra-wide leg opening all the way down to the hem — all in mainly light cottons, linens, technical fabrics and organzas.

Retail prices range from $195 to $295, with most styles falling in the $250 range, and the brand is carried in retailers including Antonia in Milan, Antonioli, Printemps, Isetan, Bon Marche, Matchesfashion, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ron Herman and Fred Segal.

White Sand is produced and distributed by Group Design Moda Srl, a family-run company from the Romagna region that specializes in trouser production and is known for its innovative shapes, materials, special processes and dyes.

Men’s Bags Mean Money for Spring 2024

Men’s Bags Mean Money for Spring 2024

Clutches, crossbodies and totes — oh my!
The variety of handbag styles for men have widened in variety on the runways and the spring 2024 season reinforced the category as an increasingly important revenue stream.

For his first outing as creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams was keen to “put my feet and make tracks” with his handbags, he told WWD’s Paris Bureau Chief Joelle Diderich. 

“His versions of the monogram Speedy bag in primary colors were inspired by the counterfeit versions sold on New York City’s Canal Street, but he made them in calf leather instead of canvas,” Diderich reported. Models also carried updated versions of the metallic Monogram Miroir bags introduced by Marc Jacobs in the mid-2000s.

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At Dior, Kim Jones mined the house archives as well, using the cannage motif from Christian Dior’s beloved Louis XVI chairs to dress up clutches in the shape of rolled up lunch bags. 

Elsewhere in Paris, Hermès showed supersized versions of its iconic Birkin named for the French actress Jane Birkin, who passed away last month at age 76. The structured top-handle was meant as an alternative to the wicker basket Birkin favored, a version of which — ironically — also made an appearance this season.   

And in Milan, WWD correspondent Martino Carrera observed almost every look in the Fendi collection was accompanied by a bag, like the Peekaboo design crafted from waranshi paper as part of a collaboration between the house, architect Kengo Kuma and a Japanese craftswoman.

Etro, Gucci and Giorgio Armani were equally intent on pushing handbags for men.

Spring 2024 also saw some newer entries to the market with cult brands investing more into their accessories lines to go head-to-head with the luxury bigwigs.

After scooping up the British Fashion Council/GQ Designer Fashion Fund award for menswear, Grace Wales Bonner put her cash prize to use by launching leather goods, while 3.Paradis designer Emeric Tchatchoua debuted the brand’s first line of bags, called “Attache,” inspired by his father’s old briefcase.

Juun.J RTW Fall 2023

Juun.J RTW Fall 2023

This season, Juun.J tore up his own rule book — and his denim, too. The South Korean designer emerged from the cocoon of last year’s quilted blanket coats with a slimmed down and shredded silhouette. It was a directional shift for Juun, who has long played with shape but kept his materials sacred. Set amongst the white pillars of the Arab World Institute’s basement, he built a temple to grunge.

Inspired by the era, Juun sent out destroyed looks in jeans, hoodies with holes, and ripped and re-sewn dresses. The designer said he wanted to show beauty in something old and damaged.

He imagined an atypical aesthetic and twisted take on value, on-trend as society rethinks the definition of beauty, and added a layer of Y2K discord. Miniskirts gave way to hip-baring bustiers, while midriff-exposing turtlenecks were roughly chopped. There was an emphasis on layers, with the hoodies-and-bomber combination the basis of several shapes.

Looks were accessorized with handbags flecked with large and dangerous-looking spikes, for the woman warrior to carry her copious amounts of eyeliner or perhaps use as a weapon.

Leather moto suits and biker jackets were distressed with paint, and a high-collared coat of flight jacket on top and tails in the back was an interesting twist. Faux-fur pieces were the one soft touch in this tough collection, and a bright blue puffer made of the material was a standout.

These were shapes and themes that Juun has mastered before, and while in line with the early Aughts’ oversized silhouette, felt a little heavy.

