MILAN — The sound of music will be heard at the upcoming Pitti Uomo men’s wear fair, slated for Florence from Jan. 7 to 10.

This story first appeared in the November 12, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

During its biannual press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel here Monday, trade producer Pitti Immagine unveiled the agenda for the upcoming edition, which will host 1,030 exhibitors — 40 percent of which will come from foreign countries — and said music will be its main theme this year.

In addition, Pitti Immagine chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone lamented the lack of collaboration with the London and Paris men’s fashion week organizers, which is forcing Pitti to open earlier than usual this year. The London shows run Jan. 6 to 8 and Paris is Jan. 15 to 19.

He said that about 30,000 visitors are expected at the fair, including about 20,450 buyers. Roughly 38 percent of them will come from international markets, reflecting the increased importance of exports, in particular to Asia, for Italian fashion companies.

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According to data provided by Pitti Immagine, in the first seven months of the year, exports of Italy’s fashion labels to non-European countries represented 50 percent of the total exports. Specifically, exports to China increased 156 percent compared to the same period of 2012, while sales to Korea and Hong Kong increased 14.9 and 7.3 percent, respectively. Italian fashion companies also boosted their business in Russia and Japan, which grew 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively, compared to 2012. Leather goods and travel accessories were the fastest-growing category in the non-European markets, followed by footwear, textiles and apparel, along with eyewear.

Pitti Uomo has organized a tight schedule of events for January, including the debut of Andreas Melbostad as the creative director of Diesel Black Gold men’s wear line. The designer’s first collection will be unveiled with a runway show on Jan. 8 at Florence’s Stazione Leopolda. Pitti Uomo will also mark the launch of Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s No. 21 men’s wear collection to be shown on Jan. 9. The same day, Italian-Haitian designer Stella Jean, who launched her men’s wear line at Pitti last June, will show her fall men’s collection at the Dogana. The two fashion houses that won the last edition of “Who is on Next?” men’s competition — hat label SuperDuper Hats and footwear brand Casamadre — will present their new accessories collections with two special events at the fair.

In addition, Scotch & Soda will unveil its new label Atelier Scotch at the Fortezza Da Basso’s Sala Degli Orologi; WP Lavori in Corso will introduce the new Baracuta Blue Label collection designed by Jeff Griffin; sportswear company Champion will showcase the new capsule by Todd Snyder, and North American outdoor label Spiewak 1904 will relaunch at Pitti and will present a capsule collection entirely made in the U.S.

Among the Italian men’s luxury brands, Brunello Cucinelli will unveil a larger, renovated booth where the brand will put a focus on its tailoring collection, while Caruso will launch its new “Fabbrica Sartoriale Italiana” exclusive sartorial project.

Running in conjunction, women’s wear trade show Pitti W will showcase the collections of 70 brands and host the runway shows of Italian brand Petite Robe Noir and Brazilian designer Barbara Casasola. They will present their collections on Jan. 8 and 9, respectively.

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