Pitti Uomo 103 to focus on quality with multiple new projects
In January, the Pitti Uomo show will stage a promising 103rd edition brimming with novelties. Despite the fact that, with 759 exhibitors registered so far, 40% of which will come from outside Italy, the benchmark menswear show is still far below the levels of attendance and participation recorded before the pandemic, when it hosted more than 1,200 exhibitors. Giving the uncertain economic outlook, several brands have not yet confirmed their presence and Pitti Uomo is focusing more than ever on quality and innovation.
There will be fewer big events staged around the city of Florence, but more of new features and ad hoc projects, mostly within the Fortezza da Basso venue, Pitti Uomo’s traditional home, which will considerably broaden its exhibition area for the show's next session. The show is scheduled for January 10-13 and will be dedicated to the Fall/Winter 2023-24 collections.
“Big numbers don't mean much. What’s significant is that returning exhibitors are all major industry names, that most new exhibitors are international players, and that there will be a number of projects linked to countries such as Finland, Japan and northern Europe, that have chosen Pitti Uomo to tell their stories,” said Pitti Uomo’s managing director Agostino Poletto, talking to FashionNetwork.com on Tuesday, at the press presentation for the show’s January edition.
The organizers have notably lined up a selection of uber-directional special events. The show’s guest designer is British-Jamaican stylist Martine Rose, who will present her new collection on Thursday January 12 at a venue yet to be defined. Also on the programme will be Belgian designer Jan-Jan Van Essche, as the event’s “designer project”, staging the very first runway show for his label on Wednesday January 11. On the same day, French designer Pierre-Louis Mascia, a regular at Pitti Uomo, will stage a special event at the historic Palazzo Antinori to unveil his new collection.
Other projects include the installation devised by young British designer Luke Edward Hall for his Château Orlando label - a new entry at Pitti - displayed at the Sala delle Nazioni hall inside the Fortezza, and an evening event mixing fashion, music and cuisine organised by dark-goth Finnish label Vain, founded by Jimi Vain in 2019. The event will be the third instalment in the “Palazzo Finlandese” series produced by Pitti Uomo with Finland.
Additionally, the show will host the 6th edition of Scandinavian Manifesto, a section that premièred in 2018 with the Revolver Copenhaguen trade show, as well as for the first time, the J Quality Factory Brand Project, bringing together 11 Japanese producers certified with the J Quality tag, which have created a set of items for Yuya Nakata's Postelegant label. This project will be part of the show’s “Superstyling” section, focused on research and innovation. The section hosts a quarter of Pitti Uomo exhibitors and has undergone a makeover.
“We have upgraded and enlarged the exhibition area in the Sala delle Nazioni. For example, many American labels are exhibiting again,” said Poletto. The Sala delle Nazioni will be home to another new project called “The Sign”, a 250-meter-long island-like section showcasing design objects. “We’re opening up to the world of design. There will be a dozen brands presenting a carefully curated selection of innovative objects. We believe that this type of products and presentation can be a great opportunity,” he added.
The event’s other novelty is the debut of a 250 square meters section dedicated to the world of pets. It is called Pittipets and will be based in the Polveriera pavilion, showcasing 15 sector specialists, including Poldo Dog Couture, already a supplier to several luxury labels.
An additional new feature will be the return of the “I Go Out” section, hosted in the Sala della Ronda, which will be “less focused on performance gear and more on outdoor sports.” Finally, the section dedicated to emerging labels adopting a sustainable approach, “Style Sustainable Style”, has been renamed simply “S Style”, and will place greater emphasis on design research.
The theme for Pitti Uomo’s January edition will be “Pitti Way”, illustrated by oversize road signs of all kinds. The idea is to help companies find their route amidst the current upheavals, moving again in the right direction.
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