Italian menswear gets young, bold and beautiful

Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:16pm EDT
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By Antonella Ciancio

MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Designers shrugged off the global economic slump at Milan's menswear fashion week, opting for bold, impeccable suits to woo demanding buyers keen on wearing something more than once.

Italian menswear fashion has not been immune to a downturn that has eroded demand for luxury goods, with sales of neckties especially hard hit.

Menswear sales fell 11.3 percent to 8 billion euros ($10.73 billion) in 2009, one of the worst annual performances ever for the sector. Sales of ties tumbled 23 percent, according to Sistema Moda Italia (SMI), the association that represents Italy's clothing and textiles industry.

However, many brands shown at Milan's spring-summer 2011 fashion week that ended on Tuesday took lively risks, seeking innovation while preserving Italian tailoring quality.

Armani combined classic taste with unconventional details and added summery yellow touches to a classic beige palette.

With a glance back to the 1980s, Versace offered an optical collection, with fitted jackets, shortened sleeves and slim trousers rolled up at the ankle, all in clashing colors.

"Even the wealthiest clients want a justification to buy. They tell us, 'Our wardrobes are full. Show us what we don't have,'" Spain-based buyer Martin Kucera told Reuters.

"The times when people bought clothes for just one night are gone. They want something they can use again," he said.   Continued...