Pitti Bimbo show starts in Florence as Italian childrenswear industry publishes positive 2018 results
As was the case for the Pitti Uomo menswear show earlier this month, Pitti Bimbo, the childrenswear event staged by Pitti Imagine from June 20 to 22 in Florence, is off to a promising start. According to a report by Confindustria Moda for SMI, the Italian fashion and textile industry's employers association, sales for the Italian childrenswear industry increased by 4.2% in 2018, generating a total revenue that was just shy of €3 billion.
Once again, the industry’s performance was especially positive in terms of exports, which grew by 8.5% and accounted for 40.1% of total revenue, 6 percentage points more than in 2013. The Italian domestic market, after three years of stability, recorded instead a 1.9% downturn - a more modest decline than the 3.2% shortfall of the textile-apparel sector as a whole.
Baby apparel exports alone grew 24.3%, chiefly thanks to the entry on the market of some leading fashion labels. The UK was the main export market for Italian childrenswear, with a 16.4% share of the total, followed by Spain (12% of the total), Germany (11.2%) and France (9.3%). Switzerland, a consumer market and also a commercial-logistics hub, improved by 13.2%, while Greece (-10%), Portugal (-2.4%) and Russia all lost ground, the latter especially, posting a remarkable 23.6% downturn.
In terms of distribution channels, retail chains confirmed their position as the leading consumer sales outlet for Italian childrenswear, accounting for 49.4% of total sales, despite a 3.8% decrease. Mass market distribution chains enjoyed a better year, growing 3.2%, and so did outlet stores, whose sales were up 35.2%, while independent retailers and e-commerce both declined, respectively by 5.5% and 5.3%.
Given this economic context, the 89th edition of Pitti Bimbo starting on Thursday is a significant test of the market's health and its current trends. The show’s Fortezza da Basso venue will host 603 exhibitors, of which 399 coming from outside Italy (62%) and 150 being either come-backs or new entries. Nearly 10,000 visitors are expected, with over 5,300 buyers from 60 countries, the most represented being Russia, Spain, Germany, the UK, China, Belgium, the Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine and France.
One of the main novelties of this edition is the section called The Kid’s Lab!. Located on the top floor of the venue’s central pavilion, it showcases different facets of childrenswear innovation in five distinct sections: KidzFizzfor experimental fashion; #Activelab for urban athleisure; the incubator section The Nest with its emerging brands; EcoEthic, dedicated to sustainable products; and the Mini Me capsule collections in the Kid's Evolution section.
Among the show’s most prestigious new entries, the Emporio Armani Junior S/S 2020 collection, which will be presented with a special installation in the Sala della Scherma, as well as Araia Kids, G-Star Raw, Jacob Cohen Junior, Lotto, Pinko and Tia Cibani KiDS. Other leading fashion names exhibiting at Pitti Bimbo 89 include Dolce & Gabbana Kids, the CWF group with the Little Marc Jacobs, Boss, Karl Lagerfeld and Billieblush labels, C.P. Company Undersixteen, Herno Kids, Miss Blumarine, Monnalisa, Petit Bateau, Philosophy by Lorenzo Serafini, Manila Grace, North Sails and Sundek.
Pitti Bimbo 89 will place special emphasis on children's fashion from Andalusia (with Calatea Kids, Abuela Tata, Beatriz Montenero, Mimosines, Nekena and Babine) and Georgia (Antsi, Giraffe Kids, Eshvinkids and Spillow). The Fortezza da Basso will host several catwalk shows, including one by the Children's Fashion From Spain collective, one for the labels run by Kids.Moadportugal (Cherry Papaya, Knot, Laranjinha, Patachou, Phi Clothing, Piccola Speranza and Play Up), in addition to the Pitti Immagine showcase featuring selected collections from the Apartment section.
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