Yesterday afternoon, Raffaello Napoleone, the CEO of Florence-based fashion fair Pitti Immagine, hosted a lunch at Il Cantinori—the much-loved Italian restaurant in New York’s Greenwich Village. The purpose was to discuss the upcoming Pitti Uomo (June 18 to 21), Pitti W (June 18 to 21), and Pitti Bimbo (June 27 to 29). And while the fettuccine and branzino may have been old-school, Napoleone’s plans for this season’s fairs felt forward-thinking. Napoleone told Style.com that, in general, fashion fairs are not often, well, fashionable. Pitti aims to be the exception to this rule. “We try to do as much research as we can, because the Italian and international buyers need to see something new season after season. We have to offer them something that they cannot find easily on the map,” he explained.
Addressing the press and buyers in attendance, Napoleone highlighted Pitti Uomo’s and Pitti W’s guest designers—Japanese menswear label Kolor and Paris-based womenswear label Damir Doma—who will show on the evenings of June 20 and June 19, respectively. A focus has been placed on new designers from emerging markets, with six young talents from Korea and seven from Pitti Uomo’s guest nation, Turkey, slotted to present their latest wares. And Pitti’s Italics platform will lend its support to up-and-coming brands MSGM by Massimo Giorgetti, Aquazzura by Edgardo Osorio, and Stella Jean.
Other highlights include the debut of Tom Dixon’s project with Adidas; a new premium collection from G-Star Raw; an automobile collaboration between Italdesign Giugiaro, Cerruti, and the Woolmark company; and a fashion show for Andrea Pompilio’s collaborative range with Japanese sportswear label Onitsuka Tiger.
Napoleone conceded that Europe’s economic troubles have taken a toll. “More companies are suffering, and some of them decided not to exhibit,” he said, noting that about forty labels dropped out this season. But with about 1,010 participating brands, 370 of which are from outside Italy, visiting buyers and press will still have more than enough on their plates.