Creative Conversations with Suzy Menkes



Season 4, Ep. 7

For episode 7 of season 4, Suzy talks to Raffaello Napoleone about celebrating the 100th edition of Pitti Uomo, the world renowned menswear trade fair of which he is CEO.

Have you ever wondered how your clothes end up in the shops? Buyers descend on trade fairs once or twice a year to purchase stock to fill their shelves. It may come as a surprise that not all clothes come from the runways of Paris and Milan.

As the premier men’s trade fair gets back into post-Covid action it has been decided that Pitti will be ‘double-track’ with a digital week as well as a physical week. And, in parallel form, there is a growth of the digital platform - Pitti Connectwhich the visionary CEO founded 12 years ago.

Watching the line-up of peacock males displaying their latest looks in Florence’s historic Fortezza da Basso - the location of the trade fair - underscores that powerful Italian spirit of past/present, seen also in the historic city itself.

As well as his role as CEO Pitti Immagine - a non- profit Italian organisation to promote the fashion industry and Made in Italy - Raffaello Napoleone heads up Pitti Bimbo for children and Pitti Filati for yarns, while current powerful changes to sustainability are also transforming Italy’s attitudes.

Can the physical format of a trade fair and - above all - its interaction with people, really be revived? The dynamic director has stretched his wings to include trade fairs of artisan perfumes, food with its flavours and tastes, and home wear. They all prove, post Covid, that growth can start at home.

Raffaello is also one of the founders of the Polimoda fashion school set up with Linda Loppa to help preserve the Italian fashion industry. In teaching and in fashion, he looks always to the future.

Produced by Natasha Cowan @tashonfash

Edited by Tim Thornton @timwthornton

Music by @joergzuber

Graphics by Paul Wallis 

To find Suzy's articles visit 

...find Suzy on Instagram @suzymenkes and Twitter @thesuzymenkes