Warm optimism was in the air at the last edition of Pitti Uomo, in June 2004, Florence – and not just because of the high temperatures. This internationally important menswear event registered good results thanks to its almost 24,000 visitors, 6.6% more than the edition of June 2003. Not only more Italian visitors were there (+7.2%), but also foreign ones (+5.6 percent%). China saw a tripling of its visitors, together with an increase of buyers from Russia and Japan.

With its 800 exhibitors, Pitti Uomo has offered much to insiders in every segment – from sportswear to jeanswear and streetwear, as well as to designer fashion and contemporary menswear.

A positive attitude is characterizing most of the spring/summer 2005 collections with bright and lively colors, irregular, handmade-like and fancy embroideries and decors as presented by CYCLE,Livio Graziottin’s (ex-E-play designer) new collection LVO, BOXFRESH, RA.RE, NO.LI.TA and 55 DSL.

Natural and nature-like materials are in – the more nature-friendly the better. Various companies employed bamboo fabrics (as did CORNELIANI and CANALI), while SEALKAY dyed some of its jeans with curry. Various jeanswear collections employed linen both in various colors and in linen-like denim variants (PEPE JEANS and GAS).

Denim dominates the season with innovative and ergonomic shapes, mix ’n’ match materials and new backpocket designs and constructions. Among newcomers there were 7 FOR ALL MANKIND, NUDIE JEANS, YANUK, VON DUTCH, DUARTE AND REHASH – in addition to well-known Rifle, LEVI’S, WRANGLER and LEE). Jackets are becoming an important piece of clothing – both for young menswear and sportswear (JUICY COUTURE, LVO, YANUK, COTTON BELT, LUKE). They are slightly shorter and made with superlight materials and outstanding materials such as sweatshirt or denim.

A taste for on-the road traveling (GAS, RIFLE, WRANGLER, HARLEY DAVIDSON) with biker jackets and outlived denim is back as are retro adventure sports. BELSTAFF, for instance, reproduced authentic aviator jackets that the company actually produced in the 1930s and 1940s for the British Royal Air Force. Some of these jackets were actually worn by Leonardo Di Caprio for acting Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator”.

Workwear is back with a series of re-invented striped overalls by LEE and SMITH’S, a brand distributed to Italy by the A Moda group.

Bright colors were offered by almost every company – from menswear to jeanswear. 40 WEFT, for instance, offered a wide selection of garment-dyed pants with lively color scarves around the waiste instead of usual belts, because accessorizing matters.

Pitti Uomo is a multiface events that offers various attractions – both during the normal working hours but also beyond them. In fact, the fair gave life to most different events, shows and parties. Before the fair had started JEAN PAUL GAULTIER’s new jeans collection produced by Fingen Group was presented on Wednesday, June 23. Then followed the European launch of ROBERTO MENICHETTI’s own collection. Despite that was the first official event during Pitti, it didn’t meet expectations. DENIS SIMACHEV, the Russian designer, showed his collection the next day, and it had greater ideas and inspiration thanks to its modern sportswear. Other fashion shows also took place. HENRY LLOYD showed its anteprima’s new sportswear collection and SHOOTERS presented its knitwear collection during a “surfbike” event along the Arno river. ADIDAS also showed its Originals line on Friday afternoon.

–– Maria Cristina Pavarini