Raffaello Napoleone says Pitti Bimbo show is increasingly international
FashionNetwork.com: What are the novelties in this 85th edition of Pitti Bimbo?
Raffaello Napoleone: What needs to be underlined above all is the fact that the show is increasingly international. As much as 60% of our exhibitors come from outside Italy. Giving the show an international dimension has been our strategic aim for several years. We are convinced that nowadays, in order to better service all markets, from Europe to the Middle East to the USA, it is essential to have an international presence. And our exhibitors come from 60 countries.
FNW: How do you set about attracting them?
RN: We travel the world, we keep our eyes peeled, but we are also highly sought after, being one of the industry's benchmark shows. This is why we have a technical committee which checks on the collections' compliance. Also, thanks to the Italian Ministry for Economic Development, Pitti benefits from a three-year funding plan, through which we are able to invite forty new international buyers for each [Pitti Bimbo] session, and 110 buyers for each Pitti Uomo session. The funding's purpose is to expand Pitti Bimbo's international attendance.
FNW: As you often talk about your international presence, have you ever wished to replicate your shows outside Italy?
RN: It's a good question, yet for us there is a good reason for not doing so. The atmosphere we are able to create here in Florence, at the Fortezza da Basso venue, is absolutely unique, it truly adds value [to the event]. Also, it's not as though there are thousands of international childrenswear buyers, and all of them do come to the show.
FNW: How is the childrenswear market doing, and more specifically the Italian market?
RN: The children's fashion market is quite small, some labels sometimes disappear and others pop up, it's a small industry, with many artisanal enterprises. The business it generates in Italy has dwindled: in 2016 it was worth €2.7 billion, while menswear generated nearly €10 billion and womenswear €13 billion. On the other hand, menswear is currently increasing its market share, this is why we are investing more on Pitti Uomo.
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