About us


Pitti Immagine is an Italian company devoted to promoting the fashion industry worldwide. From the top down, its motivated staff fully believes in the concept of the modern trade fair as an event that is in a constant stage of renewal and development – indeed Pitti Immagine has recently expanded its scope to include other industries such as food and fragrance. According to Pitti Immagine the trade fair must create clear and stimulating relationships involving the exhibitors, their collections and the buyers and public, by offering information, and knowledge.

The Pitti Immagine Values
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The group
The Group Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana
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From the 1950s to now


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Pitti Immagine organizes international fairs and promotional events in all areas of fashion. The goal is to select and present high quality products, the most innovative styles and highlight their cultural and social relevance and their research content.



The company’s origins date back to the early 1950s and the first fashion shows staged in the Sala Bianca in Palazzo Pitti, Florence. The next step was the creation of the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana (1954), which has grown into the holding company of a highly diversified  group – that includes Pitti Immagine – that works to support the Italian fashion system. The runway shows in the Sala Bianca marked the beginning of the international success of Made in Italy and the first chapter in the history of Pitti Immagine. Through the fairs and events it stages Pitti Immagine has added a new dimension to “destination Florence”, in addition to its artistic and cultural heritage, the city is a fulcrum for today’s style and savoir vivre. And the lifestyle concept prompted Pitti Immagine to expand its scope to other fields: wine and food, fragrances and personal wellness.
The Pitti Immagine events are centered in the Fortezza da Basso, a Renaissance era military complex that comprises structures built from the eighteenth century to

the present; and facilities outside the fortress walls: the former customs house – Dogana on Via Valfonda, the nineteenth century Villa Vittoria and the late twentieth century Palazzo degli Affari.

The Stazione Leopolda, the city’s first railroad station is now the venue Pitti Immagine uses to stage events and exhibitions dedicated to the various languages of contemporary living, art and culture.

Over the years Pitti Immagine has built up an important historical archive. Part has already been digitized and it can be accessed – on request – by scholars, members of the trades and students. It is an invaluable resource on the development of Italian fashion from the ‘fifties to the present.
For information, contact: Elisabetta Basilici Menini
T. + 39 055 36 93 211

The ’Forties

In the 1940s there was no Italian garment industry to speak of. Small tailor and dressmaker shops in the war-wracked cities and towns made clothes to order. In Florence a lively craft and cultural fabric became fertile ground for the birth of Italy’s first buying offices, the outposts of overseas department stores. One of this was Giovanni Battista Giorgini. Photo Archivio Giorgini

The ‘Fifties

A dynamic promotional organization and a clever use of the city’s historical locations raised Italian fashion to a higher level and, with its imaginative materials, fit and elegant lines, it began to rival the French hegemony. Photo Archivio Giorgini


On 12 February, in Villa Torrigiani, the home of Giovanni Battista Giorgini, the Fontana sisters, Jole Veneziani, Fabiani, Pucci, Noberasco, Carosa and Schuberth presented their models to female American buyers and journalists. The show was an extraordinary success. Photo Archivio Giorgini

From 1952 to 1982, the Sala Bianca in Palazzo Pitti was the stage for memorable fashion shows thanks to which Italian fashion become a worldwide phenomenon in terms of business and image. Palazzo Pitti became synonymous with contemporary culture and fashion.


The Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana (CFMI) was established in 1954, from that time on, this organization would promote all the fashion events. There were 500 buyers and 200 journalists at the 1955 shows, making “Pitti” the biggest fashion trade fair in Europe. Photo Archivio Giorgini

The ways in which Fashion was conceived and represented changed in the light of the 1968 student uprising in Europe. Competition between cities and fashion designers transformed the map once again: the representatives of High Fashion moved towards Paris and Rome, whilst Florence attracted the new names in informal creativity.


By now, showing in the Sala Bianca was a sign of total prestige: the ranks were joined by Galitzine, Ken Scott, Mila Schon, Krizia and Valentino. 1963 also marked the first presentation of men’s fashions. The Center opened new offices and began to move outside Florence.


