Waiting for Pitti Immagine 86

Fashion By Stefano Guerrini

It’s time for a new edition of Pitti Immagine
, the 86th to be precise.  Florence will be flooded with buyers, journalists and web-influencers for what will be, if the events and expos announced are anything to go by, an unmissable occasion for the whole fashion system.  While we wait, just a few days before Italy’s – and the world’s - most important trade show for men’s fashion, we have spoken to some of the people involved to try to capture, in their words, some of the atmosphere of Pitti and what has impressed them most from past editions.  We asked them: “Do you have any special memories of Pitti Immagine Uomo?  Are there any particular moments that have stayed with you?”  Here are the answers, which go to show the consideration and the great respect enjoyed by Pitti Immagine.

Simone Marchetti, fashion editor La Repubblica, Repubblica.it, D.Repubblica.it
Hedi Slimane’s installation for Dior Homme at Stazione Leopolda: it was one of the most beautiful things ever seen at Pitti Uomo.  The brightly coloured show by Raf Simons for Jil Sander at Villa Gamberaia.  Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s summer collection for Valentino Uomo at Limonaia Zanobi in 2012.  Walking around the city by night, after the evening events, on the way back to my hotel to write the last articles of the day.

Cristina Manfredi, Head of Department, Vanity Fair Italia
“I’d say that the first occasion that springs to mind, and it is stamped on my mind forever, was the Raf Simons show for Jil Sander.  The weather had been terrible that morning, with an awful storm over Florence, but then it subsided.  In the evening, just when the outdoor show was about to start, the sky turned black, the rain was looming and it began thundering.  But not a drop fell during the show, although the lightning created an almost movie-like atmosphere and a fine drizzle accompanied the final exit of the models, making it all the more romantic.  I remember when we went down to congratulate Raf Simons, and the great warmth of his welcome, perhaps because of the adrenalin high from the threat of such bad weather.”
Gabriele Verratti, fashion editor grazia.it
"It was just after the Emiliano Rinaldi show in Palazzo Gondi.  As I was leaving, I was struck by the fireplace in the room.  It was a renaissance fireplace with friezes and relief figures that I could see were Hercules and Samson.  ‘Do you like it?’ an elegantly dressed woman asked me in a friendly tone.  ‘It is serena stone, a unique sculpture by Giuliano da Sangallo.’  I replied that I found it absolutely stunning and then I asked... ‘Excuse me, but you are...?’ ‘The lady of the house,’ came the reply.  It was an unusual way to meet the Marchesa Vittoria Gondi, wife of Bernardo, and descendant of a family named by Dante in his ‘Paradiso’.  But Pitti never fails to surprise you!"
Andrea Tisci, founder and blogger of www.fashionancien.com
"Memories of Pitti Immagine?  Pitti Immagine is a memory in itself; it’s a unique experience surrounded by an air of frenzy and curiosity.  Getting to know new brands, discovering the deeply rooted values of the famous names.  Pitti means finding something new every time.  It’s an endless source of moments that can’t be reduced to just one, because each of those moments is a brushstroke that forms the living work that is Fortezza da Basso.  Experiencing the skills of traditional artisans in "just a few" square metres, for example the art and love for crocodile at the Giosa stand, or letting yourself be enchanted by new ideas and romantic designs, full of distant dreams that carry the scent of our Italy, which is what happened to me with Kinloch scarves.  I can still call to mind the oriental fragrance and dynamic modern feel of StudioPretzel, which brought back all my love of the Rising Sun.  You can experience all this and much more in just a few packed days in Florence, which will stay with you forever."
Miguel Vieira, menswear blogger, founder of http://beyondfabric.tumblr.com and street style photographer
“I think that for me, the most interesting part about Pitti is that it brings your own personal fantasies to life.  As a fashion blogger, I have always been careful to keep up to date on style icons and fashion personalities, but doing this from a distance is like seeing it as a whole world, outside our reach.  At Pitti it is possible to meet these icons in person, exchange ideas and show your own work, which is one of the most exciting aspects.  One occasion that will definitely stay with me forever was the show by Angelo Flaccavento where, as well as the pieces exhibited, there was a debate with the most important personalities from the fashion world and  journalists, for an exceptional brainstorming session.  This changed my way of looking at blogs and brand marketing and gave me a different approach to my work.”
Luca Imbimbo, Italian editor, Fucking Young!
“D'abord l'émotion! Ensuite, seulement, la compréhension!”, is what Paul Gauguin used to say about his “creatures”... Well, this is one of the rules I try to follow in my work too.  I have always found Pitti, its setting and the city of Florence fascinating.  So, condensing the emotions of the last few years into a single episode is no mean feat.  Meeting young talents, being amazed by the originality of some, and the MAGNIFICENCE of made in Italy.
Of course - and it may seem trivial - one of the occasions I remember with great pleasure is an interview with Andrea Pompilio during edition number 83.  It was my first time at Pitti as Italian editor of Fucking Young!  And it was probably my first ever interview for the magazine.  It was Andrea’s first show - as part of the Pitti Italics circuit – after winning the “Who is on Next?” in June.  We met backstage at Stazione Leopolda.  He was out of breath; I was probably too full of beans.  We had a friendly, uninhibited chat.  He showed me the collection that was about to go on the catwalk.  We said our goodbyes.  And the rest is history. Mine.
If you don’t mind, Stefano, I’d like to add something that rather than a moment could be considered a custom.  I refer to the visit to the stand of friends, T Michael and Alexander Helle from the Norwegian Rain brand and I would like to thank Darrel Hunter for introducing us.  From the first, I have been charmed by their vision of fashion, which is classic and innovative at the same time.  Theirs is a different business approach and never trivial.  Their skill in reinventing a garment that can be a bit dull, such as rainwear, making it a desirable object across the board is something to be admired.  They have managed to turn the ceaseless rain of Bergen (the brand’s home town) into a pleasant form of bad weather.  I admit a personal attraction to Northern European culture and the essential nature of their designs. 
I won’t go on because I think I’ve said too much already …But I wish you and everyone a great Pitti-Pong!”