The trade fairs and even fashion events have become mechanical repetitions with no life or personality if its own. Florence though, is the exception to the rule and manages to infuse the spirit of the ancient city in a fashion event. Pitti Uomo, the men’s event will be held in a cluster of ancient fortress buildings with red tile roofs, octagonal rotundas and vast “dogana,” or customs centers.
And now Pitti Immagine has decided to make its fairs not just actual but virtual. From next week visitors to the fair will be able to access what they are calling Cyberspace marketplace, recreated, online in 3D. Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive of Pitti Immagine said that he has been trying to harness the technology for the benefit of the market since 2005. Some of the important brands are eager to join the experiment and a total of 80 participants, who form ten percent of the total exhibitors at the fair, will flag off the trial on January 24.
Suzy Menkes, who has watched this development closely, expects the numbers to go up to 1,000 in June when the next Pitti Uomo fair is put online in its entirety. This technology makes it possible for the attendees to have a second or third look using their screens to “visit” stands that they did not have time to see and to compare and contrast products, materials and prices. A young team of computer experts and photographers have been put together as FieraDigitale, or Digital Fair to take the concept forward.