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What does change in fashion mean for you, considering all the changes that we have noticed in this latest period, such as see-now-buy-now, menswear and womenswear presented together, changes in Creative Directors at the helm of big brands and labels?

These changes in fashion actually affect us a lot. Changes in creative Directors have greatly influenced the sales of the brands in question. When a new CD arrives, sales skyrocket and everybody wants to buy, but sales drop dramatically after the CD is changed. That's why all the buyers of multi brand stores are always checking news about creative directors. Recently the boundaries between menswear and womenswear have started to crumble, with more and more influence from a streetwear mood like Vetements, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Off white. Women buy t-shirts from Gosha and Men buy hoodies from Vetements. It is difficult to decide whether some brands are menswear or womenswear, because they look really unisex. Regarding see-now-buy-now, I haven't done this yet. So I cannot really comment on it, but customers react immediately after they see the fashion show look on Instagram or a website. They ask us to order looks from fashion shows. Now there is so much information on the internet. So they easily forget what they saw in the fashion week when the goods finally arrive in the store. I think this instant access to fashion shows or images are not always helpful for sales and the fashion system.

Which in general are the brands/designers to watch out for in upcoming seasons?

First of all, Calvin Klein by Raf Simons.  From what he has done for his own brand, Jil Sander and Dior, I imagine CK would be different from other brands. Balenciaga's second collection by Demna Gvasalia will be worth watching as we expect a lot from him. and also Marni. It is really difficult to image Marni without Consuelo Castiglioni. Marni by menswear designer Francesco Risso will be very interesting.

What are the main trends for the next FW season?

Menswear is getting more casual under the influence of streetwear. Now there is less of a gap between luxury and street. Many high-end designer brands are influenced by streeetwear like Balenciaga designed by Demna Gvaslia who is famous for changing the fashion industry by transforming streetwear to luxury or even Gucci collaborating with Gucci Ghost. I think this trend will be the most significant in menswear.

What do you expect from the next Pitti Uomo edition?

The reason why I always come to Pitti Uomo at a start of buying trip is that I can see an overview of next season's trends and new brands, all in one place. It is really good that Pitti Uomo invites designers as guests such as Raf Simons, Visvim and Gosha Rubchinskiy, and supports the new Italian designers like Lucio Vanotti, Andrea Pompilio...etc. These events have attracted new buyers and press from all over the world. So I'm really excited to see the next Pitti Uomo and expecting to discover new things from all over the world.

What does change in fashion mean for you, considering all the changes that we have noticed recently, such as see-now-buy-now, menswear and womenswear presented together, changes in Creative Directors at the helm of big brands and labels?

First of all, people are tired of seeing similar or the same things everywhere. Easy access to information and increased usage of social media make fashion extremely dynamic, pushing the boundaries of creativity, sometimes in a chaotic way. Meanwhile, the intense schedule of the fashion calendar throughout the year puts creative directors under pressure. They have to renew and update even faster than before and this means they run from one brand to another after  just a couple of seasons. It is also a big opportunity for talented young designers to stand out from the crowd. Designers have to resist harsh working hours, keeping their creativeness alive and adapting to a fast changing fashion world. This year we have seen so many examples of big fashion houses hiring young creative designers and giving them big responsibilities to show their talents, which I believe is a good thing.  

On the other hand, it is obvious that fashion today is starting to be all about marketing. We have come to the point that "whatever you create, regardless of its quality, has to be packaged in a nicer or at least an effective way". But does it always work? (For example considering the latest Brioni case...) No, I don't think so... I am happy to see that there are still people who value absolute quality, consistency between the brand’s heritage and the future.

What are the main trends for the next FW season?

Volumes are increasing for sure and the slim silhouette trend is slowly moving out.
The main message is “Luxury Rising”. Luxury fabrics and luxury materials used for garments are the main key trend. Looking at the designer brands Androgene Aesthetic, Military Inspiration, Astrology, Space and Slogans are the other key trends for the Fall Winter season.  Accessories and details are becoming more and more important.

Which in general are the brands/designers to watch out for in upcoming seasons?

After his great success at Berluti I believe Alessandro Sartori is going to create another success story in his homeland at Zegna. Kiton is investing a lot both in fabric research and visual merchandising especially in recent years. After Maria Grazia Chiuri’s move from Valentino to Dior I think Pier Paolo Piccioli on his own may surprise us in a good way at Valentino. It will be Vaccarello’s first men’s collection at Saint Laurent. Demna at Balenciaga brought about a revolution in shapes for both women and men. I am curious to see the result in menswear as well. Furthermore, I am also keeping an eye on the emerging streetwear-inspired designer brands like Off-White, Vetements, Palm Angels...

What do you expect from the next Pitti Uomo edition?

Pitti has always been the capital of men’s fashion but in recent years we have been seeing so many brands offering very similar products. 
I hope to see more unique, authentic and functional products made with perfect quality. I also hope to see more brands that touch people’s souls at Pitti Uomo.

Hosung Nam | Assistant Manager

Polat Uyal | Chief Merchandising Officer

What does change in fashion mean for you, considering all the changes that we have noticed in this latest period, such as see-now-buy-now, menswear and womenswear presented together, changes in Creative Directors at the helm of big brands and labels?

Change enforces innovation and opportunity for emerging and existing talents. Technology is an enabler that we all use to create immediacy and accessibility. Creative Directors have significant responsibility and there is an expectation that they continually re-invent.

Which in general are the brands/designers to watch out for in upcoming seasons?

Au Pont Rouge is known in the marketplace for developing new design talent, the eclectic and diverse nature of the physical store encourages the team to think laterally and to celebrate newness. We are actively building local and international brands that resonate with a demanding, highly inquisitive customer base.

What are the main trends for the next FW season?

Simplicity, layering for a climate that is not stable, technology and luxury fabrication of the best quality. Sustainability and being eco-friendly. Less is more.

David Wilkinson
Executive Director Au Pont Rouge Retail Group LLC

What do you expect from the next Pitti Uomo edition?

Being able to view established and just started brands, it is always inspiring, informal and engaging.