Pitti to host LVMH Prize finalists this summer; amid first signs of momentum
Pitti, the giant Florentine menswear salon, will host this year’s LVMH Prize finalists with a major installation in this summer’s reschedule edition, amid fresh signs of momentum at the giant trade show.
Due to the pandemic, the next Pitti – its 100th anniversary salon – will take place a month later than usual - from June 30 to July 2. While significantly reduced in size, the next Pitti can boast several fashion-forward and happening designer events – from the likes of Thebe Magugu and Rolf Ekroth – dynamic live fashion shoots and the opening of the previously off-limits Gucci archives.
“It should be very interesting collaborating with LVMH and its young designer award. What we wanted was to add value to the prize, and give a platform to these talented creators,” explained Pitti CEO Raffaello Napoleone in a Zoom from Florence.
The salon plans to stage a significant installation of looks by all of the finalists inside the Renaissance-era Sala Ottagonale of the Fortezza da Basso – an ancient fortress where most of Pitti is staged. The location will also present a film on the nine finalists made expressly for the occasion. Though this year’s winner won’t be announced until September in Paris.
The salon will also develop a Pitti Walk, a live shoot of a fashion stroll over three days, with creations by the finalists seen throughout the city. The nine are Bianca Saunders, Charles de Vilmorin, Christopher John Rogers, Conner Ives, Colm Dillane, Kika Vargas, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Nensi Dojaka and Rui Zhou.
“Pitti Walk will be a live shooting of two or three guests and models in town – a promenade en ville. Showing fashion in relation to the town,” added Napoleone.
Another LVMH finalist, and former winner, Thebe Magugu of South Africa, is planning his own installation, while the Finnish-Swedish designer Rolf Ekroth will livestream from Pitti a collection influenced by Finnish Midsummer traditions and magic.
There will also be a special “live” shooting of top-shelf brands like Caruso, Kiton and Stefano Ricci – by six young Italian photographers. And a Sustainable section where 15 brands will show off their latest work.
All told, Napoleone expects about 400 brands, 345 of them in the fortress, the rest online with Pitti Connect, to participate. The city will also stage Pitti Bimbo for children at same time.
“We want to use the fortress to the max, so as to prevent people having to wander between buildings, and thus reduce the risk of infections,” stressed the Pitti CEO, noting that Italian authorities only gave green light to the salon in an April 24 government decree.
Pitti expects about 8,000 visitors - and is getting more responses each day, especially as deaths from Covid-19 have been falling steadily in Italy of late.
Among other innovations there is Pitti Studio – a service for photo, video and storytelling to helps brands communicate visually on social media; and the presentation of the latest book from fashion guru Linda Loppa, the New Fashion Container. While Gucci plans to open its restored archive across the river Arno, on Via delle Caldaie.
“There won’t be a fete but this is an important celebration. There is still not much tourism really in Italy. But things are finally moving, which is a sign of renewed energy,” concluded Napoleone.
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