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From the tradeshow floor: Pitti Filati AW14/15

The EDITD team trawl the Florence tradeshow Pitti Filati to uncover the latest innovations in knit & yarn. Looking to AW14/15, we analyse potential commerciality.
From the tradeshow floor: Pitti Filati AW14/15 | EDITED
  • EDITD Pitti textures
  • EDITD House_of_Holland_AW13_14
  • EDITD Pitti bonded
  • EDITD Jonathan_Saunders_SS14
  • EDITD Pitti colour

This week EDITD’s analysts are travelling to Europe’s largest tradeshows, keeping tabs on industry innovations and brand developments. First stop is the knit and yarn show, Pitti Filati, in Florence. Here, we reveal the trends with most commercial promise for Fall 2014.

1. Fuzzy Logic

Texture was a big deal at this year’s Pitti. Swathes of exhibitors were experimenting with fuzzy, brushed and uneven surfaces, with some unusual results adding real freshness to the knit category.  Experimental blends included kid mohair and baby alpaca (which is also promoted for its eco-friendliness) as well as angora; all cocooning the wearer in their voluminous forms. Furry finishes here hinted at an incredibly commercial trend which echoed the reinvigorated interest in coloured furs from the runway, yet achievable at mass and premium market price points.

An early adopter of the the texture trend is Topshop, with their £95 “Soft hairy bomber” which arrived in store this week. They take their lead from House of Holland’s teddy-hairy bomber jacket from AW13/14.

2. Thermo welding

Technological developments are always strong from Pitti, and this season hasn’t disappointed. Dyloan Studio and Sansvino6 revealed their Bond-In Americana capsule collection, demonstrating developments in thermo welding (a technology where construction, decoration or bonding of fabrics and materials replaces traditional stitching). The sports-inspired range fused leather and wools, playing with weight and demonstrating total functionality. This is a significant development for the industry which will help redefine not only the way knitwear products are designed and manufactured, but rewrites the part they can play in our wardrobes.

Jonathan Saunders is one designer already experimenting with the techniques. His menswear SS14 collection shown last month was constructed with bonded seams and panelling, giving it an urban sportiness. But the technique isn’t restricted to high end, the high street is also beginning to investigate. Cos’s £69 black dress, which arrived in store on the 6th June, has sheer detailing bonded into its front panel, Topshop and Warehouse are both currently retailing bonded lace dresses and Nike use bonded seams in their sports bras. Many female shoppers already own a bit of this bonded technology in fact – SPANX control underwear incorporates bonded panels for its seamless finish.

3. Colour Craze

While ombré knits have sold well this year, the move-on comes in the form of speckled melanges, bouclé and multi-coloured tweedies. The emphasis here is on colour, in a myriad of shades. Echoed by exhibitor Ecafil’s circus theme and colour-flooded patterns, this trend is ideal for the youth market. That’s reflected in the recent fast selling success of River Island’s colour block oversized jacket. In a blend of white, rust and black, the £35 knit has sold out twice since its 10th May arrival in store.

M by Missoni lead the way in luxe development of this theme with their space dyed knit dress, which at £599 sold out of all sizes at Net-a-Porter in just over a month this April. There is huge potential in space dye, with 106 new products arriving online since the start of June priced from £4.60 up to £1,628!

4. Other innovations 

Pitti saw the launch of several new products, with Zegna Baruffa releasing their new waterproof wool called Wellington and Botto Poala’s new yarn, Re-Active, which features smart moisture management. Lineapiu’ have a new stretch yarn titled Tecno, which creates a foamy knit not dissimilar to neoprene. We’ll be keeping watch on how these progress!

Stay tuned for more international tradeshow trends; next up our analysts report back from Bread & Butter Berlin.