MILAN — As Pitti Uomo gearing up for its 103rd edition from January 10-13 with more exhibitors, square footage and likely more attendees, the Italian menswear sector is on a slow but steady growth trajectory.
According to preliminary data provided by Confindustria Moda, in the first seven months of 2022 the sector generated 4.1 billion euros in exports, an increase of 6% compared to the same period in 2021.
The United States largely contributed to this positive performance, as exports to the country soared 46.7% to 390 million euros, while China reduced its imports of Italian men’s fashion items by 12.6% in the seven months to July 31.
Claudio Marenzi, President of Pitti Immagine, noted optimistically that “there are clouds ahead of us, but our industry goes on.” He cited continued supply chain hiccups, rising energy costs and geopolitical instability that are undermining consumer confidence.
The latter, echoed by Raffaello Napoleone, managing director of Pitti Imagine, is pushing fashion companies to review their last-minute plans, weighing on the supply chain.
The same rushed attitude is reflected in attendance confirmations, although Napoleone said the men’s show already had 759 confirmed brands, 40% of which are from abroad, compared to 680 participating companies last June.
This will allow the tradeshow operator to extend its surface to the Fortezza da Basso, reopening areas that had remained unexploited in the most recent editions. In addition, the Florence site should undergo renovations which should begin between 2023 and 2024.
“It’s going to be a vigorous edition,” suggested Napoleone. “There is no other European tradeshow touting our curation and known to wholesalers around the world as a point of reference for their buying appointments,” he added.
They include the Super Styling search space hosting 180 brands and an enriched S|Style section dedicated to sustainable brands; a stronger international footprint in the Futuro Maschile area and the return of the I Go Out section dedicated to outerwear companies, with a focus on performance and sportswear.
As well as continuing to spotlight Northern European brands through the display of the Scandinavian Manifesto, Pitti Uomo will focus on Japan this season, installing the J Quality Factory Brand Project, a showcase of the country’s J-approved manufacturers. Quality under design direction. by Yaya Nakata of Postelegant and the Japan Leather Project, and an exhibition of six accessory brands selected by Jila, or Japan Leather and Leather Goods Association.
Other brands mounting displays in Florence include Pierre-Louis Mascia, who is celebrating his 15-year partnership with manufacturer Achille Pinto with an installation and event on January 11 at the Palazzo Antinori.
A newcomer to the show, British artist and designer Luke Edward Hall will mount a dedicated installation inside the Sala delle Nazioni for his fashion brand Chateau Orlando, introduced in 2021 in partnership with Milan-based strategic consultancy Wemanage.
Aware of changing trends and business opportunities, Pitti Uomo presents two new sections for the first time. Called The Sign and Pittipets, they are dedicated to design objects and clothing for pets respectively.