trade shows

raspberry plum

Paul & Paula attends many fairs during the year.

To meet people from the industry, discover new trends and brands and most of all to mingle with the industry. We like to share our finds and must haves!






My big Pitti Bimbo 90 recap!

Pitti Bimbo 90
Children’s fashion is going through a demanding process of which we are all aware. This means that things are a bit slow, some markets are suffering, and overall we are missing diversity. The situation is not new and when going to a fair I am especially looking forward to seeing how everyone is dealing with it.

Therefore it was great to see, again, a very strong international attendance on both sides of the market – exhibitors and buyers. An attendance that values the efforts Pitti Bimbo makes in terms of research, collaborations, shows, innovation, and creativity. The general look of the fair, for example, was my favourite to date. I absolutely loved the colourful and very inspiring installation you can see in the first photo.

A great resume is something Christina Rohde said: “It is a really unique opportunity for visibility. And the atmosphere was very pleasant, very friendly, a bit like a festival. This is the first time I felt that the children’s wear industry was being taken seriously. The visitors were true members of the trade, well-prepared, and this is an aspect that is often missing at other fairs. The brands and the event itself make the rendezvous interesting for clients: as soon as you go in, you understand the great effort that has been put into making the atmosphere so incredible, from the colours to the design to the energy, it’s all really exciting.”

Over 550 brands exhibited but with the different pavilions that each follow a topic like sport, street, or elegant it is very easy to get around and to stay inspired. And the number of buyers almost reached 5,900, from almost 80 foreign countries. With an overall number of visitors of 10,000.

Pitti Bimbo 90

Pitti Bimbo 90

And yes, the atmosphere was excellent, very positive and uplifting. Which I found so important because it is easy to look at all the difficulties and to focus on everything that is not going well right now. Together with the catwalk shows, the pop-ups, and the presentations, that were all very upbeat, we were thrown into a fun mood for the whole season.  Filled with colour and energy!


1970s Hippie and retro inspiration with more deep colours and especially purple and green combinations! (a little too much for my taste especially it was around a lot). All over, and again, there was and is a lot of things we have seen already. And not just stuff that was cool 30 years back and is here again. No, things that keep hanging around season to season.

Basically – it is difficult to talk trends. Brands are playing safe and even the stronger ones with good fashion collections are missing a bit the special detail. The piece that makes your fashion heart beat a bit faster or that you absolutely want to work within a shoot for example. This is what is missing for me right now.

So what else did I see a lot and that stood out a little? Tartan fabrics, jacquard knitwear, and athleisure is still big and going nowhere. Everyone is doing sneakers, suits are more sporty than tailored, and accessories are beanies instead of glam scarves.

So basically, if you have a couple of children (like I do) – they wear older siblings stuff and look like out of an S/S 2020 lookbook… which leads me to my next topic…

Pitti Bimbo 90


Mentioned as a trend by many but personally, I think eco-sustainability is no longer that but an actual reality. And rightfully so! However, it was a big topic during Pitti Bimbo 90 and incorporated into shows, exhibits, and presentations. And of course, the brands are more and more sensitive towards protecting the planet. From the materials used to the graphics, and the communication.

Now, what I found surprising was that I thought we are well passed the moment of awareness. And I wondered why I am seeing, again, so many pieces that just lacked a sense of fashion. Pieces that were foremost sustainable and yet very plain, simple, and ‘pure’. Should we not show the world, the parents, and our children that sustainable can be chic, fun, and cool? Are we not steps ahead of beige, brown, and hemp fabrics?

Nonetheless, it is very encouraging to see how brands approach sustainable practices. Now we need to communicate to the consumers.  Because they have the power to change things through their purchases and to be a role model for their children.

Personally, I find the whole progress very interesting and inspiring. All the possibilities, research, and progress is fantastic. There are so many ideas on how to be more kind to our planet. Shame we did not start earlier but at least we are on it now…

Would you be interested in an article to highlight fashion brands that are really at the forefront of sustainability? Let me know!

Images 1&2: AKAstudio – collective
Image 3: Eeva Suutari
Image 4: Giovanni Giannoni
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Pitti Bimbo 90

Pitti Bimbo 90

Tickets are booked, a bed will will be made for me and than it is time to join Pitti Bimbo – the kids fashion fair held twice yearly in Florence, Italy. And they are celebrating its 90th edition from 16 to 18 January 2020. Which means that this incredible fair has now been running for 45 years!

