Naughty or Nice? Pitti Bimbo is Coming to Town

January 17-19: PITTI BIMBO 88.  Fortezza da Basso and other venues, Florence

The only thing better than a birthday party is a double birthday celebration.  The Pitti Immagine Bimbo kid’s fashion fair will celebrate the anniversary debut of two children’s icons: Barbie and Hello Kitty.

Pitti Bimbo is an international semi-annual salon for children’s clothing and, together with Pitti Filati fabrics and yarns (January 23 – 25), it is a stage for the global launch of projects focused on research and lifestyle.  This 88th edition is designed for fashion insiders with 10,000 visitors and 553 brands expected at the Fortezza da Basso, the main venue for the fair, open only to buyers and the press.  Among the big names who will showcase their collections for fall-winter 2019/20, are DKNY Sophia Webster, Miss Blumarine, Little Marc Jacobs, Yves Salomon Enfant.  The event will host the debut of TOT, the new kidswear line by Au197Sm, a brand trademark that, by using an exclusive technique blends precious metals with high quality fibers (Jan. 17, 1:30 – 3 pm).

Back to Barbie: the globally famous figure introduced by Mattel at the New York Toy Fair in March 1959 has reflected the evolution of women’s roles in society over the past six decades.  Since the doll was originally conceived as a role model for little girls all over the world “to be all they want,” at Pitti Bimbo, Barbie is the inspiration for a special capsule collection created in partnership with the Italian label Patrizia Pepe, with commemorative items by sportswear brand Sergio Tacchini.

The Japanese cartoon character, Hello Kitty, designed by Yuko Shimizu will turn 45 next fall and is the subject of a series of capsule collections created by Monnalisa, Melissa and MC2 Saint Barth in collaboration with Sanrio.


In the city, a series of museums, including Palazzo Strozzi, Uffizi Gallery in addition to the Fashion and Costume Museum, will welcome young visitors and their families at KidsLab, a new educational and entertainment project in conjunction with Pitti Immagine. Free admission workshops include “Monsters of the Uffizi” at the Uffizi, “Magic Objects and Dressing up with Energy” at Palazzo Strozzi, “What are the Astronauts’ Suits made of?” and “About Uranus and Neptune… It’s Raining Diamonds!” at the Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica.  For the complete schedule and to book a reservation, send an email to

In regards the high end of the childrenswear sector, the historic Palazzo Pucci, which contributed to the early prominence of Made in Italy, will open its doors for the presentation of the Fall/Winter 2019/2010 Emilio Pucci collection.  “Breakfast at Palazzo” will unveil the vibrant motifs of the classic Pucci visuals blended with the finest tailoring of Simonetta, the Italian company specialized in kidswear, established in the early 1950s (by invitation only, Jan. 18, from 9 am to 11 am).

The 19th century Palazzo della Borsa Valori on Lungarno Diaz will host the Monnalisa fashion show on January 17 at 7 pm (by invitation only).  The Italian company from Arezzo, founded in 1968, will present a playful collection that mixes lettering and embroidery, the delicacy of toile de Jouy prints and the vivacity of tartan.


Catwalk shows at Sala della Ronda play a key role in every edition.  On stage will be a group of Spanish brands (Jan. 17, 1 pm), Stefania (Jan. 17, 4 pm), and the collective fashion shows of the KidzFIZZ, the section conceived as a concept-lab for experimentation and creativity (Jan. 18, 11 am) and of the Apartment, the section dedicated to the sophistication and the luxury of the contemporary tailoring for kids (Jan. 18, 2:30 pm).

Faithful to the surprise factor, a core of The Pitti Box theme of the Pitti Immagine January fairs, Roberto Cavalli will amaze his guests with a Cracking Art Breakfast, in which details are yet to be revealed (Jan.17, 9 am- 12 noon).

On the same day J-Ax, the famous Italian rapper, will be the special guest for the launch of his capsule collection in partnership with Vingino, a label founded in 2011 in the Netherlands that mixes street-style with Italian and vintage influences.  The collection features super trendy clothing items that reproduce J-Ax’s life philosophy and passion for music (from 2 to 4 pm at the Vingino stand in the Padiglione delle Ghiaia).

With the aim to transform even the wildest children into little princes and princesses, Csaba dalla Zorza, food writer, journalist and TV presenter will talk about modern etiquette and the appealing topic of good manners for children.  The talk, entitled It’s Never Too Early, is curated by Chiara Bidoli, director of Style Piccoli: the Corriere della Sera magazine dedicated to children under 14 years old (Show Box, Jan.18, 12 noon).

Some engaging events will highlight this edition, as the return to Florence of the Extraordinary Library project, curated by Bologna Children’s Book Fair.  In the Main Pavilion a selection of 100 internationally renowned books will be on display. Carefully designed with captivating graphics, they aim to introduce children up to age three to art, architecture and many different expressive languages.  Plus, at the Show Box Ilaria Gradassi, dubbed “Chiù”, a story-teller and illustrator, will read “Cecino e altre storie” (Cecino and other stories) (Jan.18, 4 pm), and Marina Di Guardo, thriller writer and mother of global influencer Chiara Ferragni, will read her first children’s tale written for Style Piccoli (Jan. 17, 3 pm).

Check the complete program on the website.  (celeste giampietro collins)