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Pitti postpones all September fairs until January 2021, focus now on digital platform

By Huw Hughes

5 Jun 2020

All physical Pitti fairs have been postponed until January 2021 in light of the ongoing Covid-9 pandemic.

The board of directors of Pitti Immagine - the organisation behind the events - met by video conference on Thursday to discuss options for the fairs set to go ahead in September, including Pitti Uomo, Bimbo, Filati, Fragranze, and Super.

Due to an “insufficient number of confirmations of attendance” as well as “the ongoing state of difficulty of the companies”, the organisers decided the events should be postponed and all efforts should be focused instead on the Pitti Connect digital platform which will be open to exhibitors and buyers from July.

It comes after organisers in early April announced a number of changes to Pitti's event dates, including the postponement of Pitti Uomo from June to September. At the time of the announcement, it was still slated to go ahead at its usual location, the Fortezza da Basso in Florence.

“This was a very painful yet inevitable decision dictated by the conditions of operational and economic difficulty in which the majority of the manufacturing companies and retailers - shops, department stores - find themselves and by the uncertainties that continue to persist regarding the modalities of traveling from one country to another, including quarantine restrictions, which have obviously heavily conditioned the plans of international buyers,” said Pitti Immagine president Claudio Marenzi in a statement.

All focus now on digital event Pitti Connect

Pitti Immagine CEO Raffaello Napoleone added: “We will now be putting all our resources into the Pitti Connect digital fairs for which we will be receiving decisive help from the Italian Trade Agency (Agenzia ICE). We are very confident in our ability to offer companies the real Pitti service which is capable of meeting their business, promotion and communication requirements, especially in this part of the season.”

Pitti Immagine announced Pitti Connect in May, a digital version of the physical fairs allowing fashion professionals to connect and carry out scouting activities, contact exhibitors, plan meetings and view collections through video chats or virtual showrooms.

It will launch at the beginning of July and will run until the end of September.

Many other fashion organisations have announced the digitalisation of traditionally physical events in recent months in a bid to keep business running as usual during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The upcoming editions of Paris Haute Couture Week , Paris Men's Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week will all be digital, while Shanghai Fashion Week and denim trade fair Kingpins Have already debuted their digital events.

Photo credit: Alexandre Vauthier-Haute Couture

Photo credit: Main photo courtesy of Pitti Immagine Uomo