Pitti Uomo opened in Florence this morning, but exhibitors were generally downbeat about business prospects at the menswear show.
Grosvenor shirts managing director Karl Dunkley summed up the attitude: “We are realistic about the show, we are not expecting a high turnout but are hoping for enough buyers to want to pep up their ranges with our product.”
“They’re not going to buy thousands of shirts but hopefully enough will want to buy something different to brighten the windows.”
Aquascutum’s international sales manager Andrea Stringhini added that lots of buyers would be cutting back on their travelling: “A lot of buyers are choosing between Pitti and Milan [men’s fashion week] and instead of travelling to both are doing one or the other.”
He added that while he expected the buyers to be cautious in terms of order placing at the show, Pitti remained an important dateline for the brand.
That attitude was echoed by David Peach, international market director for nautical-inspired fashion brand Henri-Lloyd. “We expect to see UK buyers at Pitti but it is also an important show for us to support our international distributors,” he said.
Peach added that the brand was seeking to open up further international territories and had organised meetings with distributors at the show in order to help plot that expansion.
Just one hour in to Pitti’s first day, the main hall was showing signs of brisk business, while peripheral halls were yet to see a throng of buyers. However there were few UK voices among the buyers.
However, regular travellers are expected. Tailor William Hunt said he expected to see some of the usual suspects in terms on indies: “I would be happy to see some of the regulars, the likes of Flannels and Pavillion from Winchester.”