There was no debating that the men (and some women) were looking sharp at the 69th annual Pitti Immagine international fashion fair.
However, a slight decline in visitors left various sector experts worried that the fair’s seven year run of extraordinary growth may have ended with the first of the 2006 events.
Pitti Immagine Uomo is held every January in Florence and is responsible for opening and setting the trends in men’s fashion worldwide for the rest of the year.
This year, the fair hosted over 643 stands that were displaying hundreds of different brand names. The total number of visitors over the four days reached 27,522, out of which 17,909 were Italian and 9,613 were foreigners. The total last year was just slightly higher with 27,935 visitors, which may not seem like such a big difference at first glance, but may be significant considering that until this year, the fair had been experiencing a period of exponential growth. Any fluctuation in the opposite direction sparks fears of the end of a golden period for Florence, and for Italian fashion in general.
On a more positive note, several foreign buying markets had an increased presence at the fair this year. More Japanese and Scandinavian buyers attended the event, and Korean buyers, in particular, increased by an impressive 14%.
Regardless of the number of visitors, the stars were still out in full force. Many top sport’s names like Valentino Rossi and Luca Toni donned fashionable outfits for different designers, and one football player, ex-fiorentina favourite, Gabriel Battistuta, even presented his own new fashion line.
Aside from the various crises, what’s the new trend in men’s fashion for 2006? Cashmere.