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Why Cos Decided to Show at Pitti

The H&M-owned minimalist label joins Craig Green and Roberto Cavalli and becomes the first ever fast-fashion guest designer to present its collection at the Italian trade show.
Cos x Pitti Uomo | Source: Courtesy
By
  • Christopher Morency

FLORENCE, Italy — London-based minimalist fashion label Cos is the latest special guest to show its collection at the 94th edition of Pitti Uomo in June. Joining the likes of Craig Green and Roberto Cavalli, Cos will present its capsule menswear collection — titled "Soma" — during the biannual menswear trade show in Florence, marking the first time Pitti Uomo has named a fast-fashion brand as a special guest.

"We feel that Pitti has become a real fashion moment in menswear," says Karin Gustafsson, creative director at Cos, which hired Hermès and Maison Margiela veteran Christophe Copin as head of menswear in July 2017. "We felt that with Christophe on board it's a good moment to reinforce [our menswear] and once again share what's important to us with our customers."

Cos will present its collections via a collaboration with British choreographer Wayne McGregor, whose dancers — dressed in Cos garments — have created a performative piece inspired by the collection’s themes around movement and sound.

“Throughout the years we have explored how we communicate menswear, from in-store activations to online collaborations,” says Marie Honda, managing director at Cos. “This year we think it’s an amazing opportunity to explore this further [through dance].”

Cos x Pitti Uomo | Source: Courtesy

Founded by the H&M group in 2007, Cos quickly gained a following for its wardrobe staples that take inspiration from art, architecture and design, all at mid-market prices.

Cos has over 230 stores worldwide, up from 125 three years ago. Last year alone, the brand opened up 37 new doors, and it expanded into new markets including Malaysia, Israel, Slovenia and Qatar.

The brand hit 9 billion SEK (about $1.06 billion) in revenue, representing around 4 percent of H&M’s total turnover.

Presenting its performance during Pitti Uomo marks the next chapter for Cos’ approach to its menswear category, which currently makes up roughly 30 percent of overall sales.

“We’re still very new in the markets that we’re in so we’re still getting to know our customer, so getting that response is really important,” says Honda. “We haven’t got a set-in-stone strategy for [future] runway shows and presentations, but we would say that we have potential in all areas to expand further.”

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