Milan menswear splashes color on grey times

Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:18pm EDT
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By Antonella Ciancio

MILAN (Reuters) - Menswear designers showcased colorful jackets, mid-thigh shorts and sockless loafers in Milan this week to impress men who need more than grey suits to shine in tough economic times.

The Milan fashion shows that ended on Tuesday brought fresh ideas to an industry starting to feel the pinch of the euro crisis.

Star shoemaker Ferragamo, renowned for its classic elegance, surprised the well-heeled audience at an all-white Milan stock exchange with models in colored suits and sneakers.

Trend-setter Prada explored new colored, geometric patterns and Roberto Cavalli swapped his signature animal prints for a butterly theme.

A tribute to the sunny Italian summer came from Gucci, whose men looked like holidaymakers in watermelon, green and sky blue suits.

"My starting point was a blatant desire for color to evoke summer," said Gucci's creative director, Frida Giannini.

Armed with new ideas, fashion executives shrugged off concerns about a slowdown in Europe as Asian shoppers continue to travel. But some acknowledged there were challenges ahead, even in the fast-growing Eastern markets.

"China is growing, but not uniformly. The southern coast for example is growing less than second- and third-tier cities," Ferragamo CEO Michele Norsa said on the sidelines of the show.   Continued...