Translated by
Nicola Mira
Nov 27, 2018
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Pitti Bimbo show to turn increasingly international and digital in January 2019

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Nov 27, 2018

On November 26 in Milan, Italian trade show organiser Pitti Immagine presented the next edition of the childrenswear show Pitti Bimbo, the 88th, scheduled from January 17 to 19 2019 at the Fortezza da Basso venue in Florence. Although the current year’s data for Italian childrenswear was not available, Raffaello Napoleone, the CEO of Pitti Immagine, painted an encouraging picture as he presented the latest figures for the Italian textile and apparel industry as a whole.

The advertising poster for Pitti Bimbo 88 - DR

“Within a troubled national economic situation, with GDP still flat, the textile and fashion industry bucked the trend, posting 2.6% growth (+7% for textile alone) and a 6% rise in exports, with a peak of +16% towards China, while exports towards Europe rose only by 1.5%. These are highly positive results, if we think for example about the automotive sector, which in Italy slumped by 25% in the last quarter,” said Napoleone, who reminded the audience that, for 2019, the Italian government has pledged new funding worth between €110 million and €130 million to support the fashion industry.

The next edition of Pitti Bimbo will host 553 exhibitors, 13 more than in January 2018, of which 360 are coming from outside Italy, 45 extra in one year. “Like all our other shows, Pitti Bimbo is becoming increasingly international: next January, foreign exhibitors will be 65% of the total, as opposed to 55% in January 2018,” said Napoleone, adding that “at the next edition, 152 exhibitors will be either making their first appearance, or coming back to the show.”

e-Pitti website gaining traction

The show is certainly becoming more international, and also more digitalised. Agostino Poletto, general manager of Pitti Immagine, underlined that the e-Pitti.com site will showcase the collections presented at the show, for a duration of eight weeks: “The e-Pitti.com project continues to expand: a staff of 107 people is working on it, and it features more than 2,000 products, 370 brands and 15,000 pictures online. Of the site’s visitors, 38% are buyers which only visit the online event, while 16% of the visitors who come to Florence then follow up online. The number of page views each season is in the region of 60,000.”

At the next edition, 152 exhibitors will be either making their first appearance, or coming back to the show - DR

Poletto also introduced the theme for the show’s 2019 edition: ‘The Pitti Box’: “We thought about Pitti Immagine as though it was a box of ideas, or surprises. From there, we developed the idea of creating a journey to delight the exhibitors with surprising content that isn’t necessarily linked with the world of fashion. After the colour explosion of our summer session with the P.O.P. (Pitti Optical Power) theme, in January we will feature a setting that is more classically graphic, predominantly black and white.”

Barbie to celebrate 60th anniversary at the Florentine show
Alongside established names like C.P. Company, Little Marc Jacobs, DKNY, Marcelo Burlon, Miss Blumarine, Monnalisa, Oilily, Patrizia Pepe, Philosophy by Lorenzo Serafini, Roberto Cavalli, RRD, Sophia Webster, Stella Jean, Timberland and Yves Salomon Enfant, Pitti Bimbo continues to scout out emerging labels and is opening up to other sectors.

The Fancy Room section for children’s lifestyle products has nearly doubled in size, from 44 to 74 exhibitors. The Editorials section will feature three themes: ‘The great walls… of fun!’, focusing on children's wallpaper; ‘Magic Nights’, for everything to do with the night time; and ‘Woody Woods’, a cross between craftsmanship and technology. The ‘Nice Licensing’ section will once again showcase a selection of licenses in the field of cartoons and children’s toys and games, among them National Geographic, L.O.L. Surprise, Pokemon and Popeye.

Among the main events in the next Pitti Bimbo programme, the Monnalisa catwalk show, the launch of Clarks Kids and a top-secret project by Roberto Cavalli. The guest star will be Barbie, celebrating her 60th anniversary with a press conference, an exhibition and a capsule collection by Patrizia Pepe.
Finally, another novelty will be the ‘KidsLab’, a programme of free activities and workshops for parents and children created in collaboration with several Florentine museums, like Palazzo Strozzi and the Museum of Fashion and Costume (the Museo della Moda e del Costume).


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