CHANGE OF PLANS: There’s no peace for Pitti Immagine as it tries to arrange its trade show schedule for 2021.
Given the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Italy and the consequent restrictions in place in the country, the fair organizer had to adjust its agenda once again and said Wednesday it will postpone the Pitti Uomo, Pitti Filati and Pitti Bimbo trade shows for a month. They will now run simultaneously from Feb. 21 to 23 at the Fortezza da Basso and Stazione Leopolda locations.
As reported last month, Pitti Immagine was ready to reprise physical events after calling all of them off this year. The original plan was to hold the 99th edition of Pitti Uomo from Jan. 12 to 14. At the time, dates for Pitti Bimbo and Pitti Filati — dedicated to children’s wear and yarn collections, respectively — were not revealed yet.
Pitti Immagine’s president Claudio Marenzi explained that after the latest restrictions the board members started to reflect on the likelihood of hosting the event. “We also received requests from exhibitors and buyers who, reiterating the need to restore a physical and quality moment of meeting, asked for more time to present the collections and arrange their attendance in Florence,” said Marenzi, who hopes the five-week delay will buy all parties time and that “conditions and authorizations for holding trade events will be reestablished in the meantime.”
The executive additionally noted that in deciding the new dates, the board followed three criteria. “Placing ourselves in a period functional for sales campaigns; preserve the identity of each event and, at the same time, give a strong message of a united front, both in terms of the production-commercial chain — which represents a specific value of Italian fashion — and of the Italian calendar of fashion presentations.” To wit, the trade shows are expected to run three days before Milan Fashion Week.
“We are aware that around [those days] sales campaigns will be already at an advanced stage, but we know that there will still be good margins in the budgets of buyers, especially for those who feel the need to have a physical, accurate contact with the products,” noted Pitti Immagine’s chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone.
The Pitti Connect digital platform, which debuted last July as part of the organizers’ effort to make up for the cancelled physical shows, will be another asset to bank on. Napoleone underscored the work done over the last few months to improve the platform by “enhancing the gathering of orders and expanding the editorial coverage” and hinted to strategies to further promote it among international buyers.