Bruce Pask honored by Italian fashion

Italian fashion leaders turned up in force to honor Bruce Pask at a morning award ceremony for the noted fashion authority in the US consulate in Florence on Thursday.

Bruce Pask at the award ceremony – FN

“You always know when you go to a show or a salon and Bruce is there that you are attending the right event. If he is not, then you know something is wrong,” commented Raffaele Napoleone, CEO Pitti Imagine, the world’s most important menswear salon, in a much applauded speech.
Leading the ovation were Brunello Cucinelli, Massimiliano Giornetti, Claudio Marenzi and Suzy Menkes.  

In a brilliant career, Pask first came to Pitti 30 years ago as a young editor with GQ, returning some 50 times as he rose through the ranks, subsequently for Cargo; then as a fashion editor of the New York Times and for the past eight years as a retailer.
“I feel incredibly lucky to be here. Growing up in a small town in Arizona I never imagined I would have a career in fashion… I never dreamed that I would travel globally and regularly work in this extraordinary city,” Pask said.
Pask is the men’s fashion director of both Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, making him in the parlance of the industry the biggest “pencil” in menswear, or the industry’s single most powerful buyer. He is such an expert, he even has his own concept boutique, B store within Bergdorf Goodman.
The Feburary 12 date of the ceremony was carefully chosen. Since Febuary 12, 1951 was the day of the legendary First Italian High Fashion Show organized by Count Giovan Battista Giorgini, generally regarded as the starting point of the post-war Italian fashion boom.
“Fashion has always been a bridge between Italy and the United States, and is a key part of our incredibly strong bi-lateral relationship,” noted consul general Ragini Gupta.
Her predecessor as consul actually attended Giorgini’s joint show, as did around a dozen American buyers, one of whom was Pask’s predecessor at Neiman Marcus too.
Still today, America is the single biggest market for Italian fashion.

Bruce Pask – Shutterstock

“Bruce is not only a friend, he is an extraordinarily professional person. He is a reference for us. He is an ambassador for Florence and Pitti Imagine,” stressed Napoleone.
Praising Pask for remaining a “constant presence in Florence’” during the difficult emergence from the pandemic, Napoleone called him “a fashion icon recognized worldwide for his original style and contemporary elegance.”
In his own speech, Pask said: “I am extremely honored to follow in the footsteps of my predecessor who attended that first fashion show here… Pitti Uomo which followed in 1972 set Florence on the path to becoming the global crossroads of luxury menswear business.”
Pask is also a visiting lecturer in Polimoda, the famed Florentine fashion college located right next to the consulate on the banks of the Arno.
“My vision of menswear is continually informed and .. enriched by what I see and experience here in Florence. By the gifted designers, manufacturers, artisans and tailors, by many of you in this room… By the expansive creativity that you generously share season after season. You fuel my curiosity, you inspire my creativity and I am incredibly grateful,” enthused Pask, who briefly paused, overcome with emotion, as he recalled his late stepfather, a second generation Italian America.
“He would have been so incredibly proud of this moment, as am I. Grazie mila,” concluded Pask.

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