Kering’s Material Innovation Lab and Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery join forces for responsible designers 
Edition 104
Place of the event
Sala delle Nazioni
Date of the event
14.06.2023 15:00
At Pitti Uomo 104 (13-16 June, 2023), Kering’s Material Innovation Lab (MIL) is helping the S|STLE 10 rising menswear brands to showcase their innovative, low-impact solutions.
A new edition of S|STYLE sustainable style returns to Pitti Uomo 104 (13-16 June 2023, Florence, Fortezza da Basso), the tradeshow’s own-brand platform dedicated to promoting sustainable practices. The exhibition project presented by the Fondazione Pitti Discovery has been key to attracting top international buyers and media representatives alike, providing an important showcase of 10 international and diverse brands scouted from around the world by journalist and curator Giorgia Cantarini. This 7th edition welcomes for the first time an exclusive partnership with Kering MIL.
Participating brands at S|STYLE June 2023 include Cavia (Italy), Dalpaos (Italy), Dhruv Kapoor (India), Isnurh (Denmark), Jeanne Friot (France), Ksenia Schnaider (Ukraine), Olooh (Côte d’Ivoire), Permu (United Kingdom), Steven Passaro (France), Young n Sang (South Korea).

Kering MIL, the Group’s in-house research and innovation hub opened in 2013 in Milan, is dedicated to reducing the Kering Group’s overall environmental impact by transitioning all its brands toward a sustainable supply chain. With a decade of accumulated knowledge in sustainability, Kering MIL’s involvement provides a hands-on approach to accelerating the adoption of innovative, low-impact materials and processes in the collections of designers at S|STYLE – whose solutions will be showcased to the fair’s visitors this June.

Various solutions will be explored by each designer to embed more sustainability criteria into their collections: from the widely adopted practice of upcycling to reducing resource consumption during processing; and from bio-based solutions to implementing international certifications that are aligned with Kering’s existing standards. They will also focus on giving back to the planet and communities, the use of recycled materials, and the promotion of fair ethical work that supports artisans.
The collaboration with Kering’s Material Innovation Lab is an important recognition of the work we are doing to spread a modern culture of responsibility in fashion; but most of all we are happy because Kering MIL can give designers practical help with getting to know and use the most innovative materials for their research in design at an international level.  Thanks to skillful and up-to-date curatorship over the last three years, S|STYLE has brought to the attention of the Pitti Uomo media and buyers some 40 young designers and emerging brands, each with an original style and a truly fresh approach to issues that are a major concern for the new generation. At the same time, the Discovery Foundation’s mission is precisely to support projects that can grow to become an important part of the programs of Pitti and its shows.

— Lapo Cianchi, Head of communications and special projects for Pitti Immagine and general secretary of the Fondazione Pitti Discovery

The S|STYLE project by Pitti sounds like a perfect match for Kering MIL’s open innovation attitude and approach. It’s an unusual partnership for supporting young and emerging brands that want to embrace sustainability, adding innovation to their low-impact capsules and giving them the chance to showcase new prototype materials that have been piloted or validated by the MIL and materials that are aligned with our Kering Standards. This collaboration is also one of the initiatives to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our Material Innovation Lab established in 2013.

— Christian Tubito, Kering MIL Director

It’s really hard to be an emerging brand and at the same time be 100% sustainable, but we have to start somewhere. This is the principle that has guided S|STYLE from its inception in 2020 when I approached Pitti with an idea: to bring together a combination of talent and responsible practices in terms of production, ethics, and technology. No matter the brand’s provenance or latitude, S|STYLE fills the void in menswear by showcasing a selection of creatives that act as examples of responsible fashion. Our partnership with Kering MIL is a concrete milestone to push these promising designers to learn even more about innovative solutions, while offering them the chance to integrate them into their next collection. We can all learn more at the fair this summer. Style, knowledge, and respect for the planet finally are coming together for a better future and a more mindful way of doing business. 