The theme of the Pitti Bimbo winter fair is ‘Show your flags‘ and they will celebrate an important landmark with new creative installations, an attentive selection of brands, international collaborations and a calendar of not-to-be-missed fashion shows and exhibitions. Moreover, for 45 years it has been the epicenter of kids lifestyle. What started with the wardrobe, has expanded to lifestyle and accessories in a world that has managed to engage the entire family. Again, an extraordinary international portfolio ranging from designer labels to small experimental brands will await us for three days in January.

And what about the flags?
A rectangle of material, an inlay of lines, colours, and designs. A flag is never a silent fabric, it always has something to say; it consistently arouses emotions because it speaks in universal messages. It is expressive, enthusiastic, insolent. And it flutters, falls, is lowered, raised, carried and folded. Flags are beautiful geometrical compositions; they give pleasure to the people who see them flying. And Pitti is like the United Nations of Fashion where every brand has its own flag, but also where each one of us can become our own flag.

What’s the new?

The Top Floor of the Central Pavilion is home to THE KID’S LAB! A whole 3,000 sqm of innovative venues including KidzFIZZ, Ecoethic, The Nest and Kid’s Evolution.

One of the highlights of the 90th edition will be a prototype of  the Concept Store of the future. In collaboration with Cilab and The Playful Living which focuses on the effects of digital transformation in the retail world.

The new kids’ collection by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac for United Colors of Benetton makes its debut at the Teatrino Lorenese, within the colorful, playful and lively world of “65 Benetton Street”.

US magazine Hooligans will celebrate its 5th anniversary with an exhibition about the 5 senses. All to be seen, smelled, heard, tasted and touched, on the Top Floor of the Central Pavilion.

What else during Pitti Bimbo 90?

Two Pitti Immagine special runway shows present sophisticated collections from the Apartment section and the innovative creativity of KidzFIZZ. The labels of Children’s Fashion from Spain will also hit the runway.

The historic French children’s fashion house Petit Bateau and the online platform Treedom present a new environmentally and socially sustainable project: the planting of a tree with each purchase of a new birth kit in organic cotton

The not-to-be-missed runway show of Monnalisa returns. The Tuscan brand, a leader in premium childrenswear, will present their new collection with a charming fashion show at the Stazione Leopolda, on January 16.

The photographer James Mollison will present photographs of school yards from all over the world, exploring different environments and children’s play dynamics. Within Sport Generation in the Padiglione Cavaniglia.


Pitti Bimbo 90

Pitti Bimbo 90

Some figures: We will see 543 collections and more than 6.400 buyers are expected. And a total of about 10.000 visitors.

How about you? Will you be there? Let me know! First Christmas and then I will get excited about discovering all the new collections, the shows, catching up with people, and talking about children’s fashion all day long! A passion is a passion.

And of course my friend Dimitra will be there with her selection at The Nest. When small is beautiful and among the brands at this edition are: Atelier Parsmei, Jellymade, Mimookids, Mimù, Minì&Made, Naoia, Tiny Tots Barcelona, Weekend House Kids, Wool in Love, and Yay.

Pitti Bimbo
Viale Filippo Strozzi 1 – Florence
16 – 18 January 2020
every day 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
last day 9.00 am – 4.00 pm


Images: AKAstudio – collective
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What happened at Pitti Bimbo 89 this summer?

Pitti Bimbo 89

This time I will not let you wait as long as I did for the Winter edition and share my finds, experience, and news from Pitti Bimbo that took place mid-June today.

Based in Florence, Italy keeps its spot to be the best trade show in the kids’ fashion universe.  To sum up, the headquarters of kids’ fashion and lifestyle attracted approximately 10,000 visitors – again!

And this summer edition was packed with events, shows, and special projects as never before. From innovative projects on research to the latest ideas from the big brands, smaller independent designers or parties. So a lot was going on (and I have to admit that it was not always easy to keep track for me) but everything I saw was also of really high quality. Altogether, the special projects are supporting the whole event, the collections and definitely my experience as a press visitor.

Overall, my favourite project was the newly added Upper Level of the Main Pavilion. The great innovation of Pitti Bimbo 89 and it is called The Kid’s Lab! In short – younger, more experimental brands from the parts of Kids Fizz, The Nest, EcoEthic, ActiveLab, and Kids Evolution have separate but joined together areas here. Which makes it much easier to navigate and to enjoy. In essence, there is light, there is a red line and there is a lot of inspiration up there!



