Directly before the Men’s Fashion Weeks get underway the most important buyers and sharp-eyed influencers descend on Tuscany – this year more than 20,000 of them, with London and the UK making up a significant chunk of that horde – to place the orders on what you will be shopping for come the autumn.
Here is what you should be looking out for hot from Pitti Uomo 105.
The biggest show of the fair came thanks to American designer Todd Snyder and his eponymous label. Snyder launched his own line in 2011 after stints at Polo Ralph Lauren and chose Pitti 105 for his brand’s return to catwalk shows after a few years’ hiatus, combining the appearance with a pop-up in Florence’s luxury shopping district.
The brand has become known in the US for its blend of classic tailoring with classic Americana, and for collaborations with other big American names. What we saw in this collection built upon that history: gargantuan overcoats with low, slouchy lapels, rugged shearling outerwear, knitwear which leaned heavily into the recent trend for oversizing, and pieces created in conjunction with heritage US brand Woolrich.
The majority of the garments here were big, statement pieces, but instead of appearing gimmicky the overall impressions were of warmth, comfort and style.
For the past few seasons menswear has been steering back into the voluminous styles seen in the 1990s, and this collection heads farther down that road. It’s a direction well worth taking.
Scotland’s Walker Slater has already proven itself as the master of tweed suiting, but the AW24 collection saw it expand further into using wool flannels as a slightly more sleek, city-ready alternative to the rustic texture of the country fabric.
Core styles were on show in a variety of new colourways, but a particular highlight was a new offering: a bold grey overcheck fabric cut into a double-breasted jacket with strong, wide lapels.
The price point of this brand is remarkably low when considering the quality, and by adding versatile pieces such as this to its repertoire, Walker Slater will only strengthen its claim as one of the best ready-to-wear tailoring brands in the market.
Johnstons of Elgin
Another Scottish brand with one of the most impressive displays was cashmere king Johnstons of Elgin. One of the more noticeable trends spotted throughout the fair was the popularity of shades of green – everything from rich, earthy moss tones to light pistachio – and the chunky rollnecks and lighter cardigans coming out of Elgin in those shades were up there with the best.
The undoubted scene-stealers, however, were the new incarnations of its Balmacaan coats – the uncomplicated shape, immense collar and gorgeous wool fabric make them feel like wearing a hug. Ideal to put over either office wear or weekend casual looks.
The main attraction at the Sunspel booth was the continuation of its work with renowned designer Nigel Cabourn. More designs inspired by the brand’s extensive archives and realised in sumptuous wools were a highlight, while elsewhere on the stand more traditional pieces appeared in that trending green colour palette sprinkled liberally throughout the show.
Crew neck sweaters emblazoned with the initials of Cabourn and the brand brought a playful touch; relaxed tailoring for the weekend further increased the relevance of the brand in the modern market.
Alongside all this lay fresh colourways of the always-popular Made in England t-shirts, rounding off one of the most impressive collections of the week.
The exquisite leather coats and jackets of Parisian artisans Chapal were one of the standouts of the show. The brand is rapidly approaching its 200th anniversary, and in that time has created functional outerwear for French, British and American armed forces.
The handmade shearling bomber jackets in the latest collection heavily reference that heritage – often being named in tribute to the service branch for whom they were first designed – and offer the perfect marriage of elegance and sturdy performance.
These are clothes for the true connoisseur, and will keep the lucky owner warm for a lifetime.
Classic shirts will never go out of style, and those produced by Stenströms deliver year after year. Its stand was filled with a mix of high-end staples – dress shirts for the office and more casual patterns for the weekend, in wonderful cotton – but also featured a range in an innovative new jersey fabric.
The first outing for this material is intended to offer the wearer a balance between smartness and ultimate comfort, regulating temperature under several layers when travelling to work and maintaining a crisp, crease-free appearance upon arrival at the office and shedding of the necessary coats and jumpers. This may well be the wardrobe addition you appreciate most this year.
Sitting side-by-side with the big names of menswear isn’t always easy for the independent brands at Pitti Uomo, but one usually doesn’t have to look far to find a gem or two.
Wigéns is a Scandinavian producer of fine hats, and its luxury baseball caps are wonderful additions to any winter ensemble. Key to their quality is the incredible Loro Piana Storm System fabric used to handcraft each one – the softness and warmth of premium wool and cashmere is treated with LP’s proprietary technology to provide a barrier against rain and wind, keeping your hat looking its best while protecting you from the elements.
The swathes of small Italian brands at this most Italian of menswear festivals can be a little difficult to differentiate, but there are occasions on which true quality does the hard work for you.
The cashmere garments produced by Gran Sasso are a cut above most of its competitors, and the real stand-outs are its faux-fur lined cashmere rib jackets. The lining immediately elevates the jacket, as well as adding considerable warmth, while the ribbing of the cashmere outer lends texture and interest to the eye.
While they can be a little difficult to locate in London, both Gran Sasso and Wigéns are available in Mayfair luxury menswear boutique Richard Gelding – best be quick, though, as manager Mike Hughes reports both labels to be flying out his door.
There always has to be a word for the off-campus stars at Pitti, and this season it was shoe brand Scarosso who shone among the countless events and activations throughout the city. Its collaboration with celebrity stylist Warren Alfie Baker – dresser of Andrew Garfield, among many others – took centre stage: interpretations of the classic Chelsea boot sport a powerful chisel toe and extravagant heel, bringing proper rock star style to your winter looks.
The python editions may be best kept for the weekend – unless you’re an actual rock star – but the black calf versions are perfect for adding a little personality to any outfit, any time.
It’s the little details which really make an outfit, so high-quality accessories are a key finishing touch: a smart bracelet to sit next to your watch – or on the opposite wrist, for balance – is an ideal option.
London-based Tateossian had the best on display this year, with subtle, smart cuffs set with black diamonds for the more conservative and eclectic, clustered beaded bracelets for those who like things a little more showy.
If you can’t wait until this autumn for the new collection, head to its boutique on Sloane Square to have your beaded bracelet made bespoke.