Buyers and brands were upbeat at menswear trade show Pitti Uomo in Florence, and said that attention to detail and quality fabrications justifies price increases.
Martin Smith, national account manager for heritage brand Barbour, said he had seen more UK buyers compared to last year, with the likes of designer indie Pockets, Norwick indie Philip Brown and department store Fenwick visiting the brand’s stand.
“Orders so far are massively up on last year, with some customers increasing their orders by between 20% and 30%,” he said. “Prices have gone up a bit, but the customers aren’t complaining. Our strength is traditionally outerwear, but knitwear and shirting have also been really strong.”
Matt Roberts, menswear buyer for young fashion chain Scotts, said consumers were making more considered purchases and he welcomed more attention to detail and quality fabrications from brands showing at Pitti.
“Trends have moved on enough from last autumn, with lots of heavy knitwear and mixed fabrications – it’s been a really good show. Our budgets are up a little bit more,” he said, adding that some brands had put prices up by about 10% to 15%, while others had stayed the same.
Tailor Alexander Boyd has kept its prices in line with last autumn. “Buyers are looking for heritage and the ‘Made in England’ tag. Waxed cottons, waxed linens and Harris tweeds are doing really well [in terms of fabrications] and there is a trend for layering,” he said. “We’ve taken on some new accounts and seen a few more UK buyers compared to last year.”