The scene at Pitti Uomo 97.

MILAN — After calling off all its physical events throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pitti Immagine is ready to bring some buzz back to Florence.

The trade show organizer said Friday it will go ahead with plans to return to IRL fairs next year, starting from January. In particular the 99th edition of leading men’s wear fair Pitti Uomo will take place Jan. 12 to 14, one day less than usual.

“The decision to host the winter edition of Pitti Uomo over three days instead of the usual four was born out of the consciousness of the delicate and transitional phase that we and our companies are living in Italy and abroad,” noted Agostino Poletto, general manager of Pitti Immagine.

“We’re realistic and expect different [vendors and buyers] figures compared to the past,” he noted, adding that after monitoring the footfall of previous editions the board has decided to cut one day but stretch the opening hours for each of the three remaining days “for a more efficient concentration of everybody’s work,” he said.

Pitti Bimbo and Pitti Filati, dedicated to children’s wear and yarn collections, respectively, will also return to a physical format next year, although dates for these events have yet to be revealed.

Acknowledging the economic effort that companies are required to make to attend the fair, Poletto added that Pitti Immagine is committed to keeping the participating fee unchanged despite the implementation of additional safety measures.

“We’ve revised the terms of payment to lighten the financial burden and to this end we’ve also established a task force of both internal and external experts that will assist our exhibitors in obtaining the financial help provided by Sace-Simest for Italian companies partaking in international fairs in Italy,” he explained.

The Pitti Connect digital platform, which debuted last July as part of the organizers’ effort to make up for the forgone physical shows, will also be leveraged next year. Poletto said the platform is currently undergoing improvements and that each exhibitor will be able to use it with no additional charge.

“We are looking forward to write the future of the trade shows with unchanged creativity and ambition, in continuity with our way of working and the international leadership that the fair has gained. Of course with realism and determination,” commented Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine.

“Hosting a physical fair that respects the [safety] measures and safeguards everybody’s health is our top priority, as well as the prerequisite to return to a normal life,” he added.

To this end, the trade show organizer anticipated it is working to implement a range of protocols under the “Safer with Pitti” moniker that will not only guarantee adherence to safety regulations by reconfiguring the spaces of the Fortezza da Basso venue where the men’s wear trade fair is held but will also include the implementation of the so-called “green corridors” to facilitate the arrival of foreign buyers and attendees.

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