Brunello Cucinelli to Kick Off Pitti Connect, Milan Men’s Fashion Week Takes Shape

MILAN — Brunello Cucinelli is making do with the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but he admits he loves to touch the clothes. Also, he told WWD that it felt wrong to forego some kind of event to present his namesake brand’s men’s fall/winter 2021 collection.

What to do then? Cucinelli thought he would bring Pitti Uomo to Solomeo, the medieval hamlet he has restored over the years which serves as headquarters to his company.

Cucinelli will open the new edition of Pitti Uomo Connect, the international men’s trade show’s digital format, with four days of appointments and livestreamed presentations of the collection, starting Jan. 12.

A series of virtual appointments with buyers, clients and national and international press will take place over four days, in conjunction with the digital version of the fall 2021 edition of Pitti Uomo, running Jan. 12 to 14. “In our 5,400-square-foot showroom, my team and I will be available each day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. to reach out to both Asia and the Americas. We will show the collections and there will be specific areas selected for the interviews,” explained Cucinelli.

There will thus be the possibility to reserve slots with Cucinelli. ”It will all be staged as it usually is at Pitti Uomo.”

Technology has helped him during the past months to virtually meet more people than expected, leading him to further embrace what digital tools can offer, Cucinelli noted.

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The entrepreneur wanted to give a strong signal of support for Pitti Uomo and at the same time he underscored the importance of timing, staging the presentation in mid-January.

Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Uomo organizer Pitti Immagine, said the collaboration with Cucinelli had “a strong symbolic value” as his decision “expresses the desire to be together in such a complex moment for the fashion industry, to look to the next season with more optimism and determination.”

As reported, Pitti Uomo, Pitti Filati and Pitti Bimbo are scheduled to run simultaneously in Florence from Feb. 21 to 23 at the Fortezza da Basso and Stazione Leopolda locations.

“I have always considered Pitti Uomo to be a sort of large open-air fashion show, where the 30,000 visitors from all over the world at each edition bring a pleasant atmosphere and at the same time define the ‘taste’ of the coming season,” Cucinelli said. “There is no doubt that Pitti and the following four days in Milan probably represent the best men’s fashion week in the world.”

Indeed, the pandemic is not stopping Milan Men’s Fashion Week, which runs from Jan. 15 to 19.

Although the majority of brands are expected to opt for digital and phy-gital events, including Ermenegildo Zegna, which will open the week on Friday at 3 p.m., a small group of high-profile fashion houses has decided to go physical.

Fendi will take the runway on Saturday at 2 p.m., Etro will show on Sunday at noon, while the date of the Dolce & Gabbana show is yet to be defined. K-way will also host a fashion show, its first at Milan Fashion Week, on Sunday at 6 p.m.

As it did in both July and September, Prada will opt for a digital event, scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. The same day, MSGM and Tod’s will unveil their collections digitally.

Reached on Thursday, Dsquared2, which usually unveils its men’s and women’s collections together at Milan Men’s Fashion Week, said it will skip the January event.

Differently from the July edition, in January, according to the official schedule, no women’s brands will be showing their pre-fall 2021 lineups during the men’s event.

During the men’s fashion week, 37 brands will unveil their collections, including debut events by Dima Leu, winner of Who’s Next 2020; Vaderetro; Dalpaos; Dhruv Kapoor, and Tokyo James, according to Italian fashion chamber president Carlo Capasa.

All digital events, as well as a showroom section, will be available at Camera Nazionale della Moda’s digital platform, which will also host for the first time a collaboration with Milan Fashion Film Festival.

The event, launched in 2014 by Constanza Cavalli Etro, will kick off on Jan. 13 and will continue until Jan. 19 in conjunction with Milan Men’s Fashion Week. This season, the jury — which includes Oscar-winning art director Tim Yip; actor Lachlan Watson; Vogue Japan fashion director Anna dello Russo; photographer Paolo Roversi; M Missoni creative director Margherita Maccapani Missoni, and Ecoalf founder Javier Goyeneche — will choose 16 winners from among the 200 fashion films coming from almost 200 countries.

The Milan Fashion Film Festival’s schedule, which will put a focus on sustainability and women’s empowerment, will also include the Italian premiers of “Halston” by Frederic Tcheng and of Reiner Holzemer’s “Martin Margiela: In His Own Words.”

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