Stefano Ricci's booth at Pitti Uomo in 2018.

Pitti Immagine is still hoping to stage an in-person show in Florence in late February but will make the final decision on Jan. 15, according to Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer.

In a virtual meeting intended to replace his traditional holiday luncheon in New York City, Napoleone acknowledged that the continued lockdowns in Italy may not be lifted in time to hold the show.

He also said he realized that the dates — Feb. 21 to 23 — are too late for many brands, especially large ones who are already meeting with retailers to show their next collections. As a result, he is projecting that the in-person Pitti show would showcase between 250 and 300 brands, mainly small companies. This is a significantly reduced number since historically, Pitti Uomo would have some 1,250 brands at its show.

Even if the in-person event is approved by the government and retailers and press are permitted to travel, Pitti Connect, the company’s virtual trade show, will kick off on Jan. 12, the date the show would have opened had it not been for the pandemic. Although the virtual event this past summer — it opened in July and ran through October — attracted 9,000 buyers, Napoleone said that finalizing orders turned out to be troublesome and cumbersome with each brand having different requirements.

“It was very difficult to close orders,” he said, adding that the process “can be improved.”

Whether or not the physical show happens in February, Napoleone is upbeat about the June show that will mark the 100th edition of Pitti Uomo and is hopeful that the vaccination efforts will have had enough of an impact by then to allow the show to go on.

“Fashion is always stronger after a crisis,” he said.

As reported, the plan for February includes holding the Pitti Filati textile and Pitti Bimbo children’s shows alongside the Pitti Uomo men’s show at the Fortezza da Basso and Stazione Leopolda locations in Florence.