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Positive response to Pitti Immagine digital events

Janet Prescott

Pitti Immagine was the first major fashion and fabric fair organizer to go completely digital for its vedette shows.

20th October 2020

Janet Prescott
 |  Florence, Italy


An amazing thing happened over the months of July to October which will have ramifications over the whole fashion trade in the seasons to come. Pitti Immagine Florence was the first major fashion trade fair organization to go completely digital for its vedette shows which between them attract tens of thousands of overseas visitors each session.

Giving up the idea that a physical show could be held in June, July or even September due to the unpredictable threat of COVID-19 beginning to ravage the timetables and expectations of word trade, Pitti Immagine  decided to exploit the pioneering work they had developed and invested in over more than 10 years in the digital world having  already brought e-Pitti into existence and established e-commerce as a viable tool.

Bringing the shows together

Pitti Connect was the overarching platform for accessing the information about its various shows Pitti Uomo, Pitti Bimbo and Pitti FIlati. Billed as the platform to expand and integrate the experience of the Pitti Immagine fairs, to present a selling environment, they interpreted digitally the excitement, new ideas and variety associated with them.  

Warm colours for AW 21/22 from Cariaggi simple comfort and cosy surfaces. © Pitti Filati.

Using frequent focus on individual brands, designers and events, discussions were billed over a three-month period, with titbits of fashion and short bios on Instagram. Pitti Connect held the key to accessing the various areas of the exhibitions with the billboard of events, catalogues and fashion details over the months the links were active.

Sustainability remains the focus for most companies, acknowledging the importance of establishing strict and clear principles at the first stage of the supply chain

Pitti Uomo showed Video footage of interviews with individual designers, first was Christopher Raeburn discussing sustainability. Buyers revealed their fashion focus and chose designs. These served as a reference point during and after the event. The exhibitions individually acquired a longevity which would be hard to equal in reality. In September the Dolce & Gabanna show was live streamed to millions and served as a huge tribute to 500 years of Florence, the Fleur de Lys of the Medicis and the opulence of the Renaissance, and skills of artisans, dramatically translated to 2020, in the magnificent settings of the Palazzo Vecchio.

The attraction of tradition and excellence of materials: Trad seafarers’ looks in performance wool, Gente Di Mare. © Pitti Filati.

Three months from 19 July up to the end of October is a long time, and with   Pitti Uomo SS 2021, Pitti Bimbo and Pitti Filati AW 2021/22 accessible on the same platform, there was an unaccustomed sense of cohesion between the seasons and aspects of fashion and yarns, menswear, childrenswear etc. This touched a relevant contemporary aspect of fashion, as style and gender barriers and timelines become less important.

Pitti Filati - familiar aspects

Pitti Filati retained familiar aspects like Fashion at Work where decoration and accessories are sourced and discussed, some trends inspired by new ways of working, as the home-working zoom generation looks for brighter colours and designs. Yarn designs at Pitti Filati responded, with more slubs, embedded metallics, Lurex and embellishments as designers talked of a new luxury without flamboyance.

Ray of Light, the title of the traditional sparky Research Area at Filati by Angelo Figus, presenting light, warmth, optimism and positives in the darkest time of the year, citing the Benedictines’ influence with an optimistic reverence.   Colour charts reflected warm tones, sombre rich darks and natural hues.

Tollegno 1900. © Pitti Filati.

Feel the Yarn 2020 the contest to find new talents in the knitwear field, putting them in contact and working with Italian spinning mills has become a prime event of Pitti Filati – It chose Facebook as its channel for dissemination.  Social voting was included, with three winners. among 22 international fashion schools the 34 participating international students were teamed with 34 Italian companies which supplied the yarns to manufacture the outfit. Winners were  Sara Zanetti, from Polimoda in Florence, Sara Kickmayer from Institut Français de la Mode in Paris, and Maddalena Gentile who won a scholarship for a Master’s in Creative Knitwear Design at Accademia di Costume e Moda, in Rome.

ECAFIL. © Pitti Filati.

Main emerging trends for 2021/22 from PItti Filati

Sustainability remains the focus for most companies, acknowledging the importance of establishing strict and clear principles at the first stage of the supply chain.  Luxury fibres like cashmere, silk, Merino, alpaca, and special wool yarns like Shetland, Escorial, and less well- known British breeds, were sometimes teamed with synthetics, the latter usually recycled. Latest yarns are constructed with natural mixes; cashmere and extra fine Merino wool; linen and wool, with a distinct move to thicker wools, bouclé and mélange effects for winter.

 Peru Alpaca. © Pitti Filati.

Colour: Yarns in solid or mélange colours become linear, and stitches can be intersected by clear flashes of polyester that create reflections of light / shadows on the surfaces. Many dark tones of the colour range are lit up by the inclusion in the structure of filaments in synthetic glossy fibres.

Yarns with optical and subtle effects in grisaille made with mixed blends that combine warm fibres with cooler ones, like noble linen. Blends give a semi-dry hand to the knit. 

Stitches are micro-constructions in honeycomb, moss stitch, stripes, checks, and jacquard, taking their inspiration from the religious symbols of international faiths and stitches can be made with a geometric-architectural theme.

The verdict

Pitti Connect was judged a viable and valuable tool for participating companies to reveal their individual collections and set up communication and business with visitors to their pages. They included a wide range of fashion companies at Pitti Uomo and mills, fibre producers, designers and researchers.

KnitClub. Technical and creative excellence at home. Quality knitwear factories are the protagonists. © Pitti Filati.

The Woolmark Company with innovative performance developments at the Wool Lab, machinery companies with tech developments - Shima Seiki announced a new platform YARNBANK, a web service for searching and viewing yarns from around the world. Yarn data can be downloaded and used for creating virtual samples and specialist fibre producers.

In the main, movers and shakers of the industry praised the results, including Cariaggi, Biella fine yarns, Botto Giuseppe, Ecafil, Lanificio dell’ Olivo, Filitaly, Marchi & Fildi, Michell, Ilaria, Shepley Yarns, to name but a few.

The general consensus among exhibitors was positive, welcoming the contact made, many praising new contacts, but at the same time missing face to face encounters. Overall the considered view was that this was just the start of a new way of operating.

Pitti Immagine Website

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