Pitti Uomo, which will open its 100th edition today, is an unmissable event for the international men’s fashion community. Inaugurated in 1972, the trade show was the first fair in the industry to put in the spotlight a new idea of men’s wear — less traditional and more in line with the needs of the market.
Boosted by the appeal of its native city, Florence, with domestic and global visitors, Pitti Uomo seemed to continue the legacy of Giovanni Battista Giorgini, the Tuscan entrepreneur who strongly contributed to the creation of an Italian fashion system. In the 1950s, he invited American department stores to discover in Florence the region’s new talents that were offering an elegant and more commercially savvy option to the creations of Paris haute couture designers.
From 1954 to 1982, runway shows were regularly held at Palazzo Pitti’s Sala Bianca and in other locations across the city, giving visibility to those emerging designers that would go on to change the fashion industry forever. They included Emilio Pucci, Roberto Capucci, Mila Schön, Missoni, Valentino and Giorgio Armani.
In 1954, in order to manage the different fashion events in Florence, the Florentine Center for Italian Fashion was established with the goal of organizing shows, presentations and trade shows, promoting Italian fashion.