— Giorgia Cantarini, Journalist, stylist, and curator of S|STYLE

A project that combines the creativity of Italian fashion with a commitment to the planet. The stylist, Martina B., aims to transmit Made in Italy authenticity, imagination and craftsmanship. Knitting is an ancient process that requires time and is nourished by tradition: each piece is created from recycled clothes and fabrics, avoiding waste. Following an MTO business model, the brand pays attention to its environmental impact. From fabric to label, everything is made using pre-existing materials with a view to a new beauty. A delicate combination of kaleidoscopic tones and contrasting materials. Like an imaginative workshop, everything is born out of experimentation and a desire for beauty.
When he moved to London in 2008, Nicola Dal Paos, from Belluno, approached fashion almost like a game, with the craft production of his first line of leather bags in collaboration with an Italian artisan, subsequently creating a capsule collection of t-shirts and establishing his brand. Fibers, fabrics and deadstock hides are used in minimal garments from a circular fashion viewpoint. Each collection features clear references to the designer’s other passions which include gardening, contemporary art, interior design, traveling and, above all, the Dolomites. There have been various custom collaborations over the years, from the one with the stylists of Travis Scott and Don Toliver, Nashley, Yuman, to Italian artists like Ghemon, La Rappresentante di Lista and Mr. Rain for the Sanremo Italian Song Festival.
Far from the traditional imagination, this Delhi-based brand creates a game between past, present and future. Kapoor combines street with classic, with the emphasis on tailoring and the eclectic use of materials. 40% of the collection incorporates fabrics discarded by Indian producers. The brand’s objectives include reusing archive materials, revising garments from past collections, deadstock leather for the bags, the introduction of versatile pieces, the training up of the personnel inside the small family-run company with a desire to rediscover and update traditional techniques. The brand supports the Hothur Foundation which assists and requalifies acid attack survivors in India. Dhruv is part of the Milan Men’s Fashion calendar and will be on the catwalk with a co-ed collection from June 2022.
A contemporary brand that blends Scandinavian minimalism with international craftsmanship. Founded in 2017 by Kasper Todbjerg and Oliver Abrenica, it is based on the idea of Scandi-streetwear realized using quality fabrics, original artwork and ethical production, which is also appreciated by international celebs like singer Justin Bieber on his last tour. The OEKO-TEX certified cotton which meets CFS certified discarded materials, the collab with the Danish company Rodinia for the water free prints of the shirts are just some examples of the practices adopted in order to become even more sustainable. Short production chains and everything is made locally in the Copenhagen district.
A responsible approach for a brand that wants to redefine the concept of gender. Based in Paris, Jeanne Friot presents limited series of garments with a strong artistic and artisan feel. The designer burst onto the men’s fashion scene in Paris, debuting with a party in the basements of the Palais de Press release – March 27, 2023 1/2 Tokyo. The motto is “No gender, no carbon emissions, no hatred". Previously part of the creative team of Balenciaga, the brand Friot launched in 2020 is distinguished by its gaudy colors and t-shirts with activist slogans realized using rejects from other textile companies.
This Ukrainian brand was established in 2011 by Ksenia Schnaider and Anton Schnaider. The collections include men’s and women’s ready-to-wear clothing that is reworked and upcycled, patchwork, denim and accessories. The designers have been active in the cutting-edge sector of denim creating asymmetrical jeans, demi-denim jeans (a uniform chosen by it-girls like Bella Hadid), cowboy jeans and denim jackets that simulate the effect of fur. Responsibility is part of the DNA of the brand which wants to get even closer to the values of sustainability by also collaborating with certified partners like ISKO.
Founded in 2018 by Kader Diaby, Olooh is a sartorial and lifestyle menswear brand from the Ivory Coast. Created to promote Ivorian tradition and modernity utilizing organic fabrics such as linen, cotton, wood and leather treated with natural colors. After training as a photographer, Diaby began designing his pieces for photo shoots using sewing techniques he had learned from his dressmaker mother. The buttons are handmade with discarded metal pipes recovered from rubbish dumps. In the Senufo language Olooh means "our", and it is influenced by Ivorian culture and the energy of the designer’s hometown: Abidjan. With each collection the brand explores its identity through innovative garments that are well-constructed and timeless.
