When they’re not getting snapped by The Sartoralist (a Pitti fixture), the hoards of international press and buyers will crowd Florence’s Fortezza da Basso, where labels ranging from denim giant Levi’s to the minimalist giuliano Fujiwara to Andrea Pompilio (who is partnering with Onitsuka Tiger for a capsule collection) will set up shop January 8-11. In addition to the booths, there will be themed pop-up shops, runway shows, and presentations, including the launch of the Fall 2013 men’s collection by this season’s guest label, Kenzo.
Along with the main show, the 11th edition of Pitti W will showcase pre-collections and special projects for the ladies. Exhibitors include up-and-coming names like Hyun Yeu’s Ado Les Scents, Holland’s Mattijs Van Bergen, and this year’s guest designer, Maison Kitsuné, the Parisian record label turned clothing brand. The season will turn the spotlight on guest nation Denmark, with a runway show of emerging talents from Copenhagen.
With so much to see, here are five reasons we’re excited for the upcoming kick-off to the Fall/Winter 2013-2014 season:
1. Real Clothes for Real People
We love the fantasy of the couture runway, but sometimes it’s nice to see things you can actually buy in stores. Pitti’s wares are the real deal – from suiting to streetwear, these are clothes you’re going to see.
2. Accent on Accessories
Unlike the runway collections, shows like Pitti offer a chance for accessories labels to strut their stuff, like Olympia Le Tan, who showcased her embroidered book clutches at last year’s Pitti 81.
3. It’s International
Unlike the mostly hermetic worlds of the major fashion cities, Pitti is a showcase for international brands. We’re particularly excited about the show’s global contingent, including Japan’s White Mountaineering and Sweden’s Erïk Bjerkesjö (this year’s Pitti Featured Performer).
4. The Calm Before the Storm
Pitti is the first major fashion event of the year, and Florence provides a gentle preview to the madness of the Fashion Month that’s to come.
5. Bring on the Boys
Usually in fashion the women’s wear that gets all the glory. From time to time, it’s nice to let the boys take center stage.
For more information on the shows, visit http://www.pittimmagine.com/en.
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Image: Models at the Andrea Pompilio show at Pitti Uomo 81, by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images