Designer Yosuke Aizawa’s utility and technologically driven sportswear brand White Mountaineering has been on the international style radar almost since its inception in 2006. Its first show was a coup for Pitti as the brand still only sells to a handful of stores in Europe and in the US, where it’s carried at Bergdorf Goodman and the Webster in Miami.
Aizawa worked under Junya Watanabe, which explains his penchant for remixing the classics. A lover of “practical” fashion, he develops many of his own fabrics, working military and workwear staples in new ways. White Mountaineering’s look, which takes its blueprints from classic hiking, skiing, and other great outdoors gear, is a major focus of men’s fashion right now, a fact that bag maker Porter is already mining in a special bags collaboration with the brand. Pitti this season could have passed for a stylish and vaguely retro ski village with its avalanche of down, knit caps, backpacks, hunting vests, sport leggings. and urban hiking boots, all part and parcel of the W.M. look. Aizawa’s debut show offered more of the same, spiced with offbeat items like multicolor horizontal-stripe knit sweater shorts over sock-like patterned leggings for sporty urban elves. Padded camouflage jackets, vests over anoraks, uniform style suits in reworked plaids, ’30s golf pants cropped just below the knee, and Norwegian style patterned sweaters evoke the urban mountain man for all occasions.