by Stephen Garner

The board of directors of Pitti Immagine held a video conference yesterday, November 17th, to discuss the dates of the next editions of the Pitti Uomo, Filati, and Bimbo trade fairs.

Considering the current status of the health emergency in Italy and around the world and the containment measures consequently adopted by the Italian Government, the board decided to move all three fairs to February 21-23, 2021. So, during this three-day time period, Pitti Uomo, Filati, and Bimbo trade fairs will take place at Fortezza da Basso and the nearby Stazione Leopolda in Florence.

This decision comes as the tradeshow organizers announced in October that Pitti Uomo would go on as planned in January. But, as we’ve learned this year, COVID-19 is not slowing down, and adjustments to physical meetings are constantly being made.

“Following the latest Prime Ministerial order extending the suspension of international trade fairs until December 3rd, we began to reflect on the real possibility of organizing the fairs starting from January 12, the date set for Uomo, concluding that the margin of time available was truly meager and the situation still too uncertain,” said Claudio Marenzi, president of Pitti Immagine. “We had also received a lot of requests from exhibitors and buyers who, reiterating the need to return to a quality physical event, asked for more time to present the collections and organize their presence in Florence. In the face of these requests directed towards ourselves as well as the market, we decided to postpone the start of the cycle by five weeks and come up with an innovative formula for the ensemble of fairs in the hope and belief that, in the meantime, the conditions and authorizations for holding fair events would have been restored.”

According to Marenzi, the board followed three criteria in order to identify the new dates: the fairs should be held in a useful period for the sales campaigns; the identity of each fair should be preserved and, at the same time, it should give a strong system signal with regard to both the production-commercial chain which represents a specific value of Italian fashion, as well as the Italian calendar of fashion presentations (resulting in the decision to take the three days prior to the opening of the Camera della Moda fashion week in Milan).

“We are aware that by around the third week of February the sales campaigns of the collections will already be at an advanced stage,” points out Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine. “But we know that there will still be good portfolio margins for buyers, especially all those who feel the need to have a precise, physical contact with stylish products of high manufacturing value. 

Napoleone also noted that the show organizers will be opening the Connect digital platform to exhibitors well in advance of the February physical fair. “We have been working very hard on this platform over the last few months in order to boost the collection of orders and expand the editorial coverage,” he added. “We are organizing a big promotion of our online sales system that will reach top buyers all over the world.”

“It will be a truly special Pitti,” concluded Agostino Poletto, general manager of Pitti Immagine,  “because – there’s no use hiding it – the idea of working in an emergency situation, concentrating Uomo, Filati, and Bimbo within a single time frame whilst maintaining their own particular characteristics, working in two venues like the Fortezza da Basso and the Leopolda and, at the same time, having the opportunity and need to transfer all of this to a digital sphere in real-time, led us to reason in a very different way than usual.”

Over the next few days, Pitti says it will be organizing the positioning of the three fairs within the venues, as well as laying out an “intense” program of events and fashion shows at the Fortezza and Stazione by a selection of exhibitors and special guests of all three fairs.


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