Pitti Uomo will return live and in-person again this June, as the Italian trade show looks to reclaim its pre-pandemic status as one of the best men’s trade events in the world.
Slated to run from June 14-17 at Florence’s historic Fortezza da Basso, the trade fair is returning to a solo show format this season after a temporary run of combining it with the Pitti Bimbo and Pitti Filati fairs.
As the men’s industry prepares for another in-person fair, see here a round up of all the events, fashion shows and happenings taking place in Florence this June.
Ann Demeulemeester Named Guest of Honor
Designer Ann Demeulemeester has been named the “Guest of Honor” at the upcoming Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence. In fact, following last January’s postponement, the Belgian designer herself will be curating the special project dedicated to her and the brand that bears her name at the Stazione Leopolda.
Part of the “Antwerp Six,” Demeulemeester graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1981. She launched her eponymous label and her first commercial collection in 1987 with her longstanding creative partner Patrick Robyn. Her first fashion show in Paris in 1992 has put her immediately on the international fashion map.
Her intelligent approach to fashion rises above trends and offers a continually evolving system of dressing with integrity and fierce independence. Demeulemeester left her label in 2013 and ever since has experimented with a variety of new expressive formats.
In 2020, the Ann Demeulemeester label was purchased by Claudio Antonioli, Milan entrepreneur and talent scouter, who took the reins of the brand in hand with great respect for its past and a clear vision of the future. His mission is to reposition Ann Demeulemeester as a luxury fashion brand, while remaining faithful to its image.
“Florence and Pitti Immagine are finally ready to celebrate Ann Demeulemeester’s extraordinary work,” said Lapo Cianchi, director of communication and events at Pitti Immagine, in a statement. “A gift for the whole Pitti community.”
Wales Bonner Named Guest Designer
Grace Wales Bonner has been named the next guest designer of Pitti Uomo. The English-Jamaican designer will showcase the spring/summer 2023 collection from her eponymous label, Wales Bonner, with a fashion show. Specific event details are not yet known.
This announcement marks a return of Pitti’s slate of fashion show events that happen in tandem with the menswear trade fair. Guest designer brand Ann Demeulemeester was originally scheduled to be the first company post-pandemic to host a special event at Pitti during the January show. The brand’s participation was later postponed to the June edition at the time due to the spread of Omicron.
Bonner launched her collection following her graduation from Central Saint Martins in 2014. Established as a menswear brand, Wales Bonner’s soulful tailoring soon expanded to womenswear and has received numerous awards including Emerging Menswear Designer at the British Fashion Awards (2015), the LVMH Young Designer Prize (2016), Winner of the British Fashion Council/ Vogue Designer Fashion Fund (2019) and CFDA International Men’s Designer of the Year (2021).
Pitti Slated to Run as a Solo Show This June
Pitti Uomo has announced it will return to a solo show format this June after a temporary run of combining it with the Pitti Bimbo and Pitti Filati fairs dedicated to childrenswear and yarn-makers, respectively.
At the onset of the COVID-19 health emergency, the Florentine trade fairs’ organizer moved online with the Pitti Connect digital space, where virtual editions of its trade shows were hosted for over a year and a half until June 2021.
Last summer, Pitti Immagine reprised its physical format combining for the first time the three fashion-related shows under its umbrella. For the two editions since July 2021, the three trade fairs were held concurrently, forcing Pitti Filati to temporarily relocate to the Stazione Leopolda venue, a necessary move that didn’t entirely please exhibitors.
Impacted by the pandemic, attendance and exhibitors’ numbers at the two most recent in-person shows were lower than pre-pandemic. In January, for instance, 548 brands presented their fall 2022 collections, drawing around 8,000 visitors, with about 4,000 of those visitors accounting for buyers. This figure is up, however, from the June 2021 edition, which saw a total of 6,000 visitors. For context, the last pre-pandemic Pitti Uomo, which took place in January 2020, saw 36,000 visitors.
But ultimately, Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine, was pleased with the turnout in January. “We are happy with the way things went at the Fortezza da Basso,” Napoleone said in a statement. “Together with the new collections, they brought great energy and passion. I also thank the Italian and international buyers who decided to travel in this particularly complex moment and have done so with the right spirit, cautious but calm and determined.”