Florentine trade show Pitti Uomo 88 saw hundreds of buyers and designers trek to the old Italian city, discovering the latest Made In Italy fabric trends and men’s wear collections for all Spring ’16. Here are three local mills producing quality summer suit materials perfect for the dapper gent.
Pitti Uomo 88, once again left an impression on participants, signaling that menswear – as a global sector with solid craftsmanship – is definitely on the upward. As a general consensus, the men’s industry is moving away from flashy new trends – toward more quality and originality – with global firms showcasing new cottons, neutral wools and soft cashmere.
Outside the booths, trends were being set in the street as men peacocked custom-made suits and blazers. Tailoring looked to bold stripes, windowpane checks and earthy colors, with smart unstructured jackets, workshop coats and Fifties Teddy Boy looks paving the way as next season’s must-haves.
Celebrating some of the best in Italian textiles and manufacturing, here are three mills offering the latest in fabric for the sartorial man.
Italy’s Myak sources its baby yak yarns from the harmonious Tibetan Plateau. Yaks, alpacas and goats are reared by local farmers for their downs and cashmere, which are sheared on site, before the fleece is shipped to Italy. In the foothills town of Biella, surrounded by the Italian Alps, the wool is shaped into yarn and woven. All is naturally carded too, producing softness, warmth and an unmatchable touch and luster – perfect for suiting.
The mill also promotes sustainable work practices by investing back into local farmland in Tibet. Meanwhile, all fabric design is lead out of style-savvy New York.
Available on Le Souk, the midnight blue jacket fabric is a pure bay yak yarn woven using traditional looms and brushed with natural teasels. The chocolate brown yak fabric is sturdy yet soft trouser material.
Cocci Stefano is a purveyor of dyed cotton fabrics used it luxury tailoring for men; be it summer jackets or lightweight trousers. The Prato-based mill has moved on from creating recycled clothing from repurposed wool fibers, to now producing complete cotton textiles from raw materials.
Proudly Italian, all raw materials are obtained locally, and manufacturing is done entirely in-house. Cocci Stefano’s ‘green’ initiative has been running since 2008, which sees it source 95 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
In keeping with Pitti Uomo trends, the 100 percent plaid plain-woven cotton in black and grey is ideal for blazers and the light green and white pinstripe makes for a summery trouser.
Lanificio Di Sordevolo
Opening 50 years ago, Lanificio di Sordevolo is a third-generation mill located in Biella. Sordevolo still operates its own production cycle, which includes spinning, twisting, weaving, dyeing and finishing – the end result, a lustrous super wool.
The mill manufactures wool in ultrafine, double wovens, giro inglese, jacquards and stretch fabrics – blending the Australian-sourced wools with cashmere, silk, linen and cotton, as well as viscose and nylon – depending on the desired aesthetic.
In recent years, Sordevelo has taken more time with design and researching trends, and has a big laboratory for developing new ideas and products.
Available on Le Souk, a very ‘Pitti’ fabric is the cotton tweed in pink, a textural, statement fabric for men’s blazers. Meanwhile, the perforated black wool with white detail is a great tie fabric, a nice alternative to woven silk.
By Benjamin Fitzgerald
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