MILAN — Despite the slowdown in consumption, especially in Southern Europe and China in the second and third quarters of the year, Pitti Immagine Uomo organizers said they were fairly optimistic about the fashion outlook.

This story first appeared in the November 12, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

At its seasonal press conference held here Friday in advance of the 83rd edition of the men’s wear trade show, Pitti Immagine president Gaetano Marzotto said: “After the difficulties registered in July, August and September, in October we saw a great recovery in Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, which is one of the most promising countries for us.”

Marzotto also pointed to former Soviet countries, Northern Europe, the Middle East and China as the most appealing markets for fashion brands.

“If President Barack Obama obtains Congressional support to avoid the fiscal cliff, I’m confident that U.S. consumers will once again become important consumers of fashion and luxury goods,” he added.

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Marzotto said Italian fashion and textile consortium SMI Sistema Moda Italia is planning to create an association to help small- and medium-sized Italian fashion companies to properly distribute their collections in the international markets.

According to research by SMI, in the first seven months of 2012, Italian exports of fashion and textile products registered a 0.8 percent increase to 16.1 million euros, or $20.4 million at current exchange, compared with the same period in 2011. The growth has been slowed down by the 4 percent decrease in exports to European countries, while exports toward non-European countries grew 7.2 percent. Italian exports to China and Japan jumped 23.3 and 17.8 percent, respectively, and Italian companies’ shipments to the U.S. climbed 18.9 percent. Russia registered an 11.6 increase in exports.

The next edition of Pitti Uomo, which will be held Jan. 8 to 11 at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, will showcase the fall 2013 collections of more than 1,020 international brands. The show will pay homage to books, featuring a theme called “Bookswearama.”

“A new project, called ‘I Play,’ will collect brands focused on technology, design and functionality, all featuring a strong fashion identity,” said Pitti Immagine vice president Agostino Poletto, referring to labels such as Camper, Ecoalf, Fred Perry, Herschel, Museum, Nabholz, Nixon, The North Face and Victorinox.

Underscoring the focus on sportswear, the Pitti Discovery Foundation will support the European debut of Japanese brand White Mountaineering, which, according to Pitti Immagine communication director Lapo Cianchi, will present its next spring collection in Paris.

New entries at the trade show include Italian outerwear company Allegri; the Adidas SLVR label designed by Dirk Schonberger; the Italian debut of American designer Billy Reid; the new contemporary collection from Hardy Amies; Begg of Scotland’s new project, and the launch of a collection designed by Gabriele Pasini, which will be produced and distributed by Italian company Lardini.

In addition, Dutch denim brand G-Star will present its new collection designed by Marc Newson, and will also unveil a book published by Taschen, featuring a retrospective of Newson’s works.

The Fortezza da Basso will host a mock demonstration spearheaded by Italian luxury label Caruso to support made in Italy men’s wear. Six mannequins will be displayed throughout the fairgrounds holding a placard that reads: “In men’s wear, do as Italians do.”

Pitti Immagine has renewed its partnership with e-tailer Yoox Group, presenting an exhibition curated by Italian journalist Angelo Flaccavento who collected 10 must-haves for a man’s wardrobe. The pieces will be available for purchase on Yoox’s thecorner.com.

Taking place in conjunction with Pitti Uomo, Pitti W will showcase the women’s fall 2013 collections of about 70 international labels, along with a selection of Danish brands, including Aase Hopstock, Anne Sofie Madsen, Anne West, Camilla Skovgaard, Freya Dalsjö and Louise Sigvardt. Maison Kitsuné will be the guest designer at the women’s wear fair, presenting its collections on Jan. 9 and 10 at the historic Palazzo Capponi.