Events, including menswear trade show Pitti Uomo, had already been rescheduled from June until early September. Regular visitors previously told Drapers they were uncertain about whether they would be able to attend, citing concerns about budgets and the safety of travelling overseas.
Ongoing economic uncertainty, travel restrictions and potential quarantines mean organisers have now made the “painful but inevitable decision” to delay fairs into next year.
Claudio Marenzi, president of Pitti Immagine, said: “This has been dictated by the conditions of operational and economic difficulty in which the majority of the manufacturing companies and retailers – shops, department stores – find themselves and by the uncertainties that continue to persist regarding the modalities of travelling from one country to another, including quarantine restrictions, which have obviously heavily conditioned the plans of international buyers. I should add that the prolonged absence of any certainties regarding non-repayable government and European economic support for taking part in the fairs, greatly affected the exhibitors’ decisions.”
Organisers said they would concentrate on a digital version of the fairs, Pitti Connects, which will take place from the end of June or early July to September. It is described as a “networking tool and marketplace”, where buyers will be able to make orders and see live presentations.
“We will now be putting all our resources into the Pitti Connect digital fairs” added Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine. “We are very confident in our ability to offer companies the real Pitti service, which is capable of meeting their business, promotion and communication requirements, especially in this part of the season.”