FLORENCE, Italy — Settings do not come much more majestic than the Palazzo Vecchio’s Salone dei Cinquecento in Florence. The 15th century trapezium hall glints with the marble pomp and ceremony of the Italian Renaissance. Today, in this storied hall during the opening ceremony of Pitti Immagine Uomo 86, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and BoF founder Imran Amed recognised 30 leading menswear retailers from 19 countries around the world to coincide with the launch of BoF’s Menswear Hub, a dedicated topic hub focused on the global menswear market and developed in partnership with Pitti Immagine on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of 'Firenze Home Town of Fashion.'
Where once the palazzo, filled with the statuary of Michelangelo and vast Giorgio Vasari friezes, played host to Medici weddings, today banks of photographers, prime ministerial security details, mayoral trumpeters and hundreds of representatives from the international menswear industry were present to acknowledge the global nature of the thriving menswear market.
As representatives of each of the retailers took to the stage to receive their prizes, their colleagues and the assembled fashion press, including Suzy Menkes and Franca Sozzani, cheered on the winners, with United Arrows’ Hirofumi Kurino and Barneys New York’s Tom Kalenderian receiving the loudest applause.
In his opening address, Mr Renzi said he was proud of the country's fashion industry and announced his intentions to strengthen and support it. “From here, I make a call for the banks and the smaller enterprise businesses. Do not feel abandoned; we have structures to support you. We have cut the red tape that has stopped growth and we will cut more. In ten years' time, Italy will have changed and it will not be lagging behind Europe.”
“If you look around the room, you can see what we can achieve together, with hard work and each other,” added Gaetano Marzotto, chairman of Pitti Immagine. This sentiment was shared by Renzi, who told the assembled press, “We need to start a new story here, not only for fashion but for Italy as a whole.”
To explore the full list of the 30 leading menswear retailers, visit BoF's new Menswear Hub.
Visit the new BoF Menswear Hub to discover more menswear news and analysis from BoF correspondents and around the web, as well as a live index of the most influential people and retailers shaping the global menswear market.