Pitti Bimbo 89 in numbers:

+ 603 collections, 399 of which from abroad
+ 5,100 buyers, 2.400 of which from abroad
+ a total of 10,000 visitors

Generally speaking, the industry is not very dynamic at the moment. And we have a lot of ‘the same’, no ‘risk-taking’ collections and a shift is slowly coming in the wholesale process too. But the brands are committed and they try to be innovative as much as they can and allow themselves in this economic situation. And the general feedback from brands was that the quality of visitors was very good. Good orders, serious interest, and inspiring conversations are essential. And in the end, it is all that matters, isn’t?

Also, my trend report for Summer 2020 will follow shortly!
Backstage of the FASHION SHOW OF APARTMENT - 013

More highlights:

Meeting the famous French designer and illustrator, Nathalie Lété. She came with her first book in English, that is filled with 200 pages of illustrations and instructions dedicated to arts and crafts.

Australian brand Banabae who showed in The Nest. An ethical and contemporary baby brand, with a big dose of Woodstock and 70’s vibes. Really cool designs for nursery beddings, rompers, and baby accessories. Loved it!

The shows – see below for more!

Manuela, from Hungary, had a lovely collection. Cool earthy tones, beautiful silhouettes, and interesting textures. My favourite collection from the brand to date.

Not to miss, Miss L. Ray came with a lovely collection that is great for tweens. Lots of easy to wear yet chic styles with a sporty influence. Cool mix of fabrics and fluid shapes.


il gufo

Kid’s runway shows:

Il Gufo presented in a very romantic setting in the Torrigiani Gardens in Florence. They built a secret garden in a greenhouse and the show was vibrant and just wonderful.

In brief, the Summer 2020 collection originates from two ideas: a dichotomy between urban and natural elements. And in that sweet garden, we saw children playing, having picnics, and jumping in puddles. Personally, it was refreshing to create a collection with endless possibilities that, most of all, allows children to be children.


Cherry Papaya

The Moda Portugal Show. For the first time, a multi-brand show with Portuguese brands took place, founded by CENIT, a branch of the Portuguese Association of Clothing and Apparel Industry, Kids. Six designers showed: Cherry Papaya, Knot, Laranjinha, Patachou, Phi Clothing, and Play Up.

All in all, it was a very cheerful, happy and colourful show that had the real summer feeling and lots of joy. Especially Cherry Papaya showed a cool and fresh collection that appeals to both, boys and girls. And Spoiler alert: Watch out for something special happening between Cherry Papaya X Paul & Paula next year.


Pero Pero

The Apartment Show. Always a beautiful show with a great set design. And a great start into the Friday since the show is held in the morning. We saw Pero, Michaela Buerger, Velveteen, Amelie et Sophie, and Piccola Ludo and the theme was “con la testa fra le nuvole”, meaning “head in the clouds”.

Pero was fantastic as usual. Beautiful garments with lots of details, flowers galore and magnificent hats to make it perfect. (they are from Lorna Murray by the way)

Furthermore, The Apartment celebrated its 10th anniversary as well. Focusing on elegant and original brands destined for high-end boutiques, it is always a feast for the eye to walk in here.



And the final click? The Pitti Special Click Party!

Filled with great music, entertainment, food (Italy!!!) and, most of all, great company.  I always feel that this is such a good way to let business be business and to enjoy. Not to mention that having fun together is a good base for working together. Coupled with the stunning Villa Le Corti, the place to be that evening, a synchronized swimming performance, yummy food… we all danced into the night!

In a word: Grazie!

 Backstage images: Eeva Suutari / Runway photos: Giovanni Giannoni / Party photo: AKAstudio – collective
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The Pitti Special Click – Pitti Immagine Bimbo 89


Pitti Immagine Bimbo 89

Can you believe that in exactly 6 weeks I will be on my way to Florence? It really feels like I visited Pitti Bimbo just last week. But of course I am looking very much forward to it…

I love a good trade show, catching up, finding new brands and discovering trends and themes. Fun! Watching the catwalk shows (this year Portugal will prepare a show as well) is another favourite. Listening to the latest achievements as well as obstacles. And visiting some dear friends and giving them a cheer-leading moment if necessary.

And the theme of Pitti Bimbo 89 is called: The Pitti Special Click

(it is actually the theme for all Pitti Immagine trade shows)
The Pitti Special Click theme of Pitti Bimbo 89 sums up the energy that circulates around the Fortezza and suddenly finds a direction. Therefore the Main Forecourt of the Fortezza da Basso will once again be transformed through a set design curated by life-styler Sergio Colantuoni.The resulting spark is capable of producing an alchemy that is always different, a surge of energy and emotion it is difficult to stem. Along with the “X Factor” that decrees the success of every rendezvous, something that makes people come – and continue to come – to Florence to see, learn and understand.

What else will be new in June?

