International buyers flocked to Pitti Uomo last week, as the menswear show reported a surge in buyers from China and Russia.
International visitor numbers rose 5% from 7,400 last year to 7,800 at the autumn 13 edition, which ran from January 8 to 11 in Florence.
Show organiser Pitti Immagine confirmed that visits from overseas buyers had continued to rise after an 8% increase last season. The number of Russian buyers jumped 39% to 312, while visitors from China increased 34% to 525.
Pitti Immagine said there was a strong turnout from Japan, Turkey, the US and South Korea, as well as northern Europe.
This season, for the first time, the Italian show overlapped with London Collections: Men, and although some UK buyers were thought to have spent less time at Pitti, many UK buying teams still made the trip to Florence.
UK buyer numbers rose 2.5% to 587, up from 573 last January.
Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive of Pitti Immagine, said: “In addition to the steady presence of the main European markets, we also witnessed a rise in the figures for the United Kingdom, a very good sign for us.”
However, the number of Italian visitors to the show fell 6% to 12,800.
Napoleone added: “The final figures are undoubtedly a positive sign for men’s fashion and for Made in Italy: at this time, foreign markets and, in particular, non-EU countries are the driving force behind the fashion economy, so for us the 5% growth in foreign buyers was much more significant than the drop in Italians, which clearly reflects our country’s difficult economic situation and the far-reaching process of transformation in the fashion retail industry.”
The British Fashion Council (BFC) said it would not release figures from London Collections: Men, but it emphasised the strong international presence at the event. More than 45 countries were represented by international press, while buyers from more than 17 countries attended.
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC, said the buzz around the show had been “phenomenal”.