Pitti For Kiddies-------
At Midtown’s swank A Voce this afternoon, Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine—which oversees Florence’s menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, and textiles shows—was on hand to preach the Pitti gospel to a collection of editors over tagliata and crostata. The biggest names are, at this point, well known: Raf Simons will show his latest menswear collection for Jil Sander at Pitti Uomo, while his friend, Haider Ackermann, will show a women’s pre-collection at Pitti W. (The PowerPoint presentation delivered included a lengthy quote from Ackermann that’s surely worthy of inclusion in the inscrutable show-notes hall of fame: It eludes even reproduction here, but suffice it to say it ended with “…opium.”) What’s lesser known is the new emphasis on design, as in objects, not clothes—pieces will be dispersed around the pavilion, selected by “a platoon of ‘design watchers’ ” including Roberto Valentini di Penelope, Giusi Ferré, and the inaugural winner of Pitti’s Who’s On Next accessories award, Max Kibardin. Patricia Urquiola has also designed a new top floor for the main pavilion (pictured). But the bit of industry gossip most intriguing was slipped in almost in passing. Both Fendi and Gucci are set to launch new children’s collections at the kids’ wear show, Pitti Bimbo. Canny marketing for those who can afford it: Get the customers young, and keep ‘em for life.