Pitti Uomo diversifies into design and pet accessories
Strange pink and black rabbits suddenly appeared in the alleyway... This was hardly a hallucination. They were the playful design objects offered by the Italian company Slide. We were in fact at Pitti Uomo, which is celebrating men's fashion until January 13 in Florence, but in a brand new space called "The Sign". This space is dedicated to furnishing accessories and all sorts of unusual objects, such as offbeat miniature religious altars.
After highlighting eyewear, perfumes and other accessories, the Florentine trade show extended its lifestyle universe by testing new categories on the occasion of its 103rd edition. Like The Sign, which covered 400 square metres in the Sala delle Nazioni and hosted the Superstyling section dedicated to the most creative clothing brands.
There were a dozen labels, from Insulti Luminosi with its bright slogans in coloured neon to the Sekkei Design furniture, not to mention Holypop's ironic porcelain or the antique-inspired vases by the new startup Iammi, based in Nice.
"We met mostly concept store buyers here," explained Stéphanie Blanchard, who founded the company in 2020 with designer Nicolau dos Santos. "The audience is quite heterogeneous. There are retailers, department store buyers and other profiles. The space was designed to bring fashion and design together, but commercially, this is not where the business happens," said another exhibitor.
The marketing logic of these two worlds is different, but this initiative clearly follows the trend, which has seen luxury houses investing in the world of design, and vice versa, in recent years. The aim is to promote 360 degree creativity to retailers so that they can complete or diversify their offer, and to allow small companies to come into contact with the major players in distribution and potential buyers.
Pittipets is the other great novelty of the show, with an independent space, the Polveriera pavilion, entirely dedicated to pet accessories with about fifteen brands, which attracted many curious people. Here again, there were many synergies, as shown by Baurdelle, specialised in leather accessories, which has developed a range of small leather goods for pets and their owners.
Another example is Poldo Dog Couture, a line for animals that also produces dedicated lines for several houses such as Moncler, Dsquared, Alanui and BMW. "We have seen many Japanese, American and Italian buyers. We have also received several proposals from Pitti Uomo exhibitors to collaborate. This space has definitely proved to be a great opportunity for us", we were told at the stand.
For the show's organisers, these new projects are a way of renewing and broadening the horizons of both buyers and exhibitors. It is also a good way to increase attendance at a time when the event has not yet recovered its pre-Covid level of participation.
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