Press commentary on the relevance of traditional fashion shows in the era of Instagram. Read the full article

On the maintained success of Pitti Uomo, the menswear-centered fashion show held biannually at the Pitti Immagine trade show in Florence:

Pitti’s success is a bit of an outlier. There have been numerous op-eds ruminating on the death of the fashion show, pointing to brands’ poor results from recent fashion shows and the changing fashion landscape.

“While not the sole reason, Raf Simons’ sub-par performance at Calvin Klein, where he applied the traditional fashion toolkit of runway shows, big billboards and high-paid influencers, didn’t produce results,” said Richie Siegel, the founder of consumer advisory firm Loose Threads. “Fashion brands need to do a lot of thinking about how they are spending every dollar and if these more traditional channels, especially fashion shows, are worth it. Since brands needs to be ‘on’ 24/7, having a few moments a year where consumers are supposed to focus and where newness is supposed to [be introduced] is antithetical to how the world works today.”

On Pitti Uomo’s quest to stay relevant:

But Pitti still needs to innovate in order to remain relevant. Pitti’s CEO Rafaello Napoleone is aware of this shift and has structured this year’s event around more experiential efforts over the more traditional style of show.

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This year’s event is structured around the idea of boxes. Pitti Uomo is divided into a series of “boxes,” or venues, each holding a different experience such as a gallery of artifacts from Pitti’s past or an area where attendees can listen to talks from experts or get their photo taken.

“The focus is rightfully shifting more toward immersive events over runway shows, where there is plenty of room to play, versus more passive runway shows where everyone sits for 10 minutes and leaves,” Siegel said. “In a way, the canvas now is much less structured, but that makes it so much more interesting.”