Florence will swell with over 30,000 international exhibitors, buyers, fashion professionals and journalists from June 14 to 17 for the upcoming edition of Florence's homegrown trade fair. Some 1,000 brands, 34 percent of which from abroad, will showcase the 2012 spring-summer collections at Pitti Uomo 80 and Pitti W_Woman Precollection 8.
The 59,000-square-meter exhibition space at the Fortezza da Basso will house in the main pavilion the following sections: Pitti Uomo, Futuro Maschile, Affinità Elettive, and pop-up stores display classic looks with a contemporary touch; Sport & Sport, Fashion at Work and Uppercasual feature the latest trends in sportswear; Ynformal, Urban Panorama, My Factory and New Beat(s) highlight emerging styles and new talents in urban fashion culture; the Touch! and l'Altro Uomo sections focus on experimental and innovative collections for the contemporary man. Growing in size and importance every year, the Pitti W_Precollections are exhibited in the building of the ex-Dogana on via Valfonda.
Travel is this year's theme, and fittingly, Pitti Immagine organizers have selected two up-and-comers from California's creative scene as this edition's special guest designers: Band of Outsiders' Scott Sternberg for Pitti Uomo 80, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte for Pitti W's eighth edition.
‘Rodarte and Band of Outsiders are two very different design talents. But they both connect us to the mythology of the American West: Los Angeles, where all three designers live and work; film, which they are obviously interested in; and the expanses of the interstate highway that runs through California and heads into the desert of Nevada. The European curiosity about California culture and the landscape played an important role in Pitti's decision to invite both designers to Florence at the same time,' said Lapo Cianchi, director of communication and events at Pitti Immagine, in a press statement.
In the same statement, Kate Mulleavy commented, ‘Italy has always captured our imaginations and inspired us artistically, so we look forward to having the opportunity to share our vision there.' Similarly, Sternberg offered, ‘Italy is a second home to me, where I've produced our collections for the last three years. Being invited by Pitti is such an honor.'
On June 15, in the exceptional location of the former tobacco factory, Manifattura Tabacchi, Sternberg will present his men's spring-summer 2012 collection along with his 2012 women's resort collections: ‘Boy. by Band of Outsiders' and ‘Girl. by Band of Outsiders.' Rumour has it that Hollywood star turned fashion designer Kirsten Dunst, who contributed to the women's line of Band of Outsiders and acts as its model and spokesperson, will make an appearance in Florence.
The Mulleavy design duo, originally from Pasadena, will present a capsule collection at Pitti W. The sisters have won several awards since launching Rodarte in 2005. Stocked in the world's premiere boutiques, the brand now boasts a distinctive celebrity following. Among the fashion-forward icons and starlets who wear Rodarte are Michelle Obama, Chloe Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Maggie Cheung, Reese Witherspoon and Natalie Portman, who wore Rodarte to the Oscars in 2009 and in 2011 when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
New to Pitti Uomo this year is Pitti Guest Nation, a project focused on the new players in the global fashion economy, promoting trade and furthering cooperation between Italy and other countries. Recognized for its great social, cultural and economic evolution, Brazil is the guest country for this first edition of Pitti Guest Nation. During the fair, Brazil's fashion and contemporary art talents will be showcased through events at special venues throughout Florence. Among them is the event Tudo e, running from June 13 to 16 at the former Esattoria della Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, which will highlight Brazil's contemporary forms of aesthetic expression in the visual arts, music and film.