Textiles & Apparel / Garment

2022-01-20

Pitti Immagine Uomo 101 beyond all expectations

© 2022 PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO
From the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, together with Pitti Immagine Bimbo 94, a positive signal has been sent to the country and a message of trust for the fashion system. "We are happy with the way things went at the Fortezza da Basso - says Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine - but this time, I would prefer the professionals to comment on this Pitti Uomo. Firstly, I want to thank the exhibitors who believed in our work and our ability to organize the fair in safety without compromising our consolidated standards of selection and quality. Together with the new collections, they brought great energy and passion.

I also thank the Italian and international buyers who decided to travel in this particularly complicated moment and have done so with the right spirit, cautious but determined. And I want to express our gratitude to the many journalists who came to Florence because they did not only report, share stories, and review products. Rather, they were bearers and witnesses of active and communal participation, a positive feeling. Finally, I deeply thank all the people at Pitti who have worked well and hard, our collaborators of all kinds, the display builders, the city services, the restaurants, the hotels, Florence. We all deserved this Pitti.”

Pitti Immagine Uomo 101 presented 548 menswear collections (almost 30% from abroad), and Pitti Bimbo 94 presented 170 collections. These are the first figures from the two shows at the Fortezza da Basso. At the end of the three days of the fair, the final figures on the turnout of Italian and international buyers confirm the positive feelings: about 4,900 buyers in attendance, about 30% of which from about sixty foreign countries. Adding the other visitors' categories (agents, representatives, suppliers, poress, guests), the total number of visitors is around 8,000.

Specifically, at Pitti Uomo, the top ten foreign countries for the number of buyers in attendance are the following: The Netherlands (138 buyers), France (134), Spain (124), Germany (120), Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, Turkey, USA, and Russia. Very good results from Northern European countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland for a total of 60 buyers). We reported some quality presences also from China, Japan, South Korea, China - Hong Kong and the UAE.

This is the ranking of the foreign markets with the highest number of buyers in attendance at Pitti Bimbo: Poland, France, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Russia, The Netherlands, Germany, The United Kingdom, Greece, and Ukraine.

Among the many novelties in the Fortezza, the new Futuro Maschile on the Attico of the Central Pavillion, with its fresh proposal of menswear brands between contemporary classic and sportswear, gathered very positive feedback from buyers and press together with the collections of the 10 international designers of S|Style sustainable style, the special area on the most innovative responsible menswear.

And of course all the special projects, debuts and innovations that the companies of Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo have chosen to launch from Florence.

A series of comments from exhibitors and buyers of the two shows.

PITTI UOMO 101 - Exhibitors Feedback

Claudio Marenzi, HERNO - Very good. If I didn't know there was a pandemic, I would have said it was practically the regular fair. The stand has been full, we did business as usual, so these were highly positive days, in terms of quantity. Then there was the positivity of the people who came to work, with the desire to do things and a lot of determination. There was a strong will to get out of this situation, and the comments were: "We can't retreat at home or in our shops. We have to be here." We are delighted.

We had unexpected international visitors, even some Americans, Northern Europeans. More than anyone, of course, Italians. Still, in my opinion, the signal is that the community of small and medium-sized companies has reconnected with the traditional buyers of Pitti.

Andrea Dini, PAUL & SHARK  - A very pleasant edition and atmosphere. We joined because we still wanted to be at Pitti Uomo, regardless of the presence of our clients and partners, and we were happily surprised. We have seen a lot of people, even several foreign visitors, from Belgium, The Netherlands, also from France and Spain, fewer from North America. Misinformation on Covid in Italy has played a role.

Pitti Uomo is the only worldwide opportunity for the men's luxury sector to meet partners, customers, and distributors. It has been part of our business strategy for some time, and as far as I'm concerned, it will continue to be part of it in the future.

Andrea Lardini, Lardini  - Our stand has always been full. Although the turnout has inevitably reduced, due to the situation we are experiencing, the visitors have been of the highest quality. We've had all kinds of journalists, from televisions to newspapers. This professional and concrete approach has been very positive. There is a great desire to start over, and Pitti Immagine was right to go ahead with the fair project: it was the right opportunity. I have already confirmed my presence in June.

Gianluca Schivalocchi, CARUSO  - This edition exceeded expectations and was very positive. We had a good footfall, a high-profile national and international clientele. Those who came and attended were here with a very concrete approach. And I would add that we have also finalized very important orders, with important partners, and therefore closed real deals.

