The scene at Pitti Uomo 97.

Forced to call off all the physical events slated for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pitti Immagine didn’t want to leave the brands it has supported throughout the years unarmed.

The trade show organizer said Thursday it will launch its Pitti Connect digital platform on July 16.

Running through Oct. 9, the platform will offer a chance for brands to showcase their summer collections, grouping exhibitors that were supposed to partake in the Pitti Uomo, Pitti Bimbo and Pitti Filati trade fairs, dedicated to men’s wear, children’s wear and yarn makers, respectively.

As reported, in April the fair organizer decided to reschedule the 98th edition of Pitti Uomo — originally slated for June 16 to 19 — to Sept. 2 to 4 before eventually forgoing all its physical fairs.

Dedicated spaces for the Pitti Fragranze and Super trade shows, originally meant to run Sept. 11 to 13 and Sept. 24 to 27, respectively, will debut between late July and early August, Pitti Immagine said.

The advanced network and market tool — which is integrated on the Pitti Immagine web site — intends to promote the shows and aid exhibitors to increase their visibility, connect them with buyers as well as support them in managing orders and hosting digital live presentations. In order to further ease the process, Pitti Immagine has implemented a range of networking tools, trend and data analysis and a virtual showroom hosted on the site.

“After months of hard work, we introduce our latest online project, with the same spirit we have always had,” said Agostino Poletto, general manager of Pitti Immagine. “We were looking for solutions to cope with the [health] emergency, and we ended up finding new opportunities for the future: Pitti Connect has spurred a strong technological acceleration to our trade shows. It represents the continuity system taking us to January 2021, when the digital and physical fairs will be fully integrated.”

Pitti Immagine unveiled a schedule of side initiatives developed in partnership with online publication Highsnobiety.

Aimed at enriching the fairs’ digital showcases, the range of digital events organized under The Billboard moniker will involve figures from the fashion, art and cultural worlds, said Lapo Cianchi, director of communications and events at Pitti Immagine.

They include Fashion Souvenirs by Olivier Saillard, a digital library gathering the most iconic men’s looks across the history of fashion; “Useless” by Francesco Bonami, a collection of quotes from Pitti’s guest designers from seasons past reflecting on the most useless objects they have ever designed; a showcase of six emerging African fashion designers as part of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, and Pitti Meets, a range of talks with leading entrepreneurs, designers, buyers and influencers breaking down the fashion business.