JordanLuca Men’s Spring 2023

JordanLuca Men’s Spring 2023

London-based Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto are relative newcomers to the Milan scene and are trying to get their message to come across, insisting for spring on the punk-tinged tropes that have defined their nascent career.
“It’s really a fusion, a cultural clash of Italy’s heritage and London’s counterculture,” said Bowen backstage preshow.
One must say, the latter reference was predominant. Boxy and padded sculptural shouldered blazers came with zippers crossing the chest; worn over baggy Bermudas, they were the punk-ish version of a suit; oversized trenchcoats and flight jackets were also sliced open with zippering and paired with flared, raw-hemmed, low-rise denim exuding a mischievous bent, while leather pieces such as croc-embossed pants and trenchcoats had an exciting dark tinge.

Backstage, Bowen insisted that the brand’s aesthetic is very much in tune with the designers’ often clashing emotions, and described fashion creativity as cathartic, especially as it helped both go through a period of substance abuse. The collection is “wistful, it has anger and rage, but there’s also joy…we can be everything at once,” he said.
The last model, his cunning gaze and gait intimidating yet somewhat captivating, wore a simple all-black sleeveless top and flared denim combo. It marked a much-needed moment of relief from the show’s extravaganza.

Dior Men Resort 2023

Dior Men Resort 2023

It was the best of both worlds.
Kim Jones brought Dior’s high-fashion sensibility together with Los Angeles designer Eli Russell Linnetz’s DIY SoCal surf-and-skate cool in the men’s resort 2023 collection that walked the runway in Venice, California, on Thursday night.
The result was electrifying — Dior’s haute tailored skater suits, their extralong pant legs pooling over high-top sneakers done in quilted satin connage, and grunge-glam knits, board shorts, tux pants and beanies dressed up with Linnetz’s tinsel and sequin embroideries were all hits.

California couture, indeed.
Dior closed down the street at Windward and Pacific Avenues, transforming it into an ocean blue runway set with waves cresting on either side leading straight to the beach. The show was called for 7 p.m. and the 700 or so guests milled around in the May gray, vaping and sipping hibiscus ice teas for more than an hour before the VIPs rolled in from their private party across the street.

There was Taika Waititi bringing the Champagne bottle with him, fresh-marrieds Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz, a Dior polo-wearing Dan Levy, a shirtless Kid Cudi in a hot pink Dior sweater and track-tux pants, O.G. skater Tony Hawk and more.

“When I was growing up in England, Venice Beach was a fantasy where all the kids were cool and Eli is one of the cool kids,” Jones said during a preview of the collection he designed with Venice born-and-raised multihyphenate Linnetz of ERL.
When Jones finally did make it to Los Angeles as a teenager, it didn’t disappoint. “I just loved it, it was seedy glamour,” he said of the scene, reflected on the runway in peacockish pink corduroy pants, with boxer shorts peeking out; deep V mohair sweaters; embroidered “46” dolphin shorts; Dior saddle bags with chunky gold skater chain handles, and sailor-boy Dior veiled caps, ahoy.
(It’s no wonder Dior’s men’s collection is getting so many female customers; several celebs, including Christina Ricci and Winnie Harlow, were wearing it Thursday night, too.)
“The way of dressing in California has a huge influence on how people around the world dress. Look at Shawn Stüssy, for example, how his brand created a way we all started dressing when we were teenagers,” Jones said. “It’s relaxed, it’s about comfort and outdoor life. There’s a certain dress-up to this collection but it’s not in the classic formal sense, it’s through rich fabrications…it’s almost eveningwear,” he explained of the lineup, which gave sportswear the couture treatment, as on board shorts made from eyelash baby blue tweed, or with cresting wave crystal and shell embroidery, or the tinsel on pullover sweaters, bags and tube socks.
Tailoring was all about the elegant slouch.
“I love all the inside-out suits…you have a Cary Grant ‘North by Northwest’ all-gray businessman suit, but with skate shoes on, a coat that looks like it was found at the thrift store but with embroidery on the neck, and a tie that is a trompe l’oeil photocopy print of a tie. The outfit is quite chaotic, but in this amazing Dior silhouette,” said Linnetz.
There were certainly nods to Dior codes in the pale pink and gray, and nods to house silhouettes in the fabulous ocean-recovered, slightly padded, slouchy white polyester beach Bar suit, and the connage quilting on puffer jackets, pants and high-top sneakers.
But this was more of a maximalism moment than we’ve seen from Jones. The result was rad, and should give other luxury brands playing in the same glittery sandbox a run for their money.

