Antonio De Matteis named new president of Pitti Immagine
Claudio Marenzi is no longer the president of Florentine trade show organiser Pitti Immagine. He has been replaced by Kiton’s CEO Antonio De Matteis. On February 23, at the meeting of the board of directors of Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana (CFMI) in Florence, chaired by Antonella Mansi, the AGM of Pitti Immagine’s shareholders (CFMI itself and Sistema Moda Italia) has appointed, following the CFMI board’s indications, a new board of directors for Pitti Immagine, with a mandate for the 2023-2026 period. The first new appointment was that of De Matteis as president of Pitti Immagine.
Pitti Immagine’s board has been almost entirely renewed. Mansi has been confirmed as vice-president, and Raffaello Napoleone and Niccolò Ricci remain as board members, but seven new appointments were made: Giovanni Basagni (president of Miniconf), Stefano Borsini (managing director of Manifattura Igea), Ercole Botto Poala (CEO of Tessitura Successori Reda and president of Confindustria Moda), Niccolò Moschini (head of corporate communication and institutional relations at Kering Italia), Marco Landi (member of Landi's board and president of Federmoda), Lorenzo Nencini (CEO of Incom) and Marco Palmieri (president of Piquadro).
The board of statutory auditors is composed of Massimo Bianchi (president), Deborah Sassorossi and Guido Ceron, with Giuseppe Cristiani and Roberto Vanni as alternate members.
In a communiqué, CFMI expressed its heartfelt gratitude to outgoing board members Franco Baccani, Andrea Cavicchi, Elisa Corghi, Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi, Niccolò Manetti and Carlo Piacenza, for their crucial work in the course of their mandate, during which Pitti Immagine first withstood the severe crisis triggered by the pandemic and then relaunched its trade shows, despite additional difficulties caused by the invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing recession.
On behalf of the board and in a personal capacity, Mansi warmly thanked outgoing president Marenzi, underlining his resolution in running the company at such critical times and in taking the decisions needed to safeguard it. “As well as [his] courage and lucidity,” added Mansi, “in immediately transferring [Pitti Immagine’s] promotional and commercial activities online, when everything was in lockdown, making the company an international front-runner in the integration of physical and digital trade show activity, besides expanding the product portfolio.”
CFMI noted that the 2023-26 period is still hard to read, amidst the international markets’ ongoing adjustments and the constant evolution of the industry's commercial strategies. Among the guidelines to be taken on board, CFMI underlined that utmost attention will need to be paid to the acquisition of specific skills, and the quest for innovative organisational models consistent with the challenges facing Pitti Immagine. CFMI’s board said that the other key challenge for the coming years, not just for Pitti Immagine and CFMI but for Florence and its trade show sector too, is the renovation and upgrade work on the Fortezza da Basso venue, which will have to be carried out while ensuring the smooth running of future trade shows. For this reason, CFMI and Pitti Immagine will have to collaborate on a regular basis with the city of Florence and Firenze Fiera.
“Pitti Immagine’s new board of directors is once again characterised by a strong entrepreneurial imprinting,” said Mansi, adding that “it has been built with the aim of giving qualified and nationwide representation to the fashion industry, which still remains the company's core business. Along this journey, we have collaborated fully and harmoniously with Sistema Moda Italia, which has reaffirmed its confidence in the Pitti shows’ role in the success of the fashion sector’s commercial strategies. The board’s new members have experience and expertise enough to be able to concretely support the company also in developing trade events dedicated to the food, perfume, publishing and lifestyle sectors, as Pitti Immagine aims to diversify and extend the trade show season.”
De Matteis was born in Naples, Italy, on January 22, 1964 to a family active in textiles. He is also the creative director of Kiton, the luxury menswear label where he started his career in 1986 under the aegis of his uncle Ciro Paone, president and founder of the label in Naples in 1968. At Kiton, De Matteis became experienced in raw materials sourcing, garment finishing and the development and consolidation of commercial relations. In 1996, De Matteis acquired a 10% share in Ciro Paone SpA, the Ciro Paone Group's holding company, and was appointed CEO of the group in 2007. From early on, De Matteis was engaged in promoting constant R&D activity at Kiton, both in textiles and collection design, leading the label to develop a certified manufacturing system that produces unique versions of vicuña fabrics, such as woven and dyed vicuña, the so-called summer vicuña, denim vicuña and jacquard vicuña.
In 2018, De Matteis spearheaded the design of the KNT (Kiton New Textures) collection, the first he developed with his twin sons Mariano and Walter, Kiton’s third generation. On October 15, 2018 in Washington, De Matteis was named Italian fashion ambassador and was awarded the NIAF Leonardo Da Vinci prize, in recognition of his efforts to spread and preserve Italian traditions and values in the USA. In 2020, during the pandemic, he travelled the length and breadth of Italy to personally visit the label’s retail clients, expressing the Kiton family’s closeness, consolidating old friendships and promoting new synergies. At the end of 2021, Kiton donated the fiscal year’s entire net income to its artisans and employees the world over.
Under De Matteis’s leadership, Kiton has recorded regular growth and currently has 800 employees. It operates five production plants in Italy and 60 monobrand stores worldwide, including those in Milan, New York, London, Las Vegas, Seoul and Beijing, as well as a showroom in a historic Liberty building in via Pontaccio 21 in Milan, called Palazzo Kiton. In the last two years, Kiton's revenue grew by 60% to reach €162 million.
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