ON ITS OWN: Signaling a return to pre-pandemic normality, Pitti Immagine said Wednesday that the upcoming edition of the menswear trade show Pitti Uomo is going solo.
The event showcasing the spring 2023 men’s collections will take place from June 14 to 17 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.
At the onset of the COVID-19 health emergency, the Florentine trade fairs’ organizer moved online with the Pitti Connect digital space where virtual editions of its trade shows were hosted for over a year and a half until June 2021.
Last summer, Pitti Immagine reprised its physical format combining for the first time the three fashion-related shows under its umbrella. For the two editions since July 2021, the three trade fairs were held concurrently, forcing Pitti Filati to temporarily relocate to the Stazione Leopolda venue, a necessary move that didn’t entirely please exhibitors.
According to its full schedule of events, the next edition of Pitti Bimbo is slated to run June 22 to 24, while Pitti Filati will return to be held at the Fortezza da Basso, Pitti Immagine’s main venue, from June 29 to July 1.
Marking its 102nd edition, Pitti Uomo will continue to be divided into four thematic areas, including Fantastic Classic, devoted to sartorial brands; Futuro Maschile, spotlighting fashion-forward menswear; Dynamic Attitude, dedicated to outerwear and sportswear with an urban spin, and Superstyling, showcasing contemporary takes on men’s wardrobes. In sync with last January’s edition, the Sustainable Style section will gather eco-friendly labels and designers.
Impacted by the pandemic, attendance and exhibitors’ numbers at the two most recent IRL trade shows were lower than pre-pandemic. In January, for instance, 548 brands presented their fall 2022 collections drawing around 8,000 visitors, more than a half of whom were buyers from Italy and abroad.
As Italy moves cautiously toward the lifting of the remaining safety measure put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there’s hope within the menswear community that the June edition of Pitti Uomo will return to its pre-pandemic standards. Last July, most exhibitors said their attendance was testament to the unity and strength of the Pitti community and the overall men’s market. — MARTINO CARRERA
LIPSTICK INDEX: Lipstick sales are looking a lot rosier in France these days.
During the week of March 14, when the country lifted most of its mask-related coronavirus restrictions, sales of prestige lip makeup jumped 30 percent — and those of prestige lipstick climbed 35 percent — in France versus the prior seven-day period, according The NPD Group.
“This spectacular increase compared to the previous week demonstrates the impact the end of the mask-wearing obligation has on consumers’ purchasing habits,” the market research group said in a statement.
Also in the week of March 14, sales of prestige makeup overall grew 8 percent, driven by lipstick revenues, while total beauty products’ sales in the selective beauty channel were up 3 percent.
“Many consumers have celebrated newfound freedom by buying a new lipstick,” said Mathilde Lion, Europe beauty industry expert at NPD. “It’s excellent news for makeup brands for which the pandemic has been particularly challenging.” — JENNIFER WEIL
BIG RETAIL ROLLOUT: Scotch & Soda is continuing its retail rollout.
The Amsterdam-based men’s and women’s lifestyle brand will open 20 new brick-and-mortar stores globally over the next six months. This follows the recent opening of 16 stores around the world over the past six months.
The new additions will include two flagships in Milan and London — its largest stores outside of the Netherlands with 186 square meters and 250 square meters, respectively. In addition, new directly operated and franchise shops will open in key U.S. cities including Washington, D.C., Detroit and San Antonio, Texas.
In February, Scotch & Soda opened a store in the Fashion Square mall in Scottsdale, Ariz., and last week in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood. The D.C. store, in the Union Market area, is slated to open in May. A unit in the Somerset Collection mall in Detroit is slated for mid-June and another in the La Cantera mall in San Antonio, Texas, will open in July. By the end of September, the brand’s store count in North America will reach 50 — 46 in the U.S. and four in Canada.
Other key cities outside the U.S. where the brand will lay down stakes include Frankfurt, Germany; Dubai, U.A.E.; Doha, Qatar; Tel Aviv, Israel; Johannesburg; Cairo; Shanghai, and Beijing.
This year will also mark the continuation of Scotch & Soda’s rebranding strategy where existing stores will be retrofitted with the “Free Spirit” design concept in cities including Amsterdam; Paris; Lyon, France; Madrid; Barcelona, Spain, and Luxembourg City.
“The growth momentum we saw last year continues to strengthen, with more locations launching globally,” said Frederick Lukoff, chief executive officer. “We are looking forward to the opening of our flagship stores in Milan and London, in two of the world’s most attractive fashion retail destinations. It is a great opportunity to reach new customers worldwide, and to introduce them to our brand, inspired by the free spirit of Amsterdam.”