Front Row at Dior Men’s Venice Beach Show With ERL

Front Row at Dior Men’s Venice Beach Show With ERL

“I’m a big fan,” Rita Ora told Tony Hawk.The American skateboarder was never more in his element at a fashion show, the Dior men’s and ERL presentation in Venice Beach, inspired by SoCal skate and surf culture.
Ora, with boyfriend and filmmaker Taika Waititi — both in baggy Dior suits — made their way to their seats, sat alongside Christina Aguilera and Daniel Levy.
Not far, also front row, were Leslie Odom Jr., Kid Cudi, Michael B. Jordan, Christina Ricci, Finneas, Henry Golding, Burna Boy, Winnie Harlow, Brooklyn Beckham with Nicola Peltz, Dee Ocleppo with Tommy Hilfiger and Diego Boneta — donning the opening look of the show, an iridescent silver suit, graphic button-down and loose tie.

“It’s my first time at a Dior show,” said the actor at the after party. “I’ve had a blast.”

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The venue “is iconic,” continued Boneta. “The show was great. I loved the looks.”
Dior men’s artistic director Kim Jones, teaming with Venice-based designer Eli Russell Linnetz of ERL, closed down Windward Avenue, building out a blue wave-like structure and runway overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There wasn’t much to see, however, on the gloomy, overcast day.
“So hazy,” said actor and social media star Edward Zo. It was his very first fashion show.
“It’s very exciting, very chaotic,” he said of first impressions. “It’s a good juxtaposition, because you have Venice, which is very gritty, and then this high fashion event.”
There were other new faces, like content creators Blake Gray and Chase Hudson, and fashion veterans, too, Amber Valletta and Kimora Lee Simmons.
“I absolutely love the collection,” said Simmons, who brought 19-year-old daughter Aoki. “I thought it was so vibrant, so colorful and so fun, so universal. It’s something for everyone.”
“I thought it was beautiful,” chimed in Aoki. “And I surf down here. I love it.”
The two wore Dior Saddle bags. “I borrowed this from her,” said Aoki, sporting a mini version. Grinning, she added, “Hopefully, I can keep it.”
With Louis Vuitton recently showing in San Diego and Gucci shutting down Hollywood Boulevard a couple of months ago, “it’s so nice seeing this spotlight” on Southern California, said “Bling Empire” star Christine Chiu, a fixture at fashion weeks. She was with her husband, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Gabriel Chiu.
“I’m his plus one,” she said, with a smile, wearing a bedazzled minidress under a matching men’s top. She’s been buying both women’s and men’s and mixing the two.
“I mean, we’re kind of breaking out of the pandemic so why not zhoosh it up?” she said of the look.
L.A. hasn’t felt safe these days due to the impact of COVID-19, she added, and feeling exposed in the middle of Venice, “I was reassured that they have massive security everywhere, on every rooftop…We’re here in all our valuable pieces, so — I’m glad that they really amped up security.”
She was also glad to see the crowd the show brought out.
“Leave it to a men’s show to bring this full spectrum of fashion people,” said Chiu. “This is the best people sightseeing — not in terms of celebrity but in terms of style — that I’ve seen in a long time. Usually when I go to a Dior show, it’s Dior couture and all the ladies look alike. It’s very demure. This is such a cool, hip vibe.”

Pitti Uomo Readies Summer Edition With Wales Bonner, Soulland, Ann Demeulemeester

Pitti Uomo Readies Summer Edition With Wales Bonner, Soulland, Ann Demeulemeester

MILAN — The upcoming edition of Pitti Uomo indicates the menswear industry is moving to embrace the opportunities offered by the sector’s strong rebound, especially in key regions such as the U.S. and Europe.The showcase, which will run from June 14 to 17, is expected to attract around 640 exhibitors, 38 percent of which hail from abroad, offering a good mix of established names and up-and-coming talent. Of the total, 100 brands are joining the men’s fair for the first time.
“We’re not entirely back at it, but the number of exhibitors is already up 50 percent compared to the same edition last year. They are very active…and there’s a lot of enthusiasm to restart,” said Claudio Marenzi, president of organizing body Pitti Immagine, during a press conference here Thursday to unveil the schedule of events.

