Pitti Uomo explores Unisex trend with Open
It’s not easy to change a trade show’s layout without disorienting visitors. Over the seasons, Pitti Uomo has gradually managed to capture the zeitgeist, subtly reorganizing itself.
Having successfully introduced two new spaces in January, Born in the USA, focused on American brands, and Unconventional, devoted to some unusual niche brands, at its last edition in June the major Florentine menswear show put together a new section called Open, devoted to brands offering products that are for both men and women.
In total, some 23 brands presented their collections in the space at the Sale della Ronda, located between the Futuro Maschile section, which has doubled in size, and the central pavilion. "Open" was designed by the agency Storage Associati, and featured very light golden shelves lining the walls.
The space presented certain labels that were previously present during Pitti W, the micro show devoted to women's pre-collections, which closed this season due to low attendance, while the Arena Strozzi, the pavilion that it occupied, was handed over to the section "Touch", which has grown in space and visibility.
"It's very, very beautiful. The furniture is beautiful. It’s very airy, it breathes well," said Thibault Taniou, who owns the store In the Middle in Biarritz, and who was present at the show. "We came here to see new trends and new products. We have generally avoided more recognized brands, and the new section is very interesting," said Santino Cardone, who owns the store I Modaioli in Rome.
Other brands with single unisex products were also present, having come to Pitti Uomo for the first time, or from other sections such as Marcy House, which is specialized in high-end pajamas and which was previously located in the "I Make" craft accessories section. "Open is fantastic! Before, I was a bit lost in the midst of a crowd of brands in the basement of the central pavilion. Here, I have had a beautiful world. It’s an energetic space and it fits my product perfectly," said founder Marcy Szwarcburt.
The unisex eyewear brand Kyme, which was formerly located at Pitti W, is equally enthusiastic. "Here, it’s much better for us. There’s much more crossover than at Pitti W, and it’s especially retail stores for men that we didn’t ever see before,” explained the exhibitors.
The owners of the knitwear brand "in bed with you" don’t share the same opinion. "We felt a lot better at Pitti W. We had much more space to present our collection and more visitors."
"We put together the section in two months! We are very satisfied with the result and above all with the score of brands that have followed us in this new approach. It’s clear, however, that the space must grow and improve. Trade shows are malleable and constantly changing," said the trade show’s CEO, Raffaello Napoleone.
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