With Pitti Uomo, Pitti Filati and Milano Unica, Europe opened its doors and e-platforms to 2022 & 2023. Wool shoes, athletic gear and sportswear are transforming expectations among younger customers, while WFM is leaving its legacy, in knits.

Janet Prescott reports from Pitti Uomo, Pitti Filati and Milano Unica

Pitti Uomo

Wool played a big part in summer menswear presentations for 2022. Classy menswear companies mixed plant fibre for jackets and shirts and also reaffirmed the role of wool, like Nuage wool (14.5m) in colours inspired by the north African desert, at the Caruso collection for SS 2022.

In many cases, suits and jackets in summer wool were out of the box, imaginative and different; for example, bright red at Pitti Uomo Guest Designer Thebe Magugu.  He created a Wild West look worn with large Stetson hats the jackets in jaunty checks like black and light blue. Suits with a difference.

Natural fibres for bright oversized checks and stripes were selected for their traditional qualities. They are identified with the current need for traceability and a sustainable pedigree. Brushed and textured wools were common choices. Wool sweaters were matched with boiled wool jackets.

Wool qualities like Shetland, fine micron Merino, Donegal, lambswool were signalled in descriptions on the garment labels. Knitted trousers for sporty activewear mixed with bomber jacket and jeans. Sweatshirts and shirt jackets were shown in lightweight knit with mesh for summer.

Trendy brand Distretto12, Italy with  ‘Casual pop chic’ used knitted  wool jersey for a futuristic look with colour and patterns in easy to wear garments. An easy cut was a feature of the collections, allowing for movement. It is clear the legacy of working at home during the pandemic  is an international one.

Now Read: The Impact of Wool in the Cycling World

Pitti Filati

Wool was identified with the most innovative developments at all yarn levels in Pitti Immagine Filati,  the most influential of yarn fairs. Taking place in Florence and on the Pitti Connect platform, it was followed by visitors in person at  the Stazione Leopolda and on the internet worldwide. With the focus on Autumn/Winter 2022/23 the approach was for substantial yarns, thicker, often brushed effects, twists and blends providing a greater degree of warmth but retaining a light weight for layering.

Wool blends were with alpaca, silk, linen and some synthetics for extra strength and shine.  Many yarns were all wool, with Merino and thicker British wools at Shepley Yarns and Knoll Yarns and Italian mills.

Monticolor, known for experimental and  promoting eco-centric responsibility  presented the first cotton/wool yarn to have double sustainability certification. Named Bonwool, this offering uses RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) wool and organic GOTS (Global Organic Standard). Bonwool’s presentation was marked as an official event in the calendar of Pitti Filati.

Read Next: Recycled Wool

Milano Unica

Milano Unica opened  a physical fabric  show at the start of July along with a digital platform, e-MilanoUnica Connect.

With different areas of speciality, Idea Biella houses the exclusive band of high-end men’s fashion fabrics comprised of Italian renowned brands and certain high level foreign exhibitors, most showing wool and blends  fabrics.  John Foster, Joshua Ellis and Kynoch 1788 from the UK  exhibited here,  with many different fabric types, including many more coloured jacketings, tartans, and revisited classic designs.

Transforming favourite woollen and worsted designs  in larger scale such as black and white houndstooth, Prince of Wales checks and herringbones, many with red, blue, orange  and other bright colours, are part of the reimagining of the suit. A less stuffy look is judged more appealing to younger people, who will curate their own looks with disparate elements. Colour and pattern are creeping into the most conservative collections.

Sophisticated Vitale Barberis Canonico operates a jokey Instagram presence which takes a light-hearted look at the fabrics they sell worldwide. They  also research new wool approaches with finishes and ingredients.

Wool for seriously  classic yet  revamped  tailoring and designer fabrics, together with  sportswear seeks to cement its appeal to younger generations, as at Italian names like Reda and Loro Piana.