By  on November 16, 2010

Pitti Immagine will launch two on-line trade fairs in January as complements to its Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo shows for men’s wear and children’s wear, respectively. The virtual versions of each show will open a week after Pitti Uomo (Jan. 11 to 14) and Pitti Bimbo (Jan. 20 to 22), which are staged in Florence, and will remain online for about a month.

About 100 brands — including Brooks Brothers, Gant, Fred Perry and Italia Independent — will participate in the launch of the digital version of Pitti Uomo, with the entire trade show scheduled to go online for the following edition in June. Retailers will be able to review collections and place orders directly from the site at

“It’s very difficult to see almost 1,000 vendors in four days. This provides a new platform for exhibitors and buyers to work together and adds a new dimension to the physical trade show,” said Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine.

Pitti Immagine’s digital initiative joins existing online trade shows like Le New Black, which launched last year and is an offshoot of the Rendez-Vous shows in Paris and New York. However, Pitti Immagine’s concept is the first aiming to re-create the physical trade show experience with photography crews shooting collections at the show. Up to 40 crews will be used next June, noted Napoleone. The company is working with Canon to provide photography and technology services to vendors to put their collections online, using uniform standards of imagery and formatting.

E-Pitti is housed in a new division of Pitti Immagine called FieraDigitale, which is headed up by ceo Francesco Bottigliero, a 12-year veteran of Internet ventures. Pitti Immagine owns 75 percent of the new division and Bottigliero owns 25 percent.

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