A theme of ‘Reflections’
Pitti Bimbo, the largest children's wear trade show in Europe, took place from January 11 to January 13 2022 in Florence, Italy. 170 brands exhibited, of which 81 were from outside Italy. It was only the second time the fair had been held 'in person' since the Pandemic hit in early 2020, so exhibitors and visitors masked-up and showed proof of vaccination to enter the Fortezza da Basso safely. The overarching theme was 'Reflections.'
The fair divided exhibitors into two sections. The '100% Bambino' section showcased long-established children’s labels; while 'Kids Lab' was dedicated to avant-garde children's wear and children's lifestyle products, showcasing young, pioneering brands.
Sustainability was top of mind
A few of the attending buyers were profiled on the Pitti Bimbo website, including Shana Laub, founder of the e-commerce website, Shan and Toad. When asked her opinion on what makes Pitti Bimbo so unique she replied, "What makes it unique is the mix of premium brands along-side smaller, emerging designers. That is what makes it the most relevant and important trade fair for buyers like me". Laub was also asked to describe some trends dominating children's wear, to which she answered, "One tried and true trend that has been relevant for a while and doesn’t seem to be going away, are graphic motifs. Especially in kidswear, this concept makes the products fun, engaging, and amusing. Sustainability is also trending now, and rightfully so. Being that we are in the business of fashion, it seems to be contradictory, and I feel it is my duty to select brands that manufacture responsibly and ethically".
The concept of sustainability and circular production was prevalent throughout the fair. Germany's Infantium Victoria specializes in the design of high-end contemporary organic and vegan fashion for kids and was featured in the ‘Kids Lab’. The brand showcased 'Zero-Waste Dresses' described by the brand as "all developed starting from recovered garments and using innovative cutting techniques that produce less than 1% of fabric waste; a manifesto of circular fashion".
'The Editorials' are an unmissable Pitti Bimbo staple; this time around there were two, both curated by stylist Maria Giulia Pieroni. 'Magic Box' was the title of the first Editorial: a collection of classic, never-before-seen board games, described on the Pitti Bimbo website as ‘all very fun and stylish, refreshed through new and captivating graphics.’ 'Instantly outdoor' was presented exclusively online, 'bringing together functional and fun accessories, stylish and technical, for sub-zero temperatures: in short, the best of brands with an adventurous spirit' was the website description.
Pitti Immagine Bimbo Highlights
Petra Barkhof and Enrico Fragale Esposito are, respectively, editor-in-chief and deputy editor-in-chief of the kidswear magazine, Scimparello. During the fair, Petra and Enrico reviewed the brands' collections and created instant outfits in colorful combinations. Two videos on the Pitti Bimbo website showed the results.
Nicoletta Costa is a renowned writer and illustrator of children's books and animation films. She is known for creating the characters of 'Nina & Olga', the stars of a popular Italian TV series. Costa collaborated with Illustrabimbi, which debuted for the first time at the fair, showing prints directly inspired by the adventurous duo.
Stylist and editor Maria Giulia Pieroni highlighted the importance of the collar as 'the new must-have.' Many designers and brands featured shirts, dresses and sweaters with a variety of fancy collars. Pieroni highlighted embroidered details at Aletta, retro collars at Alitsa, romantic ones at Cotton Moon, micro laced or patterned collars at Twin & Chic and college style at Ulla Lab.
The next edition of Pitti Immagine Bimbo will take place from June 22 to June 24 2022.