What is Pitti Uomo and why is everyone going? More importantly, why are we going?

There is a revolution happening in the fashion world right now. We're all familiar with the vigour and speed at which this industry moves. Designers are constantly under pressure to finish collections on time, which are never guaranteed to sell. This, on top of changing consumer habits and needs, means change was inevitable.

Until now, womenswear trends have been determined by designers at London, Milan, Paris and New York fashion weeks, but suddenly fashion festivals, like Pitti Uomo in Florence, are actively reshaping the fashion landscape. They're now attracting the biggest global fashion brands, from Alexander Wang and J.W. Anderson to Off-White (all showed at Pitti Uomo last year). These brands have all chosen to boycott the traditional September schedule and, instead, are showing during the month of June (Pitti Uomo is just one of several such festivals attracting big brands). Is the traditional fashion calendar no more?

Pitti Uomo, a biannual menswear trade show, takes place in an 11th-century fortress in the heart of Florence, Italy. The four-day event brings together the best global and local talent. Though it's the oldest fashion trade show event of its kind – established in 1972 – it's not just shaking up the fashion schedule, it's helping to cement the tentative steps that have already been made towards co-ed fashion shows (for instance Burberry Porsum). This year, high-street brand COS is also showing.

It's not so different from London or New York fashion week; with editors, press, photographers and influencers all in attendance and ready to hashtag at a moments notice. But despite being in its fifth decade, the event has grown fiercely in popularity among the millennial fashion elite (it's accessible, laid-back and undeniably cool), which makes it incredibly appealing to brands looking to tap into the millennial spend.


I'll be fortunate enough to be at Pitti Uomo next week, reporting for IMAGE.ie. I'm excited to see the obscure Japanese tailors (both male and female) who will line the walls of the internal trade show, and the cool, suave Italian brands based around the Fortessa. It really is a sensory smorgasbord and I can't wait to discover the new 'It' label to have.

Follow us on Instagram at @image.ie From Monday for stylish updates and a taste of Florence

The image newsletter