Menswear tradeshow Pitti Uomo returned with a spring (17) in its step last month as buyers, bloggers and influencers all flocked to the seasonal event at Florence’s Fortezza da Basso.
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The sun was out and the aisles, walkways and halls were all packed, creating a genuinely buzzy atmosphere throughout the fair. Meanwhile, outside, the usual procession of peacocks were posing in their formalwear for the cameras. Brave men, considering the Italian heat.
Now flourishing as the main men’s tradeshow in Europe following the fall of Berlin’s Bread & Butter, there were some key UK and Irish retailers in attendance such as House of Fraser, John Lewis and Arnotts. Etailers Secretsales and Thread were spotted along with independents such as Trunk, Stuarts London, and Louis Copeland. However, most of the UK contingent arrived on the second day, and by day three there were other priorities to contend with, such as the football as England took on Wales in Euro 2016.
The international buyers were out in force: Japanese, Americans and, of course, the domestic Italian accounts made up a large proportion of the visitors, it seemed. The total number of buyers was 20,500, up 3% on June 2015; 8,400 of those were international.
Kevin Stone, owner of Stone Agencies, showing Baracuta, said: “There were lots of international buyers at the show, from Japan in particular, and they were all serious, professional buyers. It has been about quality, not quantity.”
Gordon Lawrie, national account manager at Barbour, echoed this: “Pitti is always a positive show and a great opportunity for us to see a lot of press and buyers and showcase the collection.” He added: “We have seen a mixture of Italian and UK buyers mainly, both department stores and independents.”
Trade shows might not be about placing orders on stands any more, but there is no denying their importance for brand positioning and for buyers to see trends and build relationships. And anyway, who wouldn’t enjoy Florence in the sunshine?
For Drapers pick of the best brands and new product, click here.
To read about the mood of the show from brands and buyers, click here.
To see if brands and buyers think seasons are still relevant, click here.