All told, Scotch & Soda operates 252 stores across Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia and the brand is carried in 7,000 stores worldwide. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
ARMANI’S REGATTA: Giorgio Armani is the new title sponsor of the 15th edition of the YCCS (Yacht Club Costa Smeralda) Superyacht Regatta, to be held May 31 to June 4 on the waters off the Sardinian Costa Smeralda, the Emerald Coast, known for its fine-sand beaches and beautiful, clear sea.
“How can you not love the sea! I only knew of it as a child from the shore, because we were in times of war, but when it was possible for me, as an adult, I really experienced it and I realized that a boat trip, by sea, is one of the most desirable things in the world,” Armani said. “For this reason, when I created my first boat, the Mariù, I risked becoming a boat designer. Now, on the occasion of the Superyacht Regatta, it was natural for me to be one of the sponsors. This allowed me to get even closer to the reality that surrounds us, made up of wonderful landscapes and a sea, the Mediterranean, which I love deeply.”
Armani’s passion for luxury yachts also drove him to team up with The Italian Sea Group last year for the design of a one-of-a-kind motor yacht, and to invest in the yachting specialist, which operates the Admiral and Tecnomar brands, focused on the production of yachts and high-tech motorboats, respectively, which went public on the Italian Stock Exchange in 2021.
In March of last year, Armani revealed it was designing a 236-foot Admiral motor yacht, marking the first time the fashion house became involved in such a project, although the designer did oversee the furnishing and design of his two personal yachts, Mariù and Maìn.
On the occasion of the YCCS Superyacht Regatta, Armani will open a pop-up store at the Costa Smeralda Yacht Club and a new space in the luxury Hotel Cala di Volpe. Armani also has a signature brand boutique overlooking the exclusive Porto Cervo promenade.
Giorgio Armani’s beach collections for men and women will include a special selection of men’s clothing and accessories related to the world of sailing. The collection will be available in the Giorgio Armani Porto Cervo boutique, at the Hotel Cala di Volpe and in Giorgio Armani stores, including those in Milan, Venice, Saint-Tropez and Cannes.
Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda since 2008, the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta is for superyachts with a minimum length of 90 feet and multihulls of at least 50 feet. As in previous years, the event will include the Southern Wind Rendezvous and Trophy.
Last year, the title sponsor of the regatta was Loro Piana. — LUISA ZARGANI
EARTHLY MARKET: On Wednesday, Selfridges gave its The Corner Shop space a spring update with the opening of Supermarket, a four-week pop-up that imagines the earth-conscious shop of the future.
The space allows customers to watch products of tomorrow being made up close, as the 2.3 meters tall 3D printing machine ABB IRB 5700, first showcased on the world stage at COP26 last year, is put right at the center, and to discover how innovative products made from atmospheric carbon, mushroom and pineapple leathers are created.
This supermarket of tomorrow is the latest manifestation of British upmarket retailer’s Project Earth sustainability strategy, which was introduced in 2020, and reflects the retailer’s theme for 2022 “Superfutures.”
It aims to “examine future shopping habits” and open “a conversation around consumption and physical ownership,” according to Emma Kidd, acting creative director at Selfridges.
On top of offering the trendy NFTs from brands like Paco Rabanne with Fondation Vasarely, the pop-up also comes with a series of shoppable laser-cut corset belts and made-to-order dresses made with recycled ocean plastic from Iris Van Herpen, 3D-printed shoes by Jean Paul Gaultier and real-time tailor-made designs by artist Tejumola Butler Adenuga in collaboration with Crocs, as well as fragrances and hand sanitizers from Air Company and diamonds made with repurposed atmospheric carbon by Sky Diamond.
Restaurants inside Selfridges will also offer new menus to coincide with the pop-up. The Brass Rail and Harry Gordon’s Bar & Kitchen, for example, will offer plant-based 3D painted meat by Redefine Meat.
Windows at London’s Oxford Street, Birmingham and Manchester stores will also be updated to reflect the futuristic theme, in collaboration with set designer Shona Heath. — TIANWEI ZHANG
TV TIME: The house of Christian Dior Parfums helped celebrate TV talent Wednesday night at the Canneseries international series festival, which was held in Cannes, France.
At the close of the event’s fifth edition, which ran from April 1 to 6, the Dior Grand Award and the Dior Revelation Award were bestowed for TV series’ originality, diversity and rich content.