Antonio De Matteis, KNT / KIRED  - This edition of Pitti Uomo was certainly above all expectations, and we are super happy to be there. We have to thank the buyers who came and Pitti who believed in it. We have always

participated in Pitti Uomo; we attended last June's edition, we never skipped one: 10 days ago, I thought it would have been tough, but it went better than expected.

Cristina Calori, WP LAVORI IN CORSO / FILSON  - It was an edition that exceeded expectations. We thought we would have a reduced footfall and, instead, we had 700 people visiting the stand on the first day of the fair alone, so we are very

satisfied. We have certainly seen more Italians than foreigners, together with good participation of the press and TV channels. In any case, it is, as always, an excellent showcase of our work.

Niccolò Ricci, STEFANO RICCI  - Pitti Uomo 101 recorded an interest and presence of buyers and the press that exceeded expectations, especially in terms of quality. Florence launches a message of confidence toward the future, which was not easy to imagine on the eve of the fair. We are a Florence-based brand, and participating in Pitti Uomo is a commitment that we also renew to underline the city's role in the international fashion calendar: it is a privileged observatory on the latest news and demands from the markets.

Massimo Francese, MARC O’POLO  - We found a pleasantly relaxed atmosphere, despite the situation going on. We were worried before our arrival, but we found a great desire to return to normalcy. We saw a multifaceted audience, from potential new partners, customers who have rediscovered Marc O’Polo, and contacts that we finalized in person here at the fair. And also a lot of international press. The choice to have a significant space at the fair paid off; we were very pleased with it. We have set ourselves a very important growth goal on international markets for the years to come. Therefore Pitti Uomo represents the platform that best spotlights the uniqueness of a sustainable Scandinavian product presented to a global audience. For us, Pitti is today the starting point in the direction we want to pursue.

Ahmet Mercan, ALPHATAURI  - It was a very positive momentum which we could build here at 101st edition of Pitti Uomo! We had great conversations and exchange which is key especially as a relatively young brand that is growing its business on an international level. Overall there was a common sense that having taken all the efforts to visit PITTI was the absolute right decision! All our visitors at the AlphaTauri-experience-area were in a good mood and confident as well as focused: we noticed that visitors took their time to browse through the new collection highlights and to learn more about the latest innovations. We had the chance to have very valuable conversations and share feedback.

We believe that it is incredibly important also in challenging times to build positive momentum and have a platform for connecting with each other in person. Our participation is also a sign of commitment towards our trusted partner Pitti, and their initiatives.

Nicolas Bargi, SAVE THE DUCK  - Surely, this edition was a restart. There have been fewer international visitors for obvious reasons, but we had a good turnout and met almost all of our Italian customers. The visitors were all business-oriented, and we were very happy with them. We want a selected and professional audience, so we are very satisfied. Pitti is also a beautiful platform in terms of visibility. It certainly allows companies to show their evolution and move towards a near future, hopefully being a little better.

Roberto Collina, ROBERTO COLLINA  - Given the current challenging situation, it was unthinkable not to participate in this Pitti Uomo. Also not to damage the entire system, which needs to be supported: to save the whole supply chain and share - reducing - the risks for everyone, especially medium and small companies. Pitti is a valuable show with worldwide resonance, and it must be supported so that it continues to be such.

It has remained the only important fair in men's fashion: we have always been present in many events, but now it is practically the last bastion and must be safeguarded.

Ivan Vassilenko, RED SEPTEMBER  - It was our first time at Pitti Uomo, and we found it very dynamic and very positive, especially given the current situation. We met a lot of operators and got positive feedback. It added some human touch that we have missed in the past two years. I think we found great partners, and it has been a very pleasant experience so far. I thought this would be an excellent window for our brand, to give people the chance to see the products, touch and feel their quality, explain the concept behind the brand, and then follow up and close orders in many ways. It was a nice mix of Italian and international visitors, mostly European, but also from the US.





And from some of the brands of the special S|Style sustainable style project

Ksenia Schnaider di KSENIA SCHNAIDER  - I really loved the this edition of the fair. I’m so happy to have seen a lot of people from all over the world, I think we all needed it. We had quite a lot international visitors, from Europe and also from Japan, so the feedback is very positive. We saw several journalists and media, and some influencers – so it’s good networking. It definitely exceeded expectations.

