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watm wednesdays: pitti!

Edited by: Cator Sparks
on January 11th, 2012
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This post was reprinted from our friends at WeAreTheMarket.com

Menswear A/W2012 season is finally kicking off today and the market has converged on Florence to see a first glimpse at what our favorite designers have in store for us for the season. We’ll be covering all the hoopla, and, of course, the clothes, the people and the goings on as the market travels from Florence to Milan, to NY to Berlin and finally, to Paris. Below are 5 main trends we will be tracking on the trade show circuit.

1. Functional Outdoors: While Americana and heritage still are going strong, there’s a new element cropping up- and it’s all about the outdoors.  From mountaineering gear like the ultimate Sierra Designs60/40 jacket to performance menswear by Arc’Teryx Veilance,  and technical outerwear with a fashion bent from the likes of Isaora,  functional pieces are going to be up in the mix for AW12.  The Japanese are taking a luxury interpretation of tech from brands like Rocky Mountain Featherbed and colorful, functional outdoor gear by ManastashNigel Cabourn x Eddie Bauer is already being hailed the ultimate outdoorsy collabo of the season. Bags by Japanese labels South2West8 and Master-piece round out the look. (capsule)’s brand new section, Above Tree Line, will feature dozens of technical outdoors brands at (capsule) NY and Las Vegas.

2. Trousers: Woven shirts have been the focus for several seasons as dapper blazer and skinny tie looks replaced the premium denim and sweater look that was the official uniform of the cultural creative for several years.  This season it’s time for some well cut, well constructed  dressy-casual trousers in a tactile fabric like soft wool flannel.   Notable trousers for AW12 include Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen’s wool cargos, McNairy’s nubby camo and  and well tailored wool flat fronts at Norse Projects. just to name a few…

3. Craftsmanship  – With all the hand made, lovingly crafted , authentic product out there now, it’s safe to say that artisanal production, and brands that offer low impact small batch manufacture will be the cornerstones of the menswear market for 2012. Brands and products that offer a high level of craftsmanship and quality will be in demand, as men take more pride in investment pieces, unique product, and locally made and made to order pieces.  Cherchbi thrives on its fascination with Britain’s design and manufacturing heritage, and reacts against the quality and environmental impact of mass production with a great collection of locally made bags. Heritage Research uses fabrics specially woven in the UK or Japan using traditional methods and looms, and all HR garments are handmade in England, under one roof, by skilled craftsmen and women.  Juniper Ridge offers grooming products wildcrafted from the mountains and deserts of the American West. Wheelmen & Company boasts a strong family heritage in cycling, combined with a passion for classic tailoring.  Han Kjobenhavn revives Danish design fundamentals and craftsmanship for the company’s eyewear and accessories. Individualized Shirts has been making custom made shirts at competitive price points since 1961.

 4. Euro Style:  Americana and Japanese interpretations of American vintage have been the driving force in menswear for almost a decade. Now the focus is shifting back towards Europe as designers there make an impact in the US with soft shoulder jackets, sharp cuts, pocket squares, color bursts, and a dash of sprezzatura.  We like the look when it’s mixed with American style elements—a dash of street, a hint of prep or a bit of lumberjack.  We’re watching Italian labels Piombo, Bogliogli and Isaia, as well as NY based Ovadia and Sons, who offer meticulously tailored suits , trousers, shirtings, neckwear, footwear and furnishings and Ian Velardi for his polished menswear essentials.

5. Urban Surf:  There’s the city, and there’s the beach, and then there’s urban surf – an uncanny mashup of beachwear, and city influences.  While logically these two elements wouldn’t mesh, the urban surf look has been gathering steam for several seasons. Downtown surf shop Saturdays has been the focal point of the lifestyle in NYC and brands like Cuisse de Grenouille out of Paris offers ties, socks, accessories and beachwear inspired by a world weary surf outlook.  Quality Peoples will be showing a collection that melds Mexican street culture, traditional menswear, Hawaiiana, and the nomadic nature of a life lived in search of waves. Reyn Spooner invented the Hawaiian shirt and the brand continues to update the classics for AW12.  Warriors of Radness’ 90’s inflected street meets –surf aesthetic continues to make waves.



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