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Buyers get down to business on day three of Pitti Uomo

The party atmosphere faded with the sunshine on the third day of menswear trade show Pitti Uomo in a grey Florence.

But a steady stream of buyers got down to the serious business of scouting out new brands, placing orders and eyeing up potential bestsellers for the autumn 17 season ahead.

The third day was less about spectacularly dressed men gathering for a chat with stylish friends or reclining on the walls surrounding the central square while photographers snapped away, and more about the business of fashion.

There were a few sore heads from the previous night’s festivities but the aisles were busy and brands were happy with the turnout of buyers from leading menswear stores around the world, including Mr Porter, Isetan and United Arrows in Japan, and Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue from the US, spotted browsing the latest collections.

Nearly all the UK brands Drapers spoke to were more than happy with the level and quality of visitors as the third day began winding down, and many commented that it was better than they expected and busier than previous seasons.

International brands also welcomed a strong showing and an upbeat start to the season before the busy whirlwind of trade fairs in Paris, Milan, Berlin and the US gets fully under way. Some commented that the city itself seemed quieter although the show was busy, wondering whether many of the domestic buyers were coming for the day and returning home on the train each evening, rather than staying a night or two.

There were reports of a bomb scare, which turned out to be an unidentified bag found at the showground in the morning and was quickly dealt with by police, although the gates were closed while they investigated the situation. Word quickly spread through some of the exhibitors but no one seemed overly concerned, as it was handled smoothly and there were no big announcements from the organisers.

The show closes on 13 January, and many buyers are going on to other trade shows, showrooms or events in cities including Paris and Milan.

Views from the show

  • This is generally a good show for us and it’s always good to get the season started. We have seen a lot of key Italian buyers but not that many British - the likes of Mr Porter, End and Oi Polloi have all stopped by though.

Jan Olyslager, co-founder of contemporary knitwear brand Howlin’ 

  • It has been a really good show this season – beyond my expectations actually. We had fewer firms wanting help to exhibit this season, I think with all the uncertainty at the moment, but for next season we have had record numbers wanting to be considered for June so things must be picking up. Any self-respecting menswear brand or buyer should be here; this is the main show.

Paul Alger, director of international business development at the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT)

  • This is our most important show and we see a lot of key people here like Le Bon Marché, Barneys New York and Isetan. It has been even better than the last few shows in my opinion.

Juan Rivero Bosch, sales manager at accessories, shirts and tailoring brand Drake’s

  • The show has been great. Pitti is important becasue its the first show and it gives you an instant snapshot of the season. You get a feel for and know how to tackle the upcoming competition. 

Dean Weat, head of wholesale at Pretty Green

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