Pitti Uomo showers beauty and bucks on Florence

International fashion event essential to city

Editorial Staff
January 12, 2006

What would otherwise be the slowest time of year for tourism in Florence, January is instead precisely when many travellers choose to visit. The reason: Pitti Uomo.


Anyone and everyone involved in the fashion world already knows that Florence is host to the premiere fashion event that inaugurates the European and international winter fair season. This year is no exception as Pitti Immagine Uomo celebrates its 69th fashion fest in its usual style.


Pitti Uomo is one of the most important men’s fashion fairs that exists. Twice a year the huge exposition area is installed at the Fortezza da Basso, with the top names in fashion displaying their latest creations. The list includes names like Acqua di Parma, Alain Mikli, Anthony Peto, Bil’s, Bishu Bou, C.C.C, Faliero Sarti, Hardcore Session, Jauge Sept., Misa Harada, Momaboma, Moschino, R.E.D. Valentino Uomo, Rosasen, Seiji Kuroki Paris, Thirtyfive, Token, Tretorn, Valsport, Z Zegna. There are also participants who will be making their debut at this edition of Pitti Immagine like Alexander McQueen Puma (worldwide exclusive premiere), ck Calvin Klein and Luna Rossa.


A special section titled ‘New Beats’ is devoted entirely to new, up-and-coming talents like 1 Like No Other Limited Edition, Ai Lov Iu, Chris & Tibor, Designers Against Aids, Enthomology, Joy4Toy, Kill Your Heroes, Le Voice, Manifatture dei Quarti, Oddities, Onzes, Paranoid, Rifiuto Speciale, Vintage Vantage.


Simultaneously, several other events occur throughout the city of Florence, such as the numerous activities at Stazione Leopolda including art installations and presentations of artists connected to the fashion industry and pop culture in general. This year Leopolda will host the installation ‘Welcome to My House’, an exhibition dedicated to urban lifestyles and their impact on fashion and culture. Complete with skatepark, photo exhibits, and area reserved for break-dancing,  Also, at Leopolda’s numerous musical guests every evening during Pitti’s run. 


Across town, evenings dedicated to more classical fashion are taking place at the Harold Acton Library of the British Institute. 


The city of Florence always gets involved in Pitti sponsoring their own activities during the event. This year the city has organised the exhibition of top American film director Spike Lee’s latest photographic show titled “Notes of Freedom”, which depicts youth in New Orleans recovering from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina through music at Centro Produzione Arte.


And even the city’s art treasures get a boost during Pitti Uomo. The restoration of an ancient marble statute (‘Il Pentimento’, sculpted in 1629 by Bartolomeo Rossi) from the Boboli Garden has been financed by the men’s fashion consortium and presented at the opening of the show in the Fortezza da Basso.


The hundreds of exhibitors displaying their latest creations, attract over 20,000 buyers each year, as well as turning Florence into the top destination for some of the most important figures in the fashion world, thus making the event a fundamental part of Florence’s economy, and giving it considerable weight on the city administration’s decision making.


Evidence of how important the city considers this event became apparent when the city requested that the Florence airport, which is set to close for construction works in February (see Airport Closes, pg. 4), remain open for another Pitti event that is set to take place during the first week of February.


Pitti Uomo runs from January 11 to 14, and two other associated events will continue into February: Pitti Bimbo (January 20 to 22), dedicated to children’s fashion, and Pitti Filati (February 1 to 3), which offers a glimpse of the latest trends in textiles.


During these events, it can be expected that the city will become a traffic nightmare, and it is almost impossible to get into restaurants. In fact, bus and taxi services are greatly limited (see Briefs, pg. 4), and delays become the norm. Residents usually resign themselves to the chaos, well aware of the fact that the local economy depends on this event, and possibly because there’s also a good chance of bumping into a designer, or model, or celebrity when Pitti is in town.

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