For many young designers involved in fashion today, sustainability is the only way forward. Still, good intentions might not be enough to convince the end consumer who seems to be more influenced by branding and status. Recently, Chloé let go of Gabriela Hearst, a true sustainable designer whose ethics and principles were a huge part of her process. So, what does it take to make sustainable fashion sexy, seductive and successful? Pitti Uomo may have found the answer.

S/STYLE was one of the standout spaces -and initiatives- delivered by the prestigious menswear fair located in Florence. Besides showcasing the best brands Italy has to offer, Pitti Uomo is also famous for innovation and taking risks, promoting young international names through fashion shows and curated areas. Giorgia Cantarini, a talented stylist, journalist and consultant, did a global scouting and gathered 10 brands under the same roof, namely Cavia, Jeanne Friot, Dalpaos, Dhruv Kapoor, Isnurh, Ksenia Schnaider, Olooh, Permu, Young N Sang and Steven Passaro. The designers were all invited by Pitti, and Kering got involved, too, gifting fabrics to the designers, as well as offering workshops on their sustainable practices. For Jeanne Friot, whose beautiful menswear pieces are finished by hand and look like family heirlooms, upcycling is fundamental, despite all of its challenges: “As a young brand doing upcycling, it can be tricky to develop commercially and find the right balance with retailers. We’re always looking for solutions and alternatives. I noticed that buyers are very sensitive to one of a kind pieces, and there’s a general fatigue with so-called luxury. Our pieces are made in Paris, and we show during menswear, too. Upcycling is all about fabric research, and Kering gave us sustainable denim to work with. We’re excited to be here and got to meet a lot of press.

For Friot and other designers present within the space, sustainability needs to create desire in order to be impactful. It must seduce a discerning, fashionable and demanding clientele, even though ethics lie at heart of the entire process. For Oliver Abrenica and Kasper Juhl Todbjerg, the charming Copenhagen-based duo who launched Isnurh in 2017, Kering’s involvement in the project was crucial this time: “Kering flew us to Milan to attend a workshop on their sustainable practices and fabric mills. They selected 5 fabrics for us, and we chose one to design a unique look for the fashion show, which we presented at the fair. Through Kering, we also got to meet new suppliers and make great contacts. For us, sustainability is a personal choice, but we all have the possibility to be more sustainable within our lives. After all, we should be able to work in fashion and look at ourselves in the mirror, right?


Stylist: Giorgia Cantarini @giorgiacantarini
Photographer: Acielle @styledumonde
Stylist assistants: Andrea Signori @signorigram & Federica Mele @federicaapples
MUA & hair: @Hairstudios
Special thanks to Istituto Marangoni Firenze students Martina Lucchesi, Chiara Boari, Elena Murratzu, Elisa Cresci, Serena Giani, Giorgio Scarpellini, Cecilia Olivieri
Models: Diop, Filippo, Giacomo, Vieri, Aminta, Maya, Sacha, Alex, Giosuè, Irene @castingfirenze