If an entire trade fair had to be defined by one event only, the catalyst for Pitti Uomo 104 would have to be the spaceship of lights and scaffolding that landed up at piazzale Michelangelo several weeks ago. We’re talking about luxury retailer Luisaviaroma’s fashion show “X British Vogue Runway Icons”, which—weather permitting—is due to take place on Wednesday, June 14, bringing 2,000 stellar guests to the show square. On the one hand, the metal web is blocking the view, but it’s also capturing the imagination of onlookers from the riverside: we are turning our heads to glimpse the lights and react to the sounds on the hilltop.
The Luisaviaroma show is by no means the only event. Fashion professionals have been invited out to FENDI’s new centre of excellence, FENDI Factory, in Bagno a Ripoli for a late afternoon runway on Thursday, June 15. Rinascente employees will gather in the Purple Gallery, which has been installed in piazza della Repubblica, for Florentine DJ sets on Wednesday, June 14, following a gala dinner held in the Palazzo Vecchio’s Salone dei Cinquecento for the department store’s top customers and favourite fashionistas the night before. Casual lifestyle brand Juicy Couture presented their SS 2024 collection in a hotel courtyard on Monday; on Tuesday, Tuscan menswear company Gianni Lupo showed their lineup on the banks of the Arno at Florence’s historic rowing club I Canottieri, while the UK Fashion and Textile Association gathered at Grand Hotel Baglioni’s B-Roof and artist Andrea Bianconi displayed his hat design in collaboration with Doria 1905 at the Cassetti jewellery store on the Ponte Vecchio. Plus, longstanding Tuscan leatherwear firm Il Bisonte presents its new lines in the Orti Dipinti community garden, which the company has sponsored for the last 12 months. Wednesday’s line-up includes a preview of the interactive Gucci Visions show at Gucci Garden in piazza della Signoria, which celebrates the Florentine fashion brand’s achievements down the years, and Steve Madden shows off sparkly and neon shoes at the via delle Vigne Nuove store, while sustainable leather brand Cuoio di Toscana is throwing a party up on the third floor at Palazzo Strozzi.
For all the fashion on the streets, it’s business as usual at the Fortezza da Basso, where sustainability and ingenuity go hand in hand. Good deeds are seen by the likes of Neapolitan tailors Calabrese 1924, which is doing a scarf and pocket square collaboration with US non-profit Humane Society International.
“Florence during Pitti is chic and extravagant, colorful and different,” comments CEO of The Florentine, Marco Badiani, whose core business is the fashion industry. “There’s energy and anything seems possible. DJs pop up in places that wouldn’t be doable at any other time of the year. It’s when Florence comes out to party, almost without rules, but just a thirst to celebrate fashion. It’s incredible how producers can be so prolific and creative every six months.”