Founded in 2018 by Kader Diaby, Olooh is a sartorial and lifestyle menswear brand from the Ivory Coast. Created to promote Ivorian tradition and modernity utilizing organic fabrics such as linen, cotton, wood and leather treated with natural colors. After training as a photographer, Diaby began designing his pieces for photo shoots using sewing techniques he had learned from his dressmaker mother. The buttons are handmade with discarded metal pipes recovered from rubbish dumps. In the Senufo language Olooh means "our", and it is influenced by Ivorian culture and the energy of the designer’s hometown: Abidjan. With each collection the brand explores its identity through innovative garments that are well-constructed and timeless.
Steven Passaro, a designer of Portuguese origin, based in Paris, graduated from the London College of Fashion with a master’s degree in menswear. After training with the Christian Dior creative team, where he became fascinated with sartorial construction and the art of pleating, he decided to launch his own eponymous brand. Influenced by the differences in the representations of the male body in the East and West, he debuted in 2019 at London fashion week with "Body Of Folds”. In 2022 he officially entered the Paris Fashion Week calendar. The collections are designed using 3D software to reduce waste, just one sample collection is created, organic cotton and wool scraps are used from the famous English John Foster and William Halstead woolen mills.
young n sang is a menswear brand founded by Youngshin and Sanglim in 2018. This dynamic duo has been working together for 13 years, and has received recognition for its innovative craft style. In 2015 they won two awards after taking part in two CFDA projects, the visibility obtained brought Sang a collab with the NFL to personalize the Wilson soccer football for the 50 th anniversary of the Super Bowl. young n sang is a brand that maximizes the concept of slow fashion. Each garment is made using craft techniques in the atelier and is mainly based on the use of salvaged yarn and the experimental creation of fabrics. There are three lines - Signature Line: the fabrics for the garments are made from vintage or reclaimed yarns; Handwoven Line: hand woven artisan garments using high- end yarns; Earth Line: reworked vintage clothes, organic or recycled fabrics; Organic Line: only organic fabrics.
The S|Style - sustainable style project, now in its fifth edition, was born in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic to fill a cultural, social and market need to discuss, discover and present a new approach to conceiving collections and seasonality: respecting the environment and looking to the future. On the one hand, with this project, Pitti Uomo aims to completely subvert the concept according to which responsible fashion means fashion without style, and on the other hand it offers buyers and fashion professionals the possibility of scouting clothing and accessories with low-impact production requirements, with certified, salvaged, recycled and experimental hybrid fabrics. The selection of the participating brands is based on criteria of social and environmental responsibility which are the basis of the DNA of each of the participating brands, but the focus remains creativity and design. Scouting is international and is the result of scrupulous investigations carried out through international fashion weeks, fashion awards, the most prestigious fashion universities and even Instagram.  Since the first edition, Sustainable Style has been a hub hosting talents of the caliber of Connor McKnight, Y/Project with the launch of its collection “Evergreen”, Phipps (which has now activated a collab with Boss), Federico Cina, the winner of “Who’s on Next”, Uniforme, “Andam prize” finalist, and Vitelli which now collaborates with the US label Collina Strada: all names that have become references with awards, achievements and prestigious collaborations.  Last but not least we should mention S.S.Daley who attended Pitti Uomo in 2018 with his first collection and today is the winner of the 2022 edition of the LVMH Prize. Even the "language" of the project is cutting-edge and irreverent: it wants to communicate in a positive and non-coercive way, establishing a contemporary dialogue with the audience thanks to the use of social media and technology.
About Kering’s Material Innovation Lab 
In 2013, Kering created the Material Innovation Lab (MIL), which is dedicated to the sourcing of sustainable materials and fabrics. Located in Milan, the MIL is both a library of sustainable fabrics, enabling the design teams of Kering brands to better understand sustainable materials, and a driver of change within a very complex supply chain. The MIL pays particular attention to cotton, silk, cashmere, viscose and polyester. In doing so, the MIL provides the Group’s Houses and key suppliers with resources, tools and new solutions to help them understand how to make more sustainable choices in their products’ development. Its database uses unique referencing for suppliers and their fabrics. Fabrics are subject to an in-depth review and are assessed in light of both external standards and certification, and a tool exclusive to the MIL developed in line with the EP&L methodology.