The Fun and Fashion of Pitti Bimbo 89

Pitti Bimbo

This year’s summer edition of Pitti Bimbo welcomes the return of hundreds of well-loved brands in the sphere of designer childrenswear June 20 – 22 for buyers and the press in Florence’s Fortezza da Basso.

In its 89th instalment, the trade fair returns as a gathering place for the biggest names in fashion, showcasing 603 collections, 399 of which are by international brands.  An interesting new chapter of Pitti Immagine Bimbo is the launch of The Kid’s Lab!, a brand-new initiative designed to start a conversation regarding where the future of kidswear will take us.

The top floor of the Main Pavilion, a space entirely dedicated to research and innovation, will be transformed into a platform for ‘The Kid’s Lab!’ to welcome all expressions of experimental kidswear. The cutting-edge brands that make up the sections KidzFIZZ, #ACTIVELAB, The Nest, EcoEthic and Kid’s Evolution will take centre stage in The Kid’s Lab!, putting forward their unique visions of the future of childrenswear, from exploring urban elegance to the practice of sustainable production.

The Kid’s Lab! will also host two Pitti Bimbo projects dedicated to children’s illustration and publishing.  One is ‘OFF the PAGE…And in the World of Fashion,’ a collection of 25 selected illustrations that bridge the gap between the worlds of publishing and fashion.  To emphasize the importance of reading and education, ‘The Extraordinary Library,’ a selection of children’s books curated by Bologna’s Children’s Book Fair, will be present at The Kid’s Lab! with books focusing on women in children’s literature.

The Kid’s Lab! is also collaborating with a number of other meaningful organisations that will be given the opportunity to communicate powerful messages. These include Chopard Italia supporting the Andrea Bocelli Foundation in their project to rebuild Muccia’s ‘E. De Amicis’ school in the region of Le Marche that was destroyed in the 2016 earthquake. In addition, 65 portraits of mothers with their adoptive children photographed by American artist Tom Watson will be displayed, a project developed in partnership with the association Mamme per la pelle (Mothers under the Skin) to promote multicultural equality and dispel discrimination based on ethnicity.

The theme of this year’s Pitti Bimbo, “The Pitti Special Click,” seeks to enact the energy of alchemy that is sparked when buyers, journalists, influencers, and visitors come together for the childrenswear shows. To enhance this atmosphere through the space itself, set designer Sergio Colantuoni has transformed the central square of the Fortezza da Basso with a 1000 metre squared raised circular platform surrounded by a row of flags. The space will be filled with comfortable white sofas and canopies to make for a relaxing ambience that aims to encourage the exchange of ideas conducive to creativity.

As at every Pitti Bimbo, designer labels and established names will put forward their latest ideas in children’s fashion and lifestyles, with the particularly exciting debut of the junior line of Emporio Armani. A number of other brands are also set to make their debut at Pitti Bimbo, including Araia Kids, G-Star Raw, Lotto, Pinko and Tia Cibani Kids. Pitti Bimbo will of course celebrate fashion tradition by showcasing designer labels that have shaped the landscape of kidswear, from infants to teens, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Boss, Little Marc Jacobs and Petit Bateau. A section entitled ‘Sport Generation’ in the Cavaniglia Pavilion will focus on leisure clothing with designs by Tommy Hilfiger, Retour Denim de Luxe, Stella Cove and many more. The Ghiaia Pavilion with host Pitti Bimbo’s SuperStreet, the section that portrays the denim universe and street inclination of junior and teen clothing, increasingly connected to Sport Generation, with brands such as Eleven Paris, Blue Seven and Guess Kids.

Extending beyond fashion, Pitti Bimbo will also enter into the realm of lifestyle as various exhibitors will present an array of furnishing accessories, technological items, gadgets, toys, homeware and much more in the ‘Fancy Room’ section, on the lower level of the Main Pavilion.  Mirroring the theme ‘The Great Wall… of fun,’ the area has been adapted accordingly by the creative layout envisioned by stylist Maria Giulia Pieroni and interior designer Daisy Diaz using various wallpapers and soft furnishings. In addition, two new Pitti Bimbo installations, ‘My Party’ and ‘Under the Sea’ embrace a childlike fascination in presenting various items that express one of the themes that aim to spark joy.

Pitti Bimbo 89 strives to create a dynamic and creative environment that embraces not only children’s fashion, but also the child’s uniquely colourful outlook on the world.  (saskia brown)