Florence Reasserts Itself as a Fashion City-State
Guy Trebay has a writeup in the NYTimes on the atmosphere of Pitti Uomo and goes over Raf Simons, Haider Ackermann, and Mark McNairy.

“There is a big obsession all over the world with heritage brands right now,” Valeria Caffagni, the marketing director of WP Lavori in Corso, which licenses Woolrich globally, said at the Milky Pig party.

“Like all obsessions, it will be done in a year,” she added, but that judgment may be premature.

Done in a year? It seems like they’ve been saying that for the past several years.

“The young customers we have now are, like, really hip kids,” Mr. McNairy once told The New York Times, referring to a new generation of J. Press customers, the same ones he presumably plans to attract in his new job as Mr. Suzuki’s successor at Woolrich.

Did J.Press really get new young customers? I would have guessed that they were shopping at J.Crew instead. Continue reading more.

Sporty Takes Over Traditional Menswear
Suzy Menkes also discusses some of the new colorful trends in the menswear that were shown:

Colorful, casual and cash-driven were the three “high Cs” of the menswear summer 2011 season. Or make that “high seas,” for marine influences were abundant, from striped seersucker pants competing with denim to the blazer as the No. 1 jacket.

While Pitti has always had areas of its vast trade fair dedicated to casual clothes and street wear, this invasion of Italy’s heartland of tailoring is symbolic both of the struggles of the last difficult year of faltering sales and the collapse of the U.S. market, and of the new feeling that fresh energy is emerging.

Continue reading more.

Update: Bruce Pask also gives his take on Pitti on the T Magazine blog today.

The rest of the show followed suit with the casual-classic theme. Vivid blue chambrays appeared in everything from casual pants from the revived ’80s brand Closed to casual shirts from Gitman Bros., shorts from Our Legacy, and even an unconstructed three-piece suit from Nigel Cabourn. White buck shoes stood out from their basic brown-and-black brethren as the footwear to have for spring. There were traditional takes from Church’s and New England’s Alden and Walk Over. Mark McNairy, the newly tapped designer for Woolrich Woolen Mills, gave the white bucks in his New Amsterdam line eye-popping soles in bright blue, green, yellow and red.

Suiting from Nigel Cabourn? Sounds interesting. Continue reading more.

Update 2: Why was it that only the NYTimes did any sort of decent coverage of Pitti this season? GQ and Esquire both did a horrible job.