After having supported the birth of Italian High Fashion and contributed to the establishment of CFMI, Giorgini resigned from the organization in 1965.


In 1967, Franco Tancredi became the new president of CFMI and signed the agreement with the Camera Nazionale della Moda: the High Fashion shows were definitively moved to the ateliers in Rome, while the Boutique and Knitwear collections stayed in Florence.

The 'Seventies

The brilliant idea of Tancredi was create ties between CFMI and the booming fashion industry, and then choose large-scale European, American and Japanese retailers as the key interfaces. Giorgio Armani, Walter Albini and Missoni made their Palazzo Pitti debuts, just as Milan began to shine as the new star for women’s prêt-à-porter and design in general.


The first edition of Pitti Uomo, featuring men’s clothing and accessories was held in September 1972. Created essentially for promoting the best of the Italian fashion industry on big foreign markets, the fair quickly achieved international stature also in terms of the proposals.


A sector in constant growth found its first fair: Pitti Bimbo burst onto the scene in 1975, intercepting the changes in the consumer habits of families and presenting high quality clothing for children. The fair also included the first ever mini-fashion shows!


The first edition of Pitti Filati was held in 1977: featuring yarns and research on trends it immediately became a reference point for the slightly anarchic world of knitwear manufacturers and designers of all around the world.


1978 brought Pitti Casa, a show dedicated exclusively to linens for elegant homes. The focus on the “home” paved the way for the organizers of what would become Milan’s Salone del Mobile.


The roaring ‘Eighties began with the closure of the Sala Bianca, but new fairs came to life in the pavilions of the Fortezza da Basso that quickly became a trademark for trade events featuring Made in Italy. CFMI urgently needed a more efficient organization to counter the growing competition between the cities of fashion.


In 1983 CFMi transferred its operational activities to Centro Moda, which became the business driving force of the entire group. It was a time of experimentation and ongoing – often unpredictable – confrontations with the fashion market


Another turning point: Italy’s leading fashion manufacturers become personally involved in the management of the fairs. In 1987, Marco Rivetti, patron of the GFT Group and the man behind the success of the new industry/designer duo, is appointed president and managing director of Centro Moda.


Centro Moda acquired a new name and new identity, becoming Pitti Immagine. Rivetti’s keywords were: services, internationalization, opening up to contemporary phenomena, events and communication.


Vittorio Rimbotti became the new president of CFMI, whilst Raffaello Napoleone took over the reins at Pitti Immagine, the first step in a renewal process that would encompass the whole company management structure.

The end of the second millennium, was a period of acceleration for Pitti Immagine as well. A new type of trade fair became established in Florence that proved an immediate winner because of the selection of the proposals, the variety of the collections, as well as the innovative and integrated marketing and communication strategies adopted.

Italian fashion confirmed Milan as the place for the women’s garment industry and designer collections, with High Fashion in Rome and men’s fashions and the rest of the textile –clothing industry in Florence, which became the new capital of “the culture of fashion”.

Marco Rivetti’s authoritative persona and entrepreneurial foresight made Pitti Immagine the world leader, a position that was further strengthened when Mario Boselli took office as president in 1995. The communication projects were inspired by Luigi Settembrini.

CFMI diversified and then specialized, actively participating in events supporting fashion: from fairs to major cultural events (Biennale di Firenze), education (Polimoda) foreign fairs (Ente Moda Italia) and publishing (Edifir).

The Fortezza da Basso was transformed through new structures and careful restoration work: a modern trade fair/exhibition center where Renaissance walls, eighteenth century buildings and high-tech pavilions complemented each other. The Stazione Leopolda was also opened, and hosted spectacular communication events.


This decade saw a constant growth in turnover, exhibitors and buyers – as well as increased investment in services, layouts and promotion. Pitti Immagine’s events developed around an increasingly broader concept that viewed fashion as the heart and catalyst of new cosmopolitan lifestyles.

The strategic alliance between Florence and Milan led to the establishment of Intesa Moda and the cross participations of CFMI and Sistema Moda Italia in their respective fair companies, Pitti Immagine and Efima. Under the direction of Alfredo Canessa, the new president of the Florentine holding company..


