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Pitti Uomo and LCM in talks over date clash

The organisers of London Collections: Men (LCM) and Pitti Uomo will meet in Florence in the next few weeks to try to agree a schedule for their January editions to avoid the two-day overlap that marred this month’s events, when LCM ran from January 6-8 and Pitti from January 7-10.

The aim is to set dates that overlap by one day at most, as this season’s clash was inconvenient for brands, buyers and the press. Although the conversations are cordial, privately each organiser admits to irritation at the stance of the other.

Pitti, operating in early January and late June, has been the start of the international menswear buying season for decades – its most recent show was its 85th. LCM is the new arrival, having just

had its fourth edition. The British Fashion Council initiative has captured some of Pitti’s limelight by positioning itself before the Italian event.

The date problem occurs only in January as there is more room in the summer calendar. Traditionally Pitti Uomo starts two or more days after January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, which is a national holiday in Italy. It lasts for four days and is followed by the Milan and Paris catwalks. This year, unusually, Pitti started on Tuesday January 7 to fit in with Milan’s start date of Saturday  January 11.

The Burberry Prorsum show, the biggest draw on LCM’s schedule, took place on January 8, which kept many buyers and press in London for the first two days of Pitti. The Italian fair had to charter a jet to fly key buyers and journalists from London to Florence straight after Burberry Prorsum’s show

so they could make the Diesel Black Gold show on the evening of January 8.

“To have a two-day overlap is a very bad service to everyone. It is stupid, it doesn’t make sense,” said Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive of Pitti Uomo organiser Pitti Immagine.

“Although it is better to have no overlap, we could work with one day overlapping.”

Pitti has announced that its dates in 2015 will be Thursday January 8 to Sunday January 11; in 2016 it has reserved Friday January 8 to Monday January 11.

GQ editor Dylan Jones, chairman of LCM, said: “We’ve only had four seasons and our event is a baby, but it now has real momentum. We had 130 events this time and this is a real going concern. Pitti cannot keep saying it’s always done things the same way; it’s going to have to compromise.

“What needs to be remembered is that we are attempting to build something, and that takes time. What is important is that we have more raw talent [in the UK] than any other country in the world.”

LCM will announce its January 2015 dates after the talks with Pitti, but Jones confirmed that LCM would not extend beyond three days.

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