EXCLUSIVE: Plan C to Introduce Menswear With Special Event at Pitti Uomo

MILAN — Plan C is doubling its offering with the introduction of a menswear line, WWD has learned.

The brand, founded by Carolina Castiglioni, will officially debut at Pitti Uomo via an event developed in collaboration with Fondazione Pitti Discovery.

While details of the first collection are still under wraps, it is understood Castiglioni will unveil the line on the trade show’s inaugural day, June 11, with an installation curated by Duccio Maria Gambi, which will be staged in the Sala Grotte hall of the Fortezza da Basso location.

This won’t be the first time Castiglioni has linked with the Italian artist and designer. He has already collaborated with the label on several projects, including the interior concept of the brand’s first store that opened in Tokyo’s Aoyama neighborhood in 2019 and the one unveiled at the city’s luxury retail complex Ginza Six last year, which further boosted Plan C’s presence in its top-performing market.

Lapo Cianchi, head of communications and special projects for Pitti Immagine and general secretary of the Fondazione Pitti Discovery, described Plan C as “a project with a young DNA, strongly oriented in a sartorial and contemporary direction.”

“We really like Carolina Castiglioni’s work and distinctive aesthetics. Her research is always pointing to new dialogues and interactions between fashion, art and design [and her work] is modern and highly inspiring,” Cianchi said.

The brand is known for its ties to the art world seen in initiatives implemented during Milan Fashion Week, for example. Last year, it staged an exhibition spotlighting Ukrainian-born, New York-based talent Yelena Yemchuk, who also reworked the brand’s look book images with an arty touch.

More recently, during Salone del Mobile last month, Plan C blended art performance and product launch in its takeover of the windows of the Banner store here. For the occasion, the “Unexpected Guest” installation mixing videos and physical objects was developed with Italian artist and director Maria Chiara Venturini, who also performed live within that context.

The daughter of Marni’s founders, Castiglioni launched Plan C with the support of her father Gianni and her brother Giovanni in 2018, after a decade of developing special projects for her family’s business. Renzo Rosso’s OTB took full control of Marni in 2015 and the Castiglioni family exited the following year, including creative director and Carolina’s mother Consuelo.

Since the initial spring 2019 collection, Castiglioni has hinged Plan C on utility- and sport-inflected everyday styles with a touch of eccentricity and unpredictability, a mix of discreet and bold elements, the juxtaposition of masculine and feminine shapes and a strong color sensibility — a trait that has always run in the Castiglioni genes.

The founder’s polished aesthetic is mirrored by the company headquarters in the heart of Milan, a design apartment filled with vintage pieces where her great-grandmother created the fur company Ciwifurs in the early ‘60s and which became a well-known licensee for several designer brands. Plan C presents its collections to buyers and press there, including the latest fall 2024 lineup unveiled earlier this year, which reinforced Castiglioni’s vision on urban sophistication.

Over the last month, Pitti Uomo’s four-day schedule of events has gradually taken shape, with confirmed guest designers also including Sir Paul Smith, Marine Serre and Pierre-Louis Mascia, who will stage its first runway show on June 13.

The full roster of initiatives is to be revealed soon, as the trade show’s organizers are to embark on a promotional tour starting in Seoul this week. The Milan presentation of the upcoming edition’s program will be held May 14.

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