Another occasion has been cancelled for Florence’s upcoming Pitti Uomo trade show: the presentation of the event’s special guest, Ann Demeulemeester. The announcement was made late yesterday afternoon by the organisers of Pitti Immagine who, two days ago, reiterated their desire to go ahead with the fair despite the growth of covid-19 transmissions, the consequent retraction of some brands, such as Brunello Cucinelli, and the cancellation of the events and shows of several labels, like Giorgio Armani’s haute couture and menswear shows. The presentation of Valentino’s Vintage project, initially scheduled for 13 to 20 January in Milan, was also postponed to April.
Yesterday evening, the Italian government issued more measures aimed at containing the pandemic and the record number of infections recorded in recent days. Yesterday, 5 January, 51,587 new daily cases of coronavirus were recorded in Italy’s Lombardy region, from 214,700 swabs carried out, a new record number of cases since the start of the pandemic.
“Pitti Immagine is preparing to open the 101st edition of Pitti Uomo, with 600 new men’s fashion collections to be presented at the Fortezza da Basso,” read a note from Pitti Immagine. “But the current evolution of contagions and the consequent containment measures adopted by the Italian government and other countries in some cases make it impossible to hold a single event in its proper form, with its necessary characteristics. And this is, unfortunately, the case for the special event dedicated to Ann Demeulemeester’s new course.”
Lapo Cianchi: "We have decided to postpone the event of this Pitti Uomo edition to June 2022.”
“The project we wanted, together with Claudio Antonioli and Ann Demeulemeester herself, all united by great enthusiasm, was a celebration of fashion, music, entertainment and sociability, where people and their interactions were an integral part of the show,” the fair’s director of communication, special events and international relations, Lapo Cianchi said, in a statement.
He continued: “Over the last few weeks we have been trying to adapt the project to the changing environmental conditions, ensuring maximum safety for all the people involved in the production, but gradually the project became empty and it was no longer possible to maintain the original spirit. The celebration of Ann’s long and prestigious career and the farewell to the new promising course deserve the best possible conditions: this is why, reluctantly, we have decided to postpone the event to the next edition of Pitti Uomo, in June 2022.”
The effects of the pandemic
In June 2021, the Florentine event recorded six thousand visitors, including over 4,000 buyers, with an overall percentage of foreign buyers of just under 30 percent. Its June 2019 event, in comparison, welcomed 30 thousand visitors and 18,500 buyers. It should be specified that the figures are not homogeneous as the 100th edition of the men’s fair in June 2021 was staged together with Pitti Bimbo.
The Florentine fairs also have the digital edition: Pitti Connect, a digital platform for networking and a marketplace to generate business opportunities and integrate the physical fairs. The initiative allows exhibitors at the fairs to increase their visibility, activate business contacts and be supported in receiving orders.This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.IT. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.