Jan 14, 2013
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Pitti Uomo finishes on an optimistic note thanks to international buyers

Jan 14, 2013

Pitti Uomo ended on a good note this past Friday despite facing direct competition from London Collections: Men, which took place at the same time and overshadowed the first two days of the Florence tradeshow. It total, the show welcomed 30,000 visitors (20,600 were buyers) against 21,000 visitors the year before.

The 83rd edition of Pitti Uomo welcomed almost 30,000 visitors.

“The 83rd edition of the show ends on a positive note with more international buyers present than ever before. We are 5% up on what was predicted, which translates to an additional 350-400 foreign buyers this time around,” said CEO of Pitti Uomo, Raffaello Napoleone.

Japanese presence at the show was up 14%, while there were 34% more Chinese buyers this year. Taking the top spot were Russian buyers, who were 40% more numerous this time around. American, Turkish and South Korean turn out was on the up, with 12%, 13.5% and 11% increases respectively. There were only 2% more English buyers this time around, but other notable countries that were present include Hong Kong, Taiwain, Mexico, Brazil as well as several Middle-Eastern and Asia countries. “There were more buyers from bigger, important markets present this edition, with many from Japan, Russia, America and Germany. We also saw more Chinese buyers at the show. They come to Pitti to look for new business opportunities,” added Raffaello Napoleone.

Nearly 7,800 foreign buyers came to Florence between the 8 and 11 January to place their orders for the Autumn-Winter 2013/2014 men’s collections, up from 7,400 last year. Despite the increase of foreign buyers, the Italian’s themselves were less enthusiastic about the show, with the number of domestic buyers down by 6% to 12,800 from 13,600. “Shops in Italy are continuing to close meaning less and less buyers are coming to the show,” commented Napoleone.

“Italian buyers are busy at the moment with the sales that are taking place, but despite that we have had more buyers than expected visit the show,” said Antonella Ricevuti from the knitwear brand Annupurna. “We have had some great Italian buyers this edition. However, we have noticed a certain level of caution on the buyer’s part – they seem to be opting for ‘safe’ products and well-known brands,” a manager from a popular shoe brand added.

Pitti Uomo saw a 5% increase in the number of foreign buyers present.

“This edition of Pitti just goes to confirm the current economic situation of the country in terms of the clothing industry: the Italian market is still struggling but interest in menswear is on the up, as are exports,” said Raffaello Napoleone.

According to initial forecasts in a study by SMI, revenue from men’s fashion in Italy should rise to 8.6 billion euros in 2012, meaning a 1.9% increase in growth (which is down from 4.2% for 2011). Italian exports have increased 2.4% to 4.8 billion euros this year, though the figure last year was at 10.9%.

As for the fashion itself, Pitti Uomo has seen a strong presence of heritage and camouflage trends. The next edition of the show is scheduled for 18-21 June 2013, which will be followed by the winter edition between the 7 and 10 January 2014. “Pitti Uomo sets the tone for the other European tradeshows that follow, even if they have a different nature. We’re feeling optimistic for the season,” concluded Napoleone.

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