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Armani unveils Italian Olympic team uniforms during MFW

Milan Fashion Week for spring/summer menswear previews has started with a slightly different rhythm, with many mainstays not showing this season.

It is a sign of the times that fashion houses are seeking new ways to reach their audiences, and slotting menswear into womenswear shows by now is old hat. Gucci and Bottega Veneta are among the houses choosing that path, and skipping the June round of shows.

And this year, Pitti Uomo in Florence got a boost as the chosen venue for Ferragamo, which normally shows in Milan, and Givenchy, which makes Paris its home. Prada went abroad to Shanghai for its menswear Spring/Summer 2020 preview.

Designer Giorgio Armani, centre, poses with Italian Olympic athletes at the end of the Emporio Armani men's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP PhotoLuca Bruno)

Still there was a lot left to see in Milan and here are some highlights from Saturday's shows:

EMPORIO ARMANI GOES FOR SPORTY FORMALITY

The Emporio Armani man is active, ready to parachute into any situation. The looks were strong on flat-out active wear, and leisure wear for the active soul, with an unstructured silhouette and light technical textiles.

A model wears a creation as part of the Emporio Armani men's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP PhotoLuca Bruno)

Organza surfaces on suits gave a sleek, youthful sheen. Trousers were either wide palazzo pants or ready-to-jump parachute pants, while jackets were both double-breasted and single-button. Suits anchored the collection, and the inclusions of ties, sometimes with a loose knot and upturned shirt-collars signaling quitting time, offered a note of serious elegance.

But collection also had a strong sporty vein, with blousons, anoraks and light-weight overcoats.

"Men should shine," Armani said after the show.

A model wears a creation as part of the Emporio Armani men's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP PhotoLuca Bruno)

Combining elegant and active notes, loose silky suits with smoky, dreamlike prints were worn shirtless or paired with sheer polo shirts to show off that abdominal workout.

The line for youthful — not necessarily young — dressers included harnesses reminiscent of a parachute drop, to which bags could be strapped. Caps had aviator glasses built in. Colors were mostly dark neutrals with flashes of red — especially striking on a pair of belted suits — blue-greens and green-blues, as well as orange melting into bronze.

ARMANI LAUNCHES FIFTH OLYMPIC CAMPAIGN

Designer Giorgio Armani accepts applause at the end of the Emporio Armani men's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP PhotoLuca Bruno)

Giorgio Armani and Italian Olympic officials used the runway show to announce Armani's fifth Olympic Games as the Italian team's official uniform designer.

Some 30 Olympians and Paralympians introduced the looks for the 2020 Games in Tokyo that projected Armani's often-expressed love of Japan, with the red rising sun of Japan transformed with the green-white-and-red of the Italian flag.

The president of the Italian National Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malago, was on hand for the rollout. He praised Armani as the designer "who has given the most trust to the world of sports and to the teams that represent our country."

A model wears a creation as part of the Emporio Armani men's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP PhotoLuca Bruno)

Taking a lone turn on the runway to close the show was professional race car driver Alex Zanardi, who lost both legs in a racing accident in 2001.

Armani previously designed the Italian Olympic and Paralympic uniforms for the Summer Games in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and for the Winter Games in 2014 in Sochi, Russia, and in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Designer Giorgio Armani, centre, poses with Italian Olympic athletes at the end of the Emporio Armani men's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP PhotoLuca Bruno)

Designer Giorgio Armani, left, greets president of the Italian National Olympic Committee Giovanni Malago at the end of the Emporio Armani men's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP PhotoLuca Bruno)

A model is recorded on a spectators cell phone during the Emporio Armani men's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP PhotoLuca Bruno)