Pitti Imagine, the renowned fashion salon in the world, has been a significant player in the Italian fashion industry for many years. However, due to the pandemic, the June salon had to be canceled this year. In response to this setback, Pitti launched a web project called Pitti Connect, which aimed at providing a platform for buyers to engage with brands digitally. Nevertheless, the absence of the salon created an eerie silence in Florence, the host city of Pitti. To breathe life back into the city and show support for local artisans, Pitti joined forces with Dolce & Gabbana to organize a series of events that showcased the talents of Florentine craftspeople.

Dolce & Gabbana’s shows in Florence, named Renaissance and Rinascita, celebrated the city’s rich history and craftsmanship. The designers collaborated closely with local artisans and incorporated their creations into the events. For example, they arranged a jewelry display at the historic pharmacy Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella and held a menswear couture show at city hall. Through these events, the artisans of Florence received unprecedented exposure and recognition. As a special gesture, the designers gifted silk brocade dressing gowns to visiting editors, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship that Florence is known for.

Raffaello Napoleone, the CEO of Pitti, spoke about the collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana and emphasized its significance for Florence. He highlighted how the designers’ efforts brought hope and inspiration to the local artisan community during these challenging times. Moreover, this collaboration shed light on the importance of incorporating unexpected elements into artisanal craftsmanship, such as the personalized belts created by Scuolo del Cuoio.

Alongside their collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana, Pitti also introduced Pitti Connect, a digital platform that provides extended access to the Pitti community. Despite the success of this initiative, Napoleone believes that physical appointments and live shows will always remain essential in the fashion industry. The personal and interactive experiences that come with physical gatherings cannot be entirely replaced by digital platforms.

Looking towards the future, Napoleone is hopeful for a January 2021 edition of Pitti. However, he expects it to have fewer exhibitors than usual, acknowledging the challenges brought about by the pandemic and the struggles faced by major retailers like Neiman Marcus and J. Crew. These difficulties highlight the uncertain state of the fashion market. Nevertheless, China’s quick recovery and strong performance provide a glimmer of hope for the industry.

While the future remains uncertain, Pitti’s collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana and the success of Pitti Connect illustrate the resilience and creativity of the fashion industry. By supporting local artisans and embracing technology, Pitti continues to be a driving force in Italian fashion.

For more information about Pitti Imagine and its initiatives, visit their official website here.

To learn more about Dolce & Gabbana and their collaborations, visit their official website here.