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Packed Pitti gets off to confident start

Exhibitors at Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence this week were in confident mood, with many reporting an uplift in buyer attendance following the demise of Bread & Butter in Berlin.

Pitti Immagine chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone told Drapers the mood was set on Tuesday, the opening day, when 45% more visitors attended the Fortezza da Basso than in January 2014.

The event benefited from having a full week after January 6, the annual date of the Epiphany holiday in Italy, to prepare, and also not clashing with London Collections: Men, which closed on Monday.

Gordon Lawrie, account manager for Barbour, which was showing its new Triumph collection within the Barbour International range, said he noticed smaller independent buyers turning to Italy rather than B&B Berlin, which was cancelled on December 9.

The shift was confirmed by Nathan Ness, G-Star Raw country manager for the UK and Ireland, who said: “There were always a lot of denim brands at Bread & Butter, so it’s natural that it’s shifted over to here.”

Nick Preston, trading director at Hardy Amies, said: “It’s great to see the show has such a good turnout. People are here to buy, not just tyre-kick. There’s a definite continuation in the underlying interest in British heritage with modernity and an element of newness, and lifestyle dressing.”

Oliver Platts, sales director at Johnstons of Elgin, said: “While we haven’t seen many from the US, we have seen a lot of Italians and Japanese and had enquiries from buyers from Chile, Brazil and Uruguay. They don’t tend to come to London; they like to come to Europe instead. A lot of people have been coming to see our fabrics too, which is interesting as this isn’t a fabrics show.”

On key trends, Drapers fashion editor Graeme Moran said: “Many brands have focused on a smart-meets-functional feel for autumn, balancing smarter tailored pieces with more casual performance items and hardy outerwear.

“This was apparent in the classic parkas given more sartorial features and fits by the likes of Timothy Everest, and tailored utility jackets in smart wools at Anthony Morato, alongside gilets and quilted layering jackets in technical fabrications, spotted at labels such as Orlebar Brown.”


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