MILAN — “Our goal is to make this show even more prestigious and convincing,” said Pitti Immagine’s general director Agostino Poletto while introducing the program of Pitti Fragranze’s upcoming edition here Wednesday.Running Sept. 14 to 16 in Florence’s Stazione Leopolda, this year the niche perfumery trade show is expected to gather 220 brands, 70 percent of which will come from abroad.The international attractiveness is key for the three-day event, which last year drew 700 foreign attendees — up 2 percent compared to 2016 — out of a total of 2,200 buyers. Top markets for the show include France, Germany, Spain, the U.K., Switzerland, Japan and the Middle East.Reiterating the commitment to being a “reliable” show, Poletto underscored the selection and scouting of exhibitors was not the organizers’ only concern for this edition. In addition to displaying quality products, Pitti Fragranze will offer visitors financial data on the state of the artisanal perfumes sector.“We have launched the first economic observatory for the niche fragrance product category, in order to better illustrate this industry, not only through quality but also through numbers,” said Poletto. Assembled by the consultancy and financial analysis company HermesLab in partnership with Milan’s Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore’s fashion research institute Centro ModaCult, the study will provide figures on the Italian niche fragrance business, trace trends and collect interviews with the industry’s operators, sharing their main challenges and concerns. Among these, a recurring theme for niche labels is how to compete in a global market while remaining true to their core identities in offering uniqueness, quality and creativity.Flanking the release of the study, Pitti Fragranze will continue to stage talks and seminars. Among these, a series of panels hosted by American perfume critic Chandler Burr will focus on investigating cultural changes and business opportunities in the Chinese market, where the consumption of niche fragrances is on the rise.For the fourth year in a row, French flavors and fragrances producer Mane will host a talk on raw materials. After the bergamot, patchouli and pepper-themed editions, this year Mane’s team of experts will illustrate and discuss ingredients hailing from Madagascar, with a special focus on vanilla.To further promote the olfactory culture, organizers and exhibitors will stage events and in-store activities outside the Stazione Leopolda venue during the three-day trade show.“We have recently decided to grant access to the show just to professionals, under indications of our exhibitors, but we didn’t want to miss the opportunity of opening this event to a wider audience,” said Poletto, listing the initiatives involving Florentine retailers, schools, museums and restaurants.These will include store openings such as the inauguration of the latest Campomarzio70 unit and the Profumeria Aline store developed in partnership in the Estée Lauder Companies, in-store product presentations, and guest lectures, such as the one that Nathalie Vinciguerra — currently head and chief executive officer of the Anima Vinci label — will host at Polimoda.
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