Pitti Uomo closes an encouraging edition
First tradeshow of the season and Pitti Uomo - which took place in Florence between 18 and 21 June - has got industry juices flowing. Though most European countries are still feeling the effects of the financial crisis, Pitti Uomo managed to draw in the crowds, including a large number of Italians after a particularly weak domestic turnout at recent editions. A promising start for the string of Paris, London and U.S.-trade shows that are to come.
According to organisers, the menswear event reported stability in the numbers of Italian visitors, with a total 10,400 attending the show. A sign of relief, no doubt, for Pitti Immagine who were preparing for a further dip following a difficult economic climate in the country. According to Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer at the trade show, the Italian menswear market is in the midst of a four-decline, seeing yearly shrinkage of 3.4%, 2%, 4.2% and 5.7% from 2009 to 2012 respectively.
As for the international aspect, this edition welcomed 7700 foreign visitors, up 4% on the previous edition, bringing the total attendance to 18,700, an increase of 1.7%.
According to data published by the show, visitors originated from over 100 countries. Most numerous were the Germans (900), followed closely by the Japanese (870), a figure likely linked the launch of the Pitti site in Japanese last summer (a Russian version is due to launch shortly). “We have two people dedicated to Japan, one working with the press and the other with buyers,” said Raffaello Napoleone.
More present than ever were buyers from Russia, the United States, China, Korea, Turkey and Hong Kong. South-East Asian visitors from Malaysia and Singapore were in attendance as well as those from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and the Middle East.
In Europe, French attendance figures remained stable whereas presence of English, Spanish, Dutch and Austrian visitors decreased for this edition of the show. Raffaello Napoleone pointed out that the show welcomed an increased number of buyers from Belgium, Portugal, Northern Europe and Switzerland.
A slight hitch noticed at this edition was that though Japanese buyers stayed for the entirety of the show, many Europe-based visitors reduced the amount of time they spent in Florence, choosing to spend just two days and one night at the show, likely in an attempt to save money.
According to Napoleone, business deals at the show do not only take the form of orders placed. The show floor is rich with business talk over the four-day event; agents and brands network, labels and suppliers meet, licensing agreements are signed… “This business takes places because Pitti exists,” continued Napoleone. “No one can say they did not see anything interesting, anything new at Pitti.
A point that echoes that of Shota Kondo of Isetan in Tokyo: “A decade ago in Japan, Pitti Uomo was considered an important event for classic clothing pieces. Today, I think that Pitti showcases a variety of different styles: sport, high fashion, street style. The show offers an extensive and diverse range of goods. It is the perfect opportunity to study the trends and styles for the coming season.”
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