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Wales Bonner’s fashion show and the much-anticipated exhibition of Ann Demeulemeester, initially supposed to take place last January, are just a few of the events that will take place during the week.
Copenhagen-based street-inflected brand Soulland will present its spring 2023 collection with a fashion show-slash-event at a still undisclosed location as one of the event’s special projects, the other being up-and-coming brand Sapio, helmed by Rick Owens alum Giulio Sapio, who will install a presentation in a box format. This was already tested at Milan Fashion Week last January, as reported, and in Florence, it will be staged at the Galleria Discovery space inside the Fortezza da Basso.
Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine, noted the fair expects a fairly strong attendance of about 15,000. This compares with 10,000 last January and 20,000 in 2019. “Big buyers are back; real players in the economy, all the merchants know and feel they need to be in Florence,” he said.
Although there will be no initiatives to attract Russian buyers in light of ongoing sanctions against the country because of the invasion of Ukraine, Napoleone said Pitti Immagine will welcome every attendee and noted how the domestic market in Russia is not flat.
Addressing the havoc wrought by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Marenzi said the area represents around 2.2 percent of total exports of men’s fashion. “We still don’t have exact figures but given its numbers, Russia is still a relevant market but not so crucial,” he said.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the war, exports of men’s fashion are back on track. According to figures provided by Confindustria Moda, they amounted to 7.2 billion euros in 2021, up 13.4 percent versus the year prior. That is still 5.3 percent below 2019 levels.
China represented the fourth most important destination for Italian men’s fashion in 2021, with exports jumping 58.8 percent compared to 2020, but it saw a slowdown in the first quarter of 2022 in light of continued lockdowns that are denting consumer confidence, Marenzi said. This has been compensated by the U.S., where he observed an “exceptionally brisk activity.” Exports to the country increased 12.5 percent in 2021 and while this is roughly 20 percent below 2019, Pitti Immagine’s president forecast the U.S. will represent the main growth driver, alongside Europe.

Offsite events will also animate the city of Florence during the four-day Pitti Uomo, with Gucci officially unveiling its Giardino 25 café and cocktail bar, the latest addition to the Gucci Garden experiential destination, with an event on June 16.
As reported, newly rebooted menswear brand Bagutta is making its debut under the partnership with Castor Fashion and creative direction of Albino D’Amato with a breakfast presentation on the terrace of Pitti Immagine’s headquarters in town, while Superga will throw a bash on June 14 hosted by model Emily Ratajkowski.
In keeping with the previous edition, the Fortezza da Basso fairgrounds will be organized across four main areas called Fantastic Classic; Futuro Maschile; Superstyling, and Dynamic Attitude, the latter dedicated to sportswear brands. The category represents a strong sector within menswear and it will be under the spotlight at the trade show, with sailing lifestyle brand North Sails unveiling its collection with Maserati, BasicNet-owned Robe di Kappa and Fila both returning to the fair and sustainable-minded Ecoalf marking its second attendance.
There will be room for anniversaries, too, as denim company Roy Rogers will fete its 70th anniversary with an event unveiling a short movie directed by Bruce Weber and WP Lavori in Corso, which has been driving the European agenda of sportswear distribution in Europe since 1982, will mark its 40th milestone.
The Superstyling section will feature a selection of green labels called Sustainable Style, first introduced at the onset of the pandemic, with 10 brands hailing from all continents.
Showing its support of Ukrainian designers whose work has been impacted by the ongoing conflict, Pitti Uomo has invited a range of brands from that country to showcase their collections at the fair. The young names include talents outside the fashion realm who are known for their work in pottery and textiles.
As reported, Pitti Uomo will take place as a stand-alone event, discontinuing the recent tradition of combining it with the Pitti Bimbo and Pitti FIlati fairs dedicated to childrenswear and yarn-makers, respectively. The IRL trade show will be flanked by the Pitti Connect digital platform.

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