By and  on September 18, 2007

MILAN — Florentine men's wear trade show outfit Pitti Uomo will launch a women's pre-collection space at January's edition.

Pitti W Woman Precollection is expected to show 40 international brands integrated into the exhibition, which is scheduled for Jan. 9 to 12 at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence.

Among the labels presenting will be 6267, the fashion line designed by Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi. Organizers for the show said other brands were yet to be confirmed.

In response to claims by members of the Italian press that Pitti Immagine was trying to heighten fashion competition between the cities of Milan and Florence, Raffaello Napoleone, Pitti Immagine's general manager, said the addition was an experiment.

"This is about a pure service to the buyers and not a way to be competitive. We have studied the way the fashion world works and today brands have up to 10 collections a year. We looked into doing this in Milan, but this was the best solution. Frankly if we didn't wake up and do something different, other countries will go ahead and do it and walk all over us," said Napoleone.

Napoleone added that while Pitti Donna had held fashion shows in the past — the last being Ferragamo's women's collection in 1984 — for the time being Pitti W Woman Precollection wouldn't include runway shows.

Pitti's announcement immediately solicited a hint of indignation from Italy's Camera della Moda. Italian fashion's organizing body said in a statement that it had studied a similiar initiative two years ago but scrapped plans due to insufficient interest. It glibly wished Pitti luck although it questioned the viability of yet another trade event for press and buyers.

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