Lancine Koulibaly di UMOJA  - It was my first time at Pitti Uomo and it was great – it won’t be my last! We had a lot of contacts from shops from all over the world, from France, Belgium, Hong Kong, and of course Italian ones.

Pitti Uomo is very helpful for my business, as here I can intercept big stores and menswear buyers that I would not be able to reach otherwise.

PITTI UOMO 101 – Buyers Feedback

Marco Inzerillo, owner of INZERILLO and president Histores association (Italy)  - I have always been a fan of Pitti Uomo. The fair is a fundamental appointment for networking and discovering new trends. Currently, classic style is making a comeback, but always in a modern key. The outdoors and genderfluid concept are trends perfectly illustrated by the Futuro Maschile area on the Top Floor. Moreover, sustainability is no longer a trend, but a must-have for brands, followed with passion by the new generations. For this edition, I expected a lower turnout, and instead, I was pleasantly surprised. We organized an event on the fair's opening night, and I was really satisfied.

Alexandra Saunders, buying manager shoes & accessories ILLUM (Denmark)  - I love Pitti Uomo, and I am happy to be here! We need to get back to normalcy. Fashion and image are dynamic worlds that cannot be experienced only online: one thing is to see a photo, another is to see a person. I'm here to see people in real life. The world of menswear in the Scandinavian market is moving more and more towards a comfortable formal style; customers are interested in comfort, durability, and recycling of garments: this is why I also very much appreciated the presence of Vintage Selection. I was particularly interested in accessories and discovered several new exciting brands.

Marius Frayssinet, menswear buyer of THE WEBSTER (USA)  - If you don't invest in the right brands, you lose 90% of customers. Today, the people who enter your store know perfectly well what they want, and you must be able to invest in a very well- curated selection. Many famous stores have closed in Los Angeles due to Covid, while we have opened three stores in the last few months. Selection is everything, and Pitti Uomo represents an excellent opportunity to research the world of menswear. The streetwear trend is still going strong in the US, and I was interested in both clothing and accessories proposals. During my visit, I found everything was clear, easy to find, and I always felt safe.

Michele and Emily Degand, owners of LA MAISON DEGAND (Belgium)  - Our first time at Pitti Uomo was in 1976. It is the only fair in the sector we attend. Today, it is essential to be there more than ever: retailers have been brave to participate, and companies are happy that we made an effort, despite the current challenges. Although the fair at this edition was smaller, the atmosphere was pleasant, and we worked well and smoothly. The exhibitors had the time and enthusiasm to present the new collections. Italy is the country that dictates fashion rules and today we feel elegance is coming back: there is a sense of respect for the self and others in the way we dress, move, and talk. Fantastic organization as always.

Constantine Karageorge, owner THE BUSINESS (UK):  - How do you survive in today's retail world? Working well online and offering excitiing brands that other stores don't have. That is why a fair like Pitti Uomo is vital for the scouting activities it allows. I am happy that you decided to go ahead with this edition: things have to get back to normal, and it's all in our hands. Every edition, I have found many exciting brands, and I am impressed with how you manage to organize everything down to the smallest detail.

David Fishbein, proprietario di THE OPTIMIST (USA)  - I'm really happy I came. In 2021, we grew a lot. People want to dress well and buy clothes that make them feel special again despite the current situation. Competition is high, and Pitti Uomo is an excellent opportunity to research and scout new brands. I was interested in both clothing and accessories collections, and I can say that I found proposals for both sectors. Among our strengths, we certainly count customer service: we try to create a real in-store experience, and being updated on the new trends is a fundamental part of this process.

Alessio Aramini, head of buying di OLUXURY (Italia)  - Pitti Uomo is the most beautiful and authentic fair there is. Despite the smaller size due to the current situation, I saw a beautiful edition, very focused, with more industry professionals. I took in a lot of positivity: those who chose to be here are optimistic and sent a good message. Among the most exciting areas, I would count Futuro Maschile on the Top Floor of the Central Pavillion and Dynamic Attitude, with many proposals with a fresh and contemporary mood. And I always felt safe, thanks to the attention paid by the fair to comply with anti-Covid regulations.

PITTI BIMBO 94 – Exhibitors Feedback

Marcos Perez, chief commercial officer of ECOALF  - An edition above our expectations. I could compare the fair to the opening of a new store: sometimes there are many people, but with little conversion in terms of results, while others the turnout is lower but targeted and therefore more productive. This edition of Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo had a genuinely attentive and interested public looking for new products for their stores. We recorded a good turnout of quality Italian and European buyers. And then we sent an important message: even if the world is afraid, we have moved on. It is really important for me to be here, we strongly believe in the Italian market. And we are already thinking about the summer edition. See you in June!

