Pitti Uomo, the specialized menswear show taking place from June 17 through 24, 2014 in Florence, is gearing up with a whole series of events and especially its “Firenze Hometown of Fashion” celebration marking the the 60th anniversary of Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana.

A widely varied program will be offered starting on the evening of June 16. A concert will be given by singer Andrea Bocelli on that evening and a special party celebrating Ponte Vecchio, the historical landmark bridge across the Arno river and a symbol of the city. The new lighting system for the bridge will be unveiled. The new illumination was donated by Stefano Ricci, Florentine entrepreneur, owner of Stefano Ricci Spa, and president of Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana.

At the heart of the celebration will be the “Born in Florence” initiative that will showcase four important designers and fashion labels, all of them Florentine originals. They are Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Emilio Pucci and Ermanno Scervino. A series of events will see these designers as protagonists of cultural events throughout the city during the Pitti Uomo. Roberto Cavalli, who organizers had hoped would be the fifth Florentine designer, could not attend but will be on hand for other events during the January 2015 installment.

Exhibitions, concerts, fashion shows and many other events – all centered on Italian excellence and craftmanship – will take place on all the days of the trade fair.

The overriding theme inspiring the Pitti Immagine Uomo event taking place inside the Fortezza will be ping-pong, or to be more exact “Ping Pitti Pong.” “We chose table tennis since it expresses a lifestyle and a synsthesis of fundamental elements of any sport discipline and because it the most essential and almost zen pastime,” said Agostino Poletto, Deputy General Manager of Pitti Immagine. “Ping-pong requires physical movement and concentration, speed and technical ability, and attention to detail. These are all traits it has in common with fashion. Plus it expresses a new lifestyle concept because it is all-encompassing, has no political connotations and is very popular with Hollywood stars.”

As previously announced, Z Zegna will be the Menswear Guest Designer of the show (see our separate story). “The launch of the revamped brand represents a return to Florence of Zegna Group,” said Raffaello Napoleone, CEO, Pitti Immagine. In fact the group had stopped exhibiting in Florence about six years ago because of its strategy. “Though their return to Florence also represents the intention to join forces with all of Italy’s fashion associations, trade show and fashion show organizations,” he added, referring to the fact the Zegna family is represented on the Camera della Moda board. He also pointed out recent agreements signed with other European mens fashion weeks to make it easier for industry insiders to come to events. The contribution made by all Italian trade show associations was vital.

Other initiatives will involve collaborations between Pitti Immagine and other Italian trade shows. During the July 2014 edition of Pitti Filati, the “Denim Italiano Italian Denim Makers” event will involve Italian denim companies (see related news report) which will also be presented as a teaser at the June edition of Pitti Uomo and later relocate to Milano Unica in September. Another special collaboration will be kicked off with MIDO. The event’s title will be “Pop-Eye.”

Other events will include the launch of G-Star’s special “G-Star Raw for the Oceans” project in collboration with Pharrell Williams. Ron Herman will launch its new international collection. Valstar will announce its latest  collaboration with United Arrows and Tiger Jay X North Sails Collection will be making its debut. As part of the Pitti Italics events, there will be two brands debuting – Marcelo Burlon County of Milan and Au Jour le Jour.