Raffaello Napoleone has been waiting 24 months to visit the U.S., and as soon as the restrictions on European travel lifted, the chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine made the trip.
Napoleone also resumed the company’s biannual luncheon he holds in New York to unveil the plans for the next edition of the Pitti Uomo men’s show in Florence, Italy. Slated to be held from Jan. 11 to 13 at the Fortezza da Basso, it will mark the second in-person men’s show since the start of the pandemic. The event last summer, which marked the 100th edition of the show, attracted around 350 exhibitors. Already, more than 500 have signed on for January.
“We’re expecting around 600 exhibitors,” he said.
“We are ready to make our contribution to the recovery of Italian fashion and international commerce,” Napoleone continued. “We will have numbers clearly on the rise from the last edition, both in terms of exhibitors and buyers, both from Italy and from Europe. The Asian presence will still be limited, while North America, the Middle East and Russia [will be well represented].
Many top retailers from around the world have already registered to attend, including Bergdorf Goodman, the Mitchells stores, Hudson’s Bay, Brown Thomas and others, he said, adding that merchants have missed being able to touch and feel the merchandise they’re considering purchasing, while exhibitors check out the competition to see how their collections hold up. “You can’t do that in showrooms,” he said.
As reported, the guest designer in January will be Ann Demeulemeester and a special event will be held on Jan. 12 at Pitti.
The show’s more-traditional brands will be housed in a section called Fantastic Classic and will include Baldessarini, Brunello Cucinelli, Caruso, Herno, KNT Kiton New Textures, Lardini, Pal Zileri, Paul & Shark and Tateossian London. The popular Futuro Maschile brands, which include Alden New England, Begg & Co., Hand Picked, New & Lingwood, Paraboot and others, will relocate to the upper level in an area intended to highlight the brands’ mix of contemporary men’s wear.
Outdoors brands such as Blauer USA, Filson, Kongol, Saucony Originals and Save the Duck will be housed in the Dynamic Attitude area, while innovative international brands such as Armor Lux, Gitman Bros., Hansen, John Smedley and Raeburn will be brought together in a Superstyling section, which will include an area devoted to sustainability.
The 101st edition event is being titled Pitti Reflections and will include installations by creative director Angelo Figus centered around mirrors. “With its dual meaning of mirroring surface and the mental process of thinking, analyzing and elaborating, Reflections embodies the desire to question oneself, to go in search of what has to be revealed yet,” said Agostino Poletto, general manager of Pitti Immagine.
The show will also feature several special events, including a jazz night hosted by Caruso; a yet-to-be-determined event to introduce Kiton’s new KNT label at the Fortezza, and a presentation of the Finnish brand Latimmier, designed by Ervin Latimer.
For those unable to attend Pitti in person, the show will continue to offer its virtual Pitti Connect option, featuring a program of special projects; exhibitor spotlights; Buyers Select, where merchants share their favorite finds from the show, and Pitti Predicts, an editorial feature from fashion editor Samutaro forecasting the trends of the season.