China’s calling, Pitti Uomo replies: Full house for Guest Nation China at the Fortezza

Chinese creativity and fashion design conquered the audience of Pitti Uomo 96 registering record figures. Guest Nation China, the protagonist of this edition of Pitti Uomo in the evocative location of the Grotte, made it possible for the international press and buyers to obtain a close-up view of the creative potential and experimental fashion born in the shadow of the Great Wall.

With an average of over 3,000 visitors a day, the Guest Nation China showcase aroused global interest presenting the collections of 10 designers selected by the Chinese platform Labelhood together with V/Collective: 8ON8, DANSHAN, FFIXXED STUDIOS, PERCY LAU, PRIVATE POLICY, PRONOUNCE, SAMUEL GUÌ YANG, THE FLOCKS, and UNTITLAB™.

«This project demonstrated that there is a lot of space for as well as a great amount of interest in Chinese designers on European and international markets and beyond, and that fascinating scenarios filled with opportunities can be opened up» commented Vito Plantamura, founder of the V/Collective Agency which organized the project, together with Labelhood, the fashion incubator of emerging talents.

«We would like to thank Pitti Immagine for this first “embrace” of our Chinese designers» added Tasha Liu, Co-founder of Labelhood. «The great interest shown in their collections helped us to understand that, after the boom of Chinese womenswear, the designers involved in men’s fashion are also capable of intercepting the trends of the global market ».

«Chinese designers are becoming an increasingly strong and original voice on the global panorama of fashion experimentation» said Lapo Cianchi, secretary general of the Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery and Pitti Immagine’s director of special events. «We are proud to have also broadened Pitti Uomo’s vision of this country which is growing a lot in terms of creativity and has demonstrated an ability to be innovative and open to contaminations. It is our intention to continue to extend the Guest Nation China experience by creating other opportunities for presenting Chinese designers inside the fair».

The project was powered by TMALL, Alibaba Group’s marketplace with over 650 million active consumers and a leader in China in online premium fashion shopping. Three brands were selected through its platform - Fairwhale, GXG and Huili – each of which, on the occasion of Guest Nation China, realized a capsule collection sold in real time on the TMALL e-commerce website.

“Our presence at Pitti was bifold: on one side, Alibaba Group and Tmall are already trusted partners of many Italian and international brands in the fashion and luxury sector, enabling them to engage with the Chinese consumers. Moreover, we are always looking to spot and launch new trends and talents that are gaining momentum in the sector worldwide, in this case from China. It was therefore an honour for us to collaborate as strategic partner of the Pitti Immagine Discovery Foundation for the Guest Nation China initiative and be present at Pitti Uomo. Here, among the various activities and initiatives, and acting as bridge between East and West, we brought a selection of emerging Chinese designers who had the opportunity to showcase their creations on this exclusive stage” commented Christina Fontana, Europe Director Fashion&Luxury, Alibaba Group.

The support of Florentia Village, China’s leading brand of luxury designer outlets under the Italian real estate development group, RDM, was very significant in promoting the young Chinese talents featured at Guest Nation. The exclusive travel kits that was co-created with the designers, along with the fashion video, showcasing the youth culture of China, helped bring awareness to the creative project to millions of fans and loyalty shoppers via Florentia Village’s omnichannel platform, which includes their six key shopping mall locations in China.

“Florentia Village is honored to be part of Guest Nation China and to be featured at Pitti Uomo. From the opening of the first Florentia Village in China in 2011, we have been committed to programs that support the growth of young talents and we are excited to share this experience at our hometown of Florence, Italy” added Maurizio Lupi, Managing Director of Florentia Village and RDM Asia.

The famous Shi Xian Tai Bai brand was also involved in the project, a renowned baijiu with 100 years of history with which a bar was set up featuring a menu completely dedicated to the encounter between Chinese and Italian culture, as well as the airline Neos, which supported the flights of the Chinese designers. While the Hong Mian platform described and represented the current developments of menswear world in the south of China.

The 96th Pitti Uomo Show held a number of special events featuring Chinese elements; as one of the highlights of this year’s GUEST NATION PROJECT, PRONOUNCE (a designer brand founded by Li Yushan and Zhou Jun), joined CONVERSE to hold the SS 2020 Fashion Show, which successfully attracted the recognition of many international media and buyers. PRONOUNCE presented abstract designs for the Converse Jack Purcell - the functional raw materials such as plastic film and mesh upper were used to display the rawness of a "fresh out of the mine" look from an excavation process. While also maintaining the brand's DNA, the design featured multi-layered metal elements that paid tribute to the worker's own craftsmanship in excavating high-tech artifacts. In addition, Leslie Zhang, one of China's most successful fashion photographers, collaborated with highly revered Chinese fashion industry curator, Dan Choi, on a photography exhibition curated specifically for the event.