The 91st edition of menswear trade show Pitti Uomo kicked off in Florence today, attracting a hot fashion crowd despite the frigid weather. The peacocks were out in force in the central square, with the dedicated dandies rubbing shoulders with sleek-suited Japanese, elegant Scandinavians and off-the-wall extroverts.
Organisers tried to heat things up with a #PittiDanceOff theme – an installation comprising gently shifting washing-up gloves, mop heads and empty shopping trolleys – which didn’t exactly get the crowd dancing in the aisles but did provide an interesting backdrop for the multitude of photographers trying to spot the elite of the menswear blogosphere.
Exhibitor numbers are broadly stable compared with last January at just over the 1,200 brand mark, with 214 new names such as US giant Tommy Hilfiger and Canadian outerwear label Moose Knuckles.
Other highlights on show include Paul Smith’s contemporary line PS by Paul Smith, and collections from celebrated Belgian designer Tim Coppens, lifestyle label Golden Goose and Cottweiler for Reebok.
Clarks Originals was showcasing a new brand look for autumn 17, while Danish knitwear label SNS Herning was back after a few seasons away to unveil new lighterweight pieces to provide an option for every eventuality of Europe’s unpredictable weather.
Buyers on the first day were mainly from the show’s home country and Germany, although some German attendees were thought to be caught up in flight problems from Frankfurt airport. UK buyers from stores including The Content Store, The Hip Store and Lynx were spotted on the show floor.
Although wide leg trousers, speciality fibres such as yak and interest from texture were common themes running through collections, some commented on a lack of strong trends once again as both brands and buyers look to play it safe. Most agreed price rises resulting from the weakness of sterling are inevitable this year.
Pitti Uomo runs until 13 January at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence.
View from the show floor
- This has been the busiest start to a Tuesday that I’ve ever known. Usually it takes a while for things to get going but it’s been good from the get-go.
Alex Foley, sales manager for Zone Two representing Samsoe & Samsoe
- I’ve been coming for the last few years in the Born in the USA area with Liberty fairs and it’s great to see so many of our international customers. We’ve seen customers from Germany and Italy so far today.
George Vlagos, founder of US-based Oak Street Bootmakers
- Today has been very busy – it’s the best start to Pitti for many years.
Thomas Cerbeland, international sales manager and brand developer at 30-year-old French lifestyle brand Eden Park
- We have had a very successful first day at our first trade show! It’s great. There has been interest from a few English and French, but mostly Italian customers.
Marco D’Avanzo, general manager and vice president of sales and marketing Europe at new Canadian outerwear brand Moose Knuckles