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How Pitti Uomo is preparing for condensed 100th edition

By Weixin Zha

Jun 2, 2021


The world’s biggest menswear fair Pitti Uomo is preparing a condensed physical centenary edition with fewer brands and buyers amid falling Covid-19 infection numbers in Europe.

Pitti Uomo expects to feature 300 brands during its upcoming edition from June 30 to July 2 after it was cancelled twice since the outbreak of the pandemic. The event will also rely more than usual on local Italian brands such as Brunello Cucinelli, Caruso and Save the Duck, the organisers said during an online press briefing on Tuesday.

“Due to the figures that are moving towards the right direction – thanks to vaccines – it was important to launch a positive message,” said Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine, the organisation behind Pitti Uomo. He also stressed that it’s important to take risks and invest in a physical edition even if it doesn’t pay off as well financially as it does strategically.

The fair will take place at its classic location inside the Fortezza da Basso in Florence with five corona test stations and measures to avoid queues - which in past editions was a sign of a buzzing and successful event. “You can live like a sheep or lions, we prefer to live like lions - safe lions,” Napoleone added.

Pitti expects half of the usual buyer numbers

Pitti Uomo is allowed to return physically after the Italian government voiced its support for trade shows which play an important role in the country’s exports. In past weeks, major European fairs like Modefabriek and Frankfurt’s first fashion week canceled their physical editions despite decreasing infection numbers. Repeated lockdowns also weighed on retailers across Europe, with 70,000 shops in Italy alone at risk of closing.

The decrease in fashion retailers and travel restrictions means that about 7,000 to 8,000 buyers will visit, or half of what the fair usually sees, said Napoleone. He expects buyers from Europe and North America to attend, while their peers from Japan, China and Korea will stay at home because of travel restrictions. Confirmed attendees include buyers from Bergdorf Goodman, Corte Inglés and Lodenfrey.

Pitti Uomo will feature three instead of its usual 12 to 14 sections, consisting of the areas: Fantastic Classic, Superstyle und Dynamic Attitude. South African designer Thebe Magugu, winner of the 2019 LVMH Prize, will be the Special Guest of the upcoming edition and present his first menswear capsule collection during an event. “The good buyers will be here, and we will be able to offer them a good selection,” Napoleone said.

Thebe Magugu SS21

Picture: Pitti Uomo