2001 also marked the creation of Stazione Leopolda srl, the company managing the former railroad station that has become one of the most experimental contemporary venues in Florence, hosting important cultural events, exhibitions, fairs and publicity projects, including many staged by Pitti Immagine.


Pitti Immagine has a new president, its third: Gaetano Marzotto, an exponent of one of the most important families in the European textiles-clothing industry.


In 2002, the Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery made an incisive innovative contribution. The foundation had existed since 1999, but now it turned to research projects and considerations on the creative circuits that fashion establishes with the languages of art, architecture and communications, and made itself into an “idea catalyst”.


The equation, fashion equals lifestyle, led to the birth of new and successful events such as Fragranze, the annual fair devoted to international artistic perfumery, personal/body-care products and embellishments for the home.


In 2005 Pitti Immagine added Touch!, NeoZone and Cloudnine, a network of shows for women’s fashions, to its trade fair/exhibition portfolio. The setting for these events, held during fashion week, is the Via Tortona district in Milan.The first edition of Modaprima, the international fair featuring women’s, men’s and children’s fashions for large-scale retailers, was held in Milan in 2006.

Taste. In viaggio con le diversità del gusto – Traveling with Diversities in Taste - made its debut in 2006. Each year this fair goes looking for excellence in Italian wines and foods offering tasting sessions, panel discussions and a rich program of events that focus on tastes and quality foods. The fair joins hands with the Guida ai Ristoranti d’Italia de L’Espresso that was presented for the first time in 2006 by L’espresso and Pitti Immagine.

The new millennium has also brought new events: Pitti­_W-Woman Precollection, the trade-fair/event dedicated to precollections, a privileged channel for launching innovative projects and brands; and Vintage Selection, the fair dedicated to vintage clothing, accessories and design items that has quickly become the European reference for the entire vintage market.


Alberto Pecci became president of CFMI in 2009. He has the challenging task of leading the group in times of far-reaching changes in the fashion world, and the need for change has become even more urgent because of the serious economic-financial crisis that marked the end of the decade.


Fiera Digitale is established, the new company controlled by Pitti Immagine, that launches the e.Pitti project, the digital platform hosting on-line fairs and virtual showrooms for fashion brands. The fair experience broadens and expands with a project that is unique in the world of fashion events.

June 2011

Pitti Immagine inaugurates its new digital presence with pittimmagine.com and pittidiscovery.com. The first is a complete representation of the Pitti world, constantly updated with a varied editorial program. A similar entity but a digital universe in itself, pittidiscovery.com tells us about recent developments in the cultural and communication strategy of the Pitti Discovery Foundation - featuring fashion, art and design - with a focus on new talent in Italian and international fashion and on emerging countries.

November 2011

Modaprima – the event for ready-to-wear clothing and accessories for men and women – arrives in Florence. Stazione Leopolda hosts some of the best Italian firms specialising in production for medium- and large-scale retail.


Stefano Ricci, an entrepreneur and designer from Florence, is appointed as the new President of the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana (the Florence Centre for Italian Fashion), replacing Alberto Pecci.

February 2013

Super takes the baton from Touch! NeoZone and Cloudnine, expanding the trade fairs offered by Pitti Immagine. A new exhibition project dedicated to womenswear in collaboration with Fiera Milano - at Milan fashion week - Super brings the accessories and ready-to-wear collections from a selection of international brands to the stage. A sophisticated, retail-made offer with a focus on new talent in fashion.

November 2014

Pitti Immagine launches the PITTISMART app: with an optimised range of services and features designed to facilitate the work of the people involved in the events, PittiSmart makes the Pitti universe increasingly engaging.


In 2015, Andrea Cavicchi, entrepreneur, president of the Prato Industrial Association and vice president of Confindustria Tuscany, becomes the new president of the CFMI for 2015-2017.

January 2016

Pitti Immagine extends its scope and invests even more concretely in promoting fashion talents, by launching the TUTORSHIP project: a division of the company whose job is to accompany fashion designers on their journey of growth with brand development and career management activities.


