Australian menswear set to hog the Pitti Uomo spotlight

Eight designers will feature in a display that will help put Australian menswear squarely on the radar of global fashion.

By Steve Colquhoun 01/06/2017

Geographically distant from the rest of the world it may be, but Australia will take a big step onto the global fashion radar when a select group of Australian designers takes centre stage at the world’s top menswear fair, Pitti Uomo.

The twice-annual display of everything new and cutting-edge in menswear design is the key place to be seen and to do deals that will open up lucrative export markets for many talented Australian brands that remain relatively unknown abroad.

Eight Australian designers will feature in the Pitti Uomo: Guest Nation display – Chris Ran Lin, Commas, Double Rainbouu (below), EXinfinitas, Sener Besim, Strateas Carlucci, P.E. Nation and Ten Pieces. Australian photographer Bartolomeo Celestino will present a displaying linking the designers’ work together within the Guest Nation Australia pavilion, adding another creative dimension to the showcase.

With the display presented in conjunction with Australia’s Woolmark Company and the Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery, each designer will present a Spring/Summer collection utilising Australian Merino wool, highlighting the adaptability of Merino wool and its suitability for all climates.

On a recent visit to promote the forthcoming exhibition, the CEO of Pitti Immagine, Rafaello Napoleone, described Australia as one of the most interesting and rapidly expanding centres for fashion and creativity.

“We are honoured to present the special showcase ‘Guest Nation Australia’ at the next edition of Pitti Uomo, it is indeed a great project and at the same time an opportunity to open a new window on one of the most creative scenarios of fashion today,” he says.

“Through Guest Nation we want to highlight the essence of Australian design and lifestyle, with a selection of cutting-edge fashion designers and brands, called to present themselves within a global platform as Pitti Uomo and its audience of international top buyers, media and fashion key players.”

The Woolmark Company provided the Australian designers with introductions to the Merino wool supply chain, says Stuart McCullough, the managing director of The Woolmark Company. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the designers, and spotlights the Merino wool fibre within one of the most important forums for men’s fashion in the world.”

Napoleone (above) is excited about the calibre of the Australian designers involved in the exhibition, selected in collaboration with the Australian Fashion Chamber. “Australian menswear has come a long way from typical surf clothing, far beyond the imagery of surfers and flip-flops,” he says.

“Looking at the collections of the designers involved in the project, I see premium materials, contemporary looks with a tailored twist, great quality in fabrics and very innovative cuts.

“I think this is a very interesting challenge, that will bring to Florence and to Pitti Uomo a great deal of innovation.”

Pitti Uomo runs from June 13 to 16 at Milan’s Fortezza da Basso. (pittiimagine.com)

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