102nd edition Pitti Uomo, 13-16 June 2023 (Italy)

The founder of  Pitti Uomo is Giovanni Battista Giorgini. An aristocratic Italian from an antiquated Lucca family, Giorgini is a vital figure in the development of the Italian alta moda industry. The first to perceive the global opportunity represented by Italian craftsmanship, Giorgini invited key buyers and influencers from the United States to attend what he billed as the first ‘High Italian Fashion Show’ in 1951. These early womenswear shows staged in the Sala Bianca in Palazzo Pitti, Florence marked the birth of “Made in Italy” as an internationally recognized stamp of success and placed Florence on the map as a destination for style.

Over the past 50 years, Pitti Uomo has become the beating pulse of fashion in the city. Dubbed the «menswear mecca», the biannual event is the largest menswear trade show of its kind. Every January and June, 30,000 members of the international menswear industry – buyers, exhibitors, journalists, and spectators – descend upon Firenze for four days of sartorial excellence. Their biannual presence marks the beginning of the new season and is pivotal for launching new projects in men’s fashion and determining future trends.

In 1972 the first edition of Pitti Uomo took place, showcasing Italian tailoring and style to the foreign markets. It was an immediate success, although on a greatly reduced scale to that of today.

Claudio Marenzi, president of Sistema Moda Italia (The Italian Textile and Fashion Federation), says:

«In the Seventies, it was much more formal inside the fair, very much divided between the two moments – the day and the night. In the day the buyers placed orders, numbers, quantities – they were very concentrated – and then, in the evening, we really enjoyed ourselves. I was 17, still at school, and to see all the buyers from all over the world, it was magical. Pitti is something that excites me even now».

During the Seventies, Pitti Uomo became the hotbed for a number of other influential Italian names too: Ermenegildo Zegna, Valentino, and other big designer brands made by the GFT group all presented at the fair. This golden age for Italian sartorial style and “Made in Italy” manufacturing helped boost the Italian menswear profile to the masses and reinforce Pitti Uomo’s international reputation as the premier destination point for buyers and media.

In 1982, Pitti Uomo left its traditional home of the Sala Bianca in the Palazzo Pitti and relocated its residence to its current home, the Fortezza da Basso.

Tom Kalenderian, the head of menswear at Barneys New York, says:

“Pitti Uomo evolved in the Seventies and Eighties into this trade show center with enormous booths for megabrands, many of which have now moved to Milan and other places.»

In order to broaden the fair’s diversity, organizers traveled the world to scout out the best upcoming talent and thought leaders in menswear. A look back across Pitti Uomo’s guest designer list from the past 30 years is like reading who’s who of the most influential names in menswear. Yohji Yamamoto, whose first monographic show also incidentally took place at the festival, Raf Simons has shown twice as has Undercover’s Jun Takahashi.

Japanese magazine LEON was the first publication to start documenting street style at Pitti Uomo in the late 00s.

By keeping its finger on the pulse of menswear and the subtle style shifts that shape the market, Pitti has maintained its rightful position as an industry leader.

As the ground zero for menswear style, Pitti is the gathering spot for the most stylish men in the world.

This June 2023, Pitti Uomo returns with 102nd edition.

The guest designers for the season include British-Jamaican designer — Grace Wales Bonner, Danish menswear label Soulland, an installation organized by Giulio Sapio and a special project curated by Ann Demeulemeester. Beyond these international names, the fair will present a special Scandinavian Manifesto with feature collections from Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Date: 13-16 June 2023.

Place: the Fortezza de Basso, Firenze (Italy)