The Pitti Immagine Values

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Pitti Immagine is innovation: an ability to continuously review and revise the approach to trade fairs and cultural programs. It is creative thinking and speed in production. It is expressing the latest trends in clothing and market orientation. It is the essence of an ability to compete. It is an entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to plan that moves the promotion of the culture of fashion towards new horizons. For us, innovation means that it is not enough to keep in step with the times, but we have to be ahead of them.

Pitti Immagine is research: an ability to see and understand new leaders, new stimuli and new potentials. It is bringing apparently distant worlds and people together – culture, fashion, art, architecture, finance and business. For us research means curiosity, a multidisciplinary approach and the courage to be different.

Pitti Immagine is independence: an equilibrium among the partners, shareholders and the interests they represent in the decisions that characterize our mission and strategy. It is a promise and a commitment to moving forward day after day. It is the means for concentrating on what we do best and employing all of our energy to do it even better. For us independence means freedom of thought and action.
Pitti Immagine is expertise: an in-depth knowledge of our field and our events. It is attention to detail. It is total dedication to quality, to satisfying our clients, and to caring for our suppliers. It is the credibility of a group built on the successes that have marked our history. It is preparation, skill, experience, motivation and energy. For us professionalism is the reason behind our success.

Pitti Immagine is internationalism: an ability to compete on a global market, understanding traditions and innovating their language. It is awareness of the complexities of fashion and art on an international level without borders or local prejudices. It is an ability to interpret different cultures and bring them together. For us internationalism means a world without borders.



Our mission and the plans we have for the future are an expression of our values, of what we believe in, of what makes us unique.We want Pitti Immagine to always distinguish itself for its competitive strength, its ability to innovate and respect for the values underlying its operational and management policies. 

The Pitti Immagine mission is to produce fairs and events that present fashion as a positive productive force, as an esthetic and cultural aspect of life. nt, architecture, design and music; it is a witness to modernity and a carrier of traditions 


Each fair and each event presents the most recent, innovative and complete picture of high-end Italian and international production. Our events present fashion in terms of global lifestyle, in a striking setting for building relations among different classes, generations and cultures; they are a choir of different languages and voices.

We at Pitti Immagine realize that fashion has the ability to bring together other products and industries. Fashion is a multidisciplinary world that encompasses art, 
entertainment, architecture, design and music; it is a witness to modernity and a carrier of traditions. 


The group

The Group Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana

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The Gruppo CFMI comprises the group-leader of the same name and fully or indirectly owned companies in which the Centro controls the majority of voting shares. These companies are Pitti Immagine, Stazione Leopolda, Fondazione Pitti Discovery and Fiera Digitale.
The group also holds significant stakes in companies and organizations whose work is coherent with its own mission, and specifically Ente Moda Italia, Efima, Polimoda, and Edifir. The diagram below presents a clear view of the group’s architecture.

Pitti Immagine: The group’s main operational arm that produces international fashion and lifestyle events and trade fairs. The fairs and events are dedicated to clothing, accessories and textiles, promotions and special projects.
Stazione Leopolda: This company, established in October 2001, organizes the work and activities at the Stazione Leopolda, augmenting the planning and operational aspects and strengthen the important relationships Pitti Immagine has built up over the years on new cultural and business terrains, and new fair-exhibition models.
Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery:  Independently promotes exhibitions and publishing projects involving fashion, the visual arts, film photography, advertising, architecture and music. Its role is to highlight the most innovative artistic phenomena from which fashion draws its inspiration and which, in turn, is an increasingly important stimulus for production and thought.
EMI - Ente Moda Italia: Established in 1983 by the Sistema Moda Italia and CFMI, EMI promotes, disseminates and enhances Made in Italy abroad by coordinating and organizing Italian participation in important clothing trade fairs around the world.
Polimoda: CFMI is the founding member of this international school of fashion design and marketing based in Florence. Its objective is to “contribute to the growth of education and the development of human resources, research and services supporting the fashion system businesses and in general, to promote Florence as a creative city for fashion”.
EDIFIR: Casa editrice Edizioni Firenze produces books, catalogues, periodicals, posters and brochures, and has made it possible to strengthen business ties related to the publication of trade fair catalogues.