Pitti Uomo 93 show a blockbuster hit
The Pitti Uomo menswear show, held for the 93rd time in Florence on 9th-12th January, was once again a huge hit. We could even call it a blockbuster, echoing the theme of the winter season's event this year, which was cinema. The Fortezza da Basso venue's 60,000 m2 exhibition area hosted the equivalent of a Hollywood epic, attended by over 36,000 visitors, including nearly 25,000 buyers (+2.5% compared to January 2017), browsing the Autumn/Winter 2018-19 collections presented by 1,230 exhibiting brands.
The number of foreign buyers rose 4%, up to 9,200 in total, with strong increases in the contingents from Korea (+14%), Russia (+31%), the Netherlands (+15%), Austria (+8%), Japan (+3%), France (+3%), the USA (whose visiting stores grew 20%) and Portugal. Countries that were relatively new to the show were also present in numbers, such as Mexico, Australia, Brazil and India, as well as Norway and this edition's guest nation, Finland. A sizeable presence was also that of Eastern European buyers (from Poland, whose numbers doubled, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia), and of those from Balkan countries like Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia, and even Estonia. Italian buyers too increased their presence (+1.5%), numbering over 15,000.
According to Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of show organiser Pitti Immagine, at the basis of the event's sparkling success were research, innovation, manufacturing excellence and design quality, all of them making Pitti Uomo the undisputed benchmark menswear event worldwide. An opinion shared by the many brands FashionNetwork.com visited at the show. They all expressed their satisfaction for the energy fizzing through Pitti Uomo, and of course for the high number and quality of the buyers who attended it. Among them, the world's top stores, department stores and fashion e-tailers.
"We returned to Pitti Uomo after a seven-year absence. The outcome was highly positive, exceeding expectations," said Paolo Roviera, CEO of Italian label Corneliani, which operated two stands at this year's edition. "For a fashion label like ours, Pitti is ideal as a brand showcase, both for its history and innovation, it's much more effective than a catwalk show," he added. "On the first day, visitors came chiefly from Italy, but afterwards the majority of buyers were from Asia and North America, as well as Europe. Pitti once again proved to be an event where even a well-known label can find new clients," said Roviera.
Besides the fashion content, Pitti is regarded as a great place for doing business, something on which the brands interviewed by FashionNetwork.com all agreed: from Lardini to Paul & Shark, Piquadro, Doria 1905, Paoloni, Harmont & Blaine, Fratelli Rossetti, Colmar and WP Lavori in Corso.
And no longer for menswear alone. Some exhibitors, like GeoSpirit (of the Peuterey group), or Moon Boot, brought their women's collections only to Florence. "The whole world of fashion goes to Pitti now, and style is increasingly the result of gender blending. No one was surprised not to find any men's items at our Moon Boot stand," said Tommaso Brescianini, Global Sales and Marketing Director of the Tecnica group, owner of the long-established apres-ski and mountain footwear label. "We were very satisfied with the growing number of Italian buyers and the keen interest shown by foreign ones, especially from Europe," he added.
Alongside the main show, Pitti Uomo 93 featured a wealth of special events, celebrations and presentations, as well as a plethora of initiatives promoting emerging brands and young designers. "A new era for international fashion has begun in Florence, and has done so in the best way possible," said Raffaello Napoleone.
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