Translated by
Isabelle Crossley
Jun 14, 2021
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Pitti Uomo is ready to restart with a very special physical edition

Translated by
Isabelle Crossley
Jun 14, 2021

On Wednesday, the organisers of Pitti Immagine held a live video conference from their headquarters in Florence and, with emotions close to the surface, announced the trade show’s programme for its upcoming summer edition.

It will be held in-person for the first time in over a year. The schedule includes Pitti Filati, dedicated to yarn, which will run from June 28 to 30 at the Stazione Leopolda, followed by the trade shows dedicated to men’s and children’s fashion, Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo, which will be held together at the Fortezza da Basso from June 30 to July 2. 

Pitti Uomo will return at the end of June with a reduced format offering - Pitti Immagine

“We are among the first to return to a physical edition, with complete security, and as a result of an enormous amount of work both from an organisational and economic point of view,” said Pitti Immagine president Claudio Marenzi. “We must thank the government for its significant help as well as the whole Italian fashion eco-system, but our organisation has particularly shown great daring and tenacity while our industry, along with the clothing sector, was one of the most affected by the pandemic.” 
Pitti Immagine has also demonstrated its flexibility as government authorisation to organise this kind of event was only granted two months ago and it usually takes almost six months to set up a trade show of this scale. “This year has been especially hard to get through, especially psychologically,” said Marenzi. “It is clear that this edition must adopt a reduced format but it is already generating great excitement with a strong desire to meet again.”

For its upcoming edition, Pitti Uomo will be held over three days instead of four. So far, close to 315 brands have signed up for the event, compared to the usual total of over 1,000, and around a third of this edition’s brands are from abroad. These will also showcase their goods in parallel with the Pitti Connect virtual fair which will feature around fifty other brands. The trade show also expects between 7,000 and 8,000 buyers, mostly from Italy and Europe, compared to an average of around 19,000 under normal circumstances. 
“It will certainly be a special, extraordinary, and unique edition,” said Pitti Immagine CEO Raffaello Napoleone, who wants to see with this new edition, “a moment of important overhaul, a new beginning.” It just so happens that this edition will mark the occasion of Pitti Uomo’s 100th edition as the trade show held its first edition in the early 1970s. It is thus this celebratory theme which will lead the various events of the season, with logos such as ‘Pitt100’ and ‘Pitt100%’. 
Taking into account the current situation and health and safety measures, the trade show’s layout has been completely redesigned around three main themes: ‘Fantastic Classic’ which centres on the evolution of the classic man in its most contemporary incarnations; ‘Dynamic Attitude’, dedicated to outdoor-, sports-, and street wear; and ‘Superstyling’ to highlight avant-garde and niche brands. This section will feature a dedicated enclave to host the third edition of ‘Sustainable Style’, a selection of 15 cutting edge and eco-friendly brands: Arbo Paris, Connor McKnight, DNI, Federico Cina, Monad London, Myar, Ordinary Disorder, Patchouli Studio, Patrick McDowell, Reamerei, Stories, Uniforme, Vitelli, Woo, and Wuuls.

The grade show's logo for its 100th edition - DR

In addition, the trade show’s visitor routes have also been reorganised to enable social distancing with wider corridors and enlarged exhibition areas. Spaces dedicated to catering have also been partially moved into the open air. “The distribution of spaces sold for use and free space has been totally changed, free space has almost doubled,” said Pitti Immagine’s general manager Agostino Poletto.
The upcoming event also underlines the effort led by the business to help exhibitors facing difficulties, especially young brands. “With each company, we have worked on cost reduction and on ways to enable them to reduce staff on site,” said Poletto. “We have offered them standard fit-out structures, or personalised structures at highly competitive prices, so they only need to bring their collection to the event.” 
For this reduced-scale, physical format, where Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo will come together, the choice was made to organise the special events, which have been radically reduced, within the old fortress which is also hosting the trade show and not around the city which was the case pre-Covid. The only exception to this is for Gucci, which will present its new Florentine ‘Archivio’ space within its historic headquarters. 
No other show has been scheduled for this date- Pitti Uomo 100’s special guest, South African designer Thebe Magugu, will present his collection, “through a theatrical performance.” The traditional fashion shows for children’s wear will be replaced with photo presentations and two virtual tours of the children’s wear fair will be filmed in both Korean and Japanese for buyers from these regions will not be able to make the trip to Florence.
Live photoshoot events will be organised inside the fair by the biannual English magazine Arena Homme+ and will be shot by young photographers with a series of exhibitors including Caruso, Kiton, Herno, Stefano Ricci, and Pierre-Louis Mascia.  
Finally, health and safety will be guaranteed through the strict enforcement of event regulations and several initiatives have been taken to avoid bottlenecks such as mandatory pre-registration and the distribution of coloured wristbands in different colours to denote Covid- test and vaccine status. There will also be five sites located around the fortress where it will be possible to have a rapid Covid-19 test.

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