This year, the jury for the long-form selection was headed by Fanny Herrero, the creator and scriptwriter of the series “Call My Agent.” That jury was also composed of actor Anne Marivin; film score composer Daniel Pemberton; actor, scriptwriter and producer Ólafur Darri Ólafsson; actor Sami Outalbali, and actor and scriptwriter Denis O’Hare.
They gave the Dior Grand Award to “Audrey’s Back,” the first Canadian series selected in the long-form category at Canneseries. It was written by Guillaume Lambert and Florence Longpré, and produced by Guillaume Lonergan. The series came out last year and focuses on Audrey, a woman who slipped into a coma at age 17, only to awake 16 years later, when she has to learn how to live life again.
Novelist and scriptwriter Anthony Horowitz presided over the jury for the short-form selection. He was accompanied by actor Chinenye Ezeudu, and actor, director and composer Marc Ruchmann.
That jury gave the Dior Revelation Award to Rosalie Vaillancourt for her interpretation of Allie in the Canadian series “Complètement Lycée.” It was produced by Alex Pronovost, came out in 2021 and is a parody of teenagers.
The two Dior prize trophies were created by artist Ingrid Donat. These came in polished white bronze and decorated with a houndstooth pattern.
“I combined my ‘houndstooth,’ created especially for Dior, and which is also an emblematic house pattern, with the Canneseries initials, ‘CS,’ which rise in a cylindrical column, like a primitive totem or trophy,” Donat said in a statement. — J.W.
MOORE NFTs: Julianne Moore is getting in on the NFT action.
Taking part in a digital auction, the Oscar-winning actress has offered three haute couture gowns worn on red carpets, which will also live on as NFTs.
Featuring a design by Balenciaga (a pink dress seen at the Paris premiere of “A Single Man”) and two by Givenchy (a green sparkling number worn at the 2015 SAG Awards and an embroidered black and silver dress from the 2016 Cannes Film Festival), buyers will receive the physical dresses, as well as their 3D representations, created by digital platform Since3000 and NFT pro Nicole Buffett, daughter of Warren Buffett. A percentage of sales are going toward The Actors Fund, an organization supporting the entertainment industry with services like health care and financial aid.
The event — titled Fine Silver — is a partnership between Live Rocket, a digital-first commerce and content company launched in October 2021 (a branch of New York City’s Live Rocket Studios), and Zaptheory, a crypto consulting business. Fashion figures Amy Fine Collins, an author and journalist, and Cameron Silver, owner of Los Angeles’ Decades vintage shop, were tapped as hosts.
“As a new global platform, we could not be prouder to present the premiere of our new show Fine Silver and the heartfelt contributions of actress Julianne Moore and her amazing red carpet haute couture gowns,” said Live Rocket founder Mark Bozek in a statement.
Live now and available through April 10, the auction is found online on the Mogul Productions website — an NFT and decentralized financing platform — which will live stream the results. — RYMA CHIKHOUNE
GONE SHOPPING: Irish fast-fashion retailer Primark opened the doors to its first Milan store, located in Via Torino, just a 10-minute walk away from the city’s Duomo cathedral, on Wednesday.
The Primark Store is the first store to be opened in the city’s center, but it has two units in the Arese shopping center “Il Centro” and in the Rozzano district, both towns in the suburban areas of Milan.
“We are delighted and proud to occupy such a privileged position in the heart of the Milanese shopping district,” said Luca Giuffreda, head of Primark in Italy, in a statement. “Our Italian customers have welcomed us with open arms from the very beginning and we are sure they will love the structure and design of this new store, not to mention the wide range they can choose from.”
The Primark store is spread over several floors: on the ground floor, customers will be able to find the women’s section, the first floor is dedicated to cosmetics, the second floor hosts furniture for the house, on the third floor is the child section, and the fourth and fifth floors are reserved for employees.
The venue will house the national offices of Primark Italia and the showrooms, which will be reserved for press.
In addition to the brand’s standard clothing line, the Milan store will offer products from the “Primark Cares” line, reflecting the retailer’s commitment to making fashion more sustainable, but also accessible.
Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala said of the opening that “during this difficult period, opening a new store, offering job opportunities, requires more courage and trust than usual: therefore Primark deserves a warm welcome. I am sure that the Milanese citizens will be able to give it the right greeting to this important Irish brand famous for its great fashion at affordable prices.”
The structure will employ more than 400 workers, ranging from sales support figures, visual merchandisers, and human resources officers.
There are existing Primark stores in Rome, Catania, Brescia and Verona, and the company is planning openings in Turin, Bologna, Caserta, Venice and Chieti. — ALICE MONORCHIO