MILAN — A sign of hope for Italian trade show operators came Wednesday, as organizers of Pitti Uomo and the Salone del Mobile international furniture and interior design trade show confirmed they are both planning to host physical events later this year.
Pitti Immagine released its final schedule of physical trade shows taking place starting in late June. In particular, leading men’s wear trade show Pitti Uomo will be held IRL June 30 to July 2, one day less than usual in sync with exhibitors’ demand for maximum concentration and cost savings.
As a result, unlike previous seasons, Pitti Uomo will run after Milan and Paris Men’s Fashion Week, scheduled for June 18 to 22 and June 22 to 27, respectively.
Pitti Uomo, which will present collections for spring 2022, was planned for June 15 to 17 and although this week the Italian government has given the green light for trade shows to go ahead starting from mid-June, revising a former mandate that set their restart for July, the fair organizer still opted to postpone the event by two weeks in order to better serve its exhibitors and visitors.
“We’re aware that returning to the physical trade show format comes with responsibilities toward the entire fashion sector and the institutions that showed us trust and consideration for our work,” commented Claudio Marenzi, president of Pitti Immagine.
“The whole company is working relentlessly so that trade shows draw as many exhibitors, buyers and editors as possible…it’s going to be our 100th edition rooted in practicality and pride,” he said.
For the first time, the men’s wear event will be flanked by Pitti Bimbo dedicated to children’s wear collections, which would have generally been held a few weeks later, while textile trade show Pitti Filati is set to take place June 28 to 30 at the nearby Stazione Leopolda venue, a first for the fair.
Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine, said the dates were set taking into account those of other trade fairs in the country with the aim of supporting Italy’s fashion system and its diverse players, from brands to textile suppliers.
In order to maximize exposure, the physical formats will continue to be flanked by a digital component hosted on the Pitti Connect platform. In particular, the digital shows will open earlier in the month of June and will stretch further than the IRL events, although precise dates were not yet revealed.
As for artistic perfumery fair Pitti Fragranze, the next edition is scheduled for Sept. 17 to 19.
Separately on Wednesday, Federlegno Eventi the organizer of the Salone del Mobile trade show said it has finally reached an agreement with exhibitors to confirm its upcoming event, a hybrid format running Sept. 5 to 10, as already planned.
Over the past two weeks speculation mounted that the event would have to be canceled and rescheduled for April 2022, as several furniture and design firms, big and small, were said to be motivated to skip it entirely considering the ongoing uncertainties related to the coronavirus pandemic and the expected lack of foreign buyers and visitors.
The 59th edition of the show will be held at the Fiera Milano fairgrounds welcoming national and international exhibitors and is to be flanked by a digital platform that will help businesses stay in touch with buyers and visitors unable to attend in person.
Salone del Mobile said it has tapped a “leading international curator” whose name was not revealed to set up thematic exhibitions inside the venue.
“I’m confident that thanks to the support received by institution and first and foremost by Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella and the government in addition to the willingness of the companies to contribute to the success of the event, we will be able to plan an internationally innovative and attractive edition of the Salone,” commented Gianfranco Marinelli, president of industry association Federlegno Eventi.
The Salone del Mobile and the related Design Week, accompanied by events across the city, is the most important global event in Milan, which is considered the international capital of design. In particular, it’s one of the key trade shows for the Fiera Milano company because of its international attendance and usually brings around 200 million euros to the city, according to data provided by Confcommercio.
“We won a great challenge, offering companies big and small that represent the backbone of the design sector the best window to showcase the Made in Italy and international excellences,” said Claudio Feltrin, president of industry association Federlegno Arredo.
As reported, speculation that the event could be cancelled prompted the longtime event’s president Claudio Luti to step down from his role. A successor was not named.