Florentino Etro meets Junya at a Hugo Boss Pricepoint: What's not to like? If you start with a budget of $25,000, it’s fairly easy to look great. You go to the store or tailor of your choice, tell him what you want, and trust that he will provide you with the best of whatever is on offer. A man wearing a Caraceni suit with Scafora shoes, H&K shirt, and all the rest should hardly be surprised when he receives compliments. If you have only $1500, however, the dynamic changes. Either one splurges on a single key piece and scrimps on the rest, or gets a very nice accessory to offset something basic, or one falls into the “Filene’s Syndrome” and buys a $4000 jacket 90% off that didn’t sell from the regular season. As such, finding a mid-priced, well-done collection is quite difficult and requires a lot of creativity and a lot of time. Whether because of changing dynamics, an awareness of a needed niche in the market, or simply because of trends in the industry, Pitti83 featured several collections that were both unique and interesting while not breaking the bank. One of my favorites was the Spanish brand Florentino. What I like: the collection has a relaxed, slightly worn/washed feel, with nice use of textures and colors in the fabrics. Designs and cuts are fairly slim, but not extreme, and classic without being too seasonal or trendy. For the pricepoint, the quality seems good, with attention paid to use of decent fabrics, linings, and hardware. In terms of styling, it blends quirky details of Japanese designers (Junya, for example) with European silhouettes; Etro and the original Moschino Uomo collections came to mind with their use of plaids, colors, and linings or details in surprising colors. But, unlike these designers, the designs remain “safe” enough to be wearable without looking like gimmicks. What I don’t: One of the problems with a mid-priced or affordable line trying to use and create interesting styles in wool, plaids, and cottons is how they will age over time. A rough, soft wool weave may look great on the shelf, but buyers of original Jil Sander sweaters who then picked up the +J line can feel, see, and wear the difference in price and fabric quality after a year or two of use and regular cleaning. As such, I wonder how the sweaters and jackets will hold up over time. Another issue with the brand is distribution; it’s a fairly small collection and as yet I’m not sure how many stockists outside of Spain/central Italy it will have. Overall impression: Until very recently, the mid-range market was fairly bleak. You had Hugo Boss, you had the designer diffusions (Emporio or Armani Collezioni, D&G, Ferre), you had small brands that were hard to find or required proxies to purchase, and you had sales. Now, luckily, we have more options for affordable, unique collections. Given the focus on details, the classic and timeless quality of the designs, and the interesting use of colors and textures, Florentino would definitely be worth a look.