Pitti Uomo 105 gets off to a moderately optimistic start with a focus on made in Italy

Pitti Uomo 105 gets off to a moderately optimistic start with a focus on made in Italy

The 105th Pitti Uomo kicked off on Tuesday under sunny blue skies, with a good turnout from the outset, although fewer visitors than usual on this first day. With 832 exhibitors, 46% of them from abroad, the benchmark men’s fashion show, held in Florence’s Basso Fortress until January 12, is hoping to send a positive signal to the market at the start of the autumn/winter 2024/25 season, as well as to Italian companies. The Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, opened the event.

Adolfo Ursoà opens Pitti Uomo 105 – ph DM

In particular, the minister highlighted the Italian government’s plan to promote creativity, traditional craftsmanship and local manufacturing by celebrating Made in Italy in all its forms. Among the key announcements was the creation of a Made in Italy high school, which will welcome its first students at the start of the 2024 academic year “to train young people in professions typical of the creative culture and production in the strategic sectors of Italian manufacturing.” The programme also includes the introduction of a “made in Italy day” on April 15.

Other measures include tax breaks for Italian companies that decide to relocate their production to Italy, and the possibility for the government to take under its wing, after five years, historic “made in Italy” brands bought up by foreign groups that no longer produce in the country. In addition, Adolfo Urso announced the allocation of €13 billion by 2024 to help businesses accelerate their digital and ecological transition. “I believe that at Pitti Uomo, we can turn the spotlight on the excellence of the Italian system. I’m asking companies to help me make 2024 the year of production,” he said, addressing the show’s exhibitors.

During the opening ceremony, Antonio De Matteis, president of Pitti Immagine, the company that manages the Florentine shows, expressed his enthusiasm, welcoming “the return of major brands to the show”. “For many, 2023 was a record year and 2024 will be just as positive. This year’s Pitti Uomo will certainly be exceptional,” he said.

“Looking for new outlets”

“After two very good years in 2022 and 2023, we are seeing a slowdown in foreign trade. Our companies need to look for new outlets, new markets and new niches,” warns Matteo Zoppas, President of ICE, the Italian agency responsible for the internationalisation of Made in Italy companies. By 2022, the textile, clothing and accessories industry will have achieved sales of €110 billion, of which €80 billion will be generated internationally, an increase of almost 18% over 2021. Growth is expected to be around 3% for 2023.

“Admittedly, Italy has been more successful in containing inflation than other countries, which gives it a competitive advantage. Freight transport prices are falling, and the country has been able to rely on a highly resilient industrial system,” he continues.

“But small businesses remain under pressure and often find themselves on their own. Especially as the rhythms have changed completely, preventing them from building a career around the traditional seasons”, points out Sergio Tamborini, President of Sistema Moda Italia (SMI), the employers’ confederation that brings together all the textile and clothing companies in Italy. However, Tamborini cautions that the prevailing optimism should be tempered by the fact that “as we enter 2024, the market is looking a little more complex.”

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