Stefano Martinelli, commercial director of ALETTA  - We never stopped. Even during the pandemic, we kept an open vision, and with the same optimism, we decided to participate in Pitti Bimbo. I think it is essential to collaborate and support each other in a historical moment like this, and at the fair, companies shared the same desire for a restart and enthusiasm.

Julia Gaydina of INFANTIUM VICTORIA  - It's good to be here, especially at a time when the pandemic is making everything more difficult. Obviously, there is less footfall than during the summer edition, but attending a fair like Pitti Bimbo rekindles hopes. We like to exhibit together with men's brands: it represents an additional opportunity to be seen by the representatives of concept stores. The interest from buyers from the Middle East and from large department stores, who also contacted us through Connect, was good: interest in the sustainability of our proposals is growing, even if we are aware that more time is needed.

WHATEVS.  - Our first time at Pitti Bimbo as a brand was a very positive experience, as were all the others in which we experienced the fair with a different role. Testing ourselves is part of our DNA: even though we are a small company, we wanted to share what we have to say with fashion industry  experts. Unfortunately, the pandemic was a penalizing element, and it mainly affected the timing. In any case, at Pitti Bimbo, we had a very positive response to our garments, the materials we use, and the whole lifestyle world that we are creating step by step. We have had feedback mainly from Italy, England, and Spain. We also found the Pitti Connect platform helpful: it is a great tool to provide useful materials to buyers.

Federico Luzzati and Karen Armengol of KARINÙ  - It went well. We have established interesting contacts and are very satisfied. Our brand was debuting as we started selling in April 2021. We had already tested it in small sector fairs, but Pitti Bimbo represents the most important test. We work in the fashion world, we come to Florence twice a year for Pitti Uomo, so we know the potential of the Pitti shows well. Being here was essential to activate new sales networks. We have received many requests recently, and our line in certified Pima cotton has especially sparked an interest.

M'A KIDS  - Pitti did a wonderful job of turning the spotlight on brands, especially on new and original ones like ours. With shootings, videos, and interviews we had a lot of visibility and several good contacts.

Pierfrancesco and Diletta Martigli of DILI BEST NATURAL BY PICCI  - We have returned to Pitti Bimbo after a 10-year absence, with a brand that represents an alternative to our company's traditional offering. The goal was to differentiate and expand the distribution through new points of sale, such as the small boutiques most suited to this line of natural cotton garments for mothers and babies. We believe that fairs are fundamental for companies like ours, and being at Pitti Bimbo is functional to our business. It is an important showcase, and we are satisfied with the contacts and the interest recorded. We were perfectly aware of the situation, the uncertainties, and the fears, but the results were in line with our expectations.

Davide Rossello of P.A.R.O.S.H  - It was our first time at Pitti Bimbo, with the launch of the girls' collection. I realize that we are in an extraordinary moment, everything is more rarefied, calm. Despite this, we worked well: we have had several good contacts, saw many journalists, and got proposals from agents, especially Italians. The exhibition space was right for us, very visible. We will be back in June, hoping for a better situation!

PITTI BIMBO 94 – Buyers Feedback

Some of the first collected comments:

Rachel Band, luxury kidswear buyer of the AW ROSTAMANI group (UAE)  - I have been attending Pitti Bimbo for several years now, and as a buyer in the luxury kidswear sector, the fair is an unmissable appointment on my calendar. At this edition, the fair is smaller due to the situation we are experiencing, but the quality remains high. I was looking mainly for new experimental brands, and I found several exciting ones, especially collections of dresses, toys, and clothing for babies. The organization was as brilliant as ever.

Cristina Simionato, owner of PETERPAN (Miran):  - I must say that the lower turnout of this edition, due to the reasons we all know, allowed me to see the fair more carefully. There is a strong presence of Made in Italy collections but also small emerging brands with which I congratulated, for the excellent research work done, especially with the mono products lines. Not only Italian, Spanish or Portuguese brands but also several interesting Polish names. Not taking part in this edition would have been like closing the doors of my shop, and instead, I chose to open them: I came to Pitti Bimbo determined and willing to be there, and I really appreciated the exhibitors that have expressed the same desire. I really liked the set-up and, above all, the careful attention paid to safety.




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