The Pitti Uomo show is the latest casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. A fortnight ago, the Florentine show’s organizers said that the event’s June session was confirmed and would definitely go ahead, but they have now had to change their tune. The benchmark menswear show, the inaugural event for each new season ahead of the Fashion Weeks, will not be held on June 16 to 19 as planned initially, but on September 2 to 4, and will last for three rather than the usual four days.
The announcement follows last week’s domino-effect cancellations of the New York, Milan and Paris menswear Fashion Weeks. Two days ago, the Parisian fashion industry shows that they are usually staged at the end of June - Man, Splash Paris, Tranoï, Unique, Interfilière, and View - also announced they have been canceled or postponed.
The rescheduling of Pitti Uomo was decided during the board meeting of Florentine show organizer Pitti Immagine, held on Thursday, April 2 by video-conference. The decision on the postponement was reached “considering the evolution of the health emergency in Italy and around the world, and the very real prospect that the current restrictive measures on manufacturing and commercial activity, as well as traveling, will be extended,” said the organizers in a press release, has also consulted with “exhibitors, buyers, agents, and other stakeholders.”
“There was a powerful call to safeguard leading events such as the Pitti shows at any cost. They are the first, essential tools that will need to be activated to gradually get the fashion industry’s whole commercial machine going again,” said the President of Pitti Immagine, Claudio Marenzi.
“It is clear that our three fashion industry shows will be holding exceptional editions, in which our main mission will be to ensure the exhibition areas’ absolute sanitization and to stage the show sections and their installations in a way that will ensure the participants’ health and safety. It will be an experimental show layout, which might also be useful on other occasions,” said the show’s boss Raffaello Napoleone, who also announced that Pitti Immagine will invest extensively in digital technology for the event, redesigning the Pitti Uomo website via the new ‘Connect Pitti’ project.
“The other key element of the innovations we are working on, one we regard as crucial for improving our exhibitors’ promotional and commercial capabilities, is Pitti Connect, an entirely new, more advanced version of our previous digital platforms, designed on the basis of the specific needs of different types of products and shows,” said Napoleone, adding that “with its unprecedented system for networking with buyers and its high-quality editorial structure, Pitti Connect is more than a complementary tool to the physical show, it is an organically integrated element of the show itself.”
At the Pitti Immagine board meeting, the calendar for the rest of the season was also redefined. All of Pitti Immagine’s summer session shows have been confirmed, except for Taste, which had been first postponed to June and has now been canceled. Like those of Pitti Uomo, the dates of Pitti Bimbo have been pushed back, to September 9 and 10, and so have those of Pitti Filati, though they haven’t been confirmed yet. The first edition of Testo, a new publishing show initially set to debut in early June, has been pushed back to the second half of February 2021.