Creativity at Top with The Kid’s Lab!

A new exhibition project at the Top Floor of the Main Pavilion will be the biggest and most important change for the summer edition of Pitti Bimbo. It revolutionizes the fair’s exhibition spaces in homage to the most creative mood in children’s wear: here we go with The Kid’s Lab! Here you will find the different sections depicting the world of research onto kids’ fashion: KidzFIZZ, #ACTIVELAB, The Nest, EcoEthic and Kid’s Evolution. And with an innovative and colourful layout, designed by Storage Milano, it welcomes the brands and experiments with common spaces for special projects.

Here will also be space for The Extraordinary Library, a selection of talented international illustrators, photo exhibitions and “The Playful Living” space. I cannot wait to discover all of this!

Fashion newcomers:
Araia Kids, G-Star Raw, Jacob Cohen Junior, Lotto, Pinko and TiA CiBANi KiDS.

Lifestyle newcomers:
Seletti, Meri Meri with their famous partyware, stationery and other fun creations; and the latest ideas from the Danish cult brand Maileg.


Viale Filippo Strozzi 1 – Florence
20 – 22 June 2019
every day 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
last day 9.00 am – 4.00 pm

See you in Florence!

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Pitti Bimbo 88 recap and kids fashion trends for A/W 2019/20

Apartment show pitti bimbo

I will not even start by telling you how late I am with this recap. We better get straight into the topic, do not waste any more time and enjoy.

Because the last edition of Pitti Bimbo, back in January, and listed as the 88th was beautiful.

The Fortezza da Basso was turned into a junior fashion playground once again and one could pick up on the latest ideas for next season in a very inspiring way. A true start of the season, and a great opportunity to discover the key trends.

564 brands, intercepting all the latest trends and the future evolutions. And we need to note that the balanced mixture of luxury, chic, street and casual, of big names and newcomers is a must by now. Florence welcomes more and more independent, new and contemporary brands and it is a real win for everyone. And the people behind Pitti Bimbo have noticed this too and are looking into ways on how to accommodate the demand and tendency.

pero backstage

The research into styles that are modern and functional in terms of the new ecological and social sensitivities. The commitment to maintaining both quality and price and the ability to move around an international market that is interminably changing and transforming itself. This is the best possible response to a climate that, particularly in recent months, has grown darker, with a series of downward forecasts regarding growth, consumption and trade.

Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine

The theme for this edition: Pitti Box

Not in the box but thinking outside of it. Pitti wants to surprise, with its creativity, and its technical innovations. Therefore we were welcomed with different boxes. “The Infinity Box” is a video journey, “The Park Box” is food, “The Show Box” for filming and interviews, “Out of the Box” , the “Recharge Box” and “Silence Box”, to recharge batteries. In a whole – Pitti is a real surprise box!

Lifestyle section:

The lifestyle section was home to two very inspiring and beautiful installations that included some of my favourite brands. Personally, I think a show needs to offer a good lifestyle section because shops (on- as well as offline) are turning more and more into concept stores than fashion alone. The lifestyle brands that exhibited however, were a little disappointing. And cannot be compared with the selection of fashion brands. But they should be, because a shop is known for its selection. And a good buyer will also select the best of toys, gifts and decor.


161 brands out of the 664 were new to the show. Nununu for example showed for the first time. Or Theophile and Patachou from Belgium or Hape Toys. Apocalypto showed in The Nest as well as Hannah & Tiff. And many more…

il gufo 2020 winter

The Shows:

Il Gufo made a comeback at Pitti and produced a wonderful show at Stazione Leopolda, an old train station. Il Gufo works with traditional and authentic techniques in their factories in Italy and we can look forward to a comforting and very chic winter!

My favourite, again, was the show from the Apartment section that included Piccola Ludo, Le Mu, Velveteen, Raspberry Plum and Pero. A magical show that had a reconstructed building on the ground, which became visible thanks to a wall of giant mirrors. (please see the first image of this article!) Crazy good!

kids fashion trends

Kids Fashion Trends for Autumn/Winter 2019/20:

Little rock divas

Romantic meets urban contemporary chic meets sporty. Unexpected mix and match of sporty and glamour and something I can really get the hang of. It is interesting, fun and adaptable. Sweaters with strass appliqués, a bold and bright colour palette, fur vests, and velvet jackets. Added some oversized pieces and knitwear. Yay! For the little stylists out there…

Active wear meets elegance

Following the trends of adult fashion we are seeing a focus on athleisure fabrics. Definitely very comfortable and with today’s technique they can easily be adapted to an urban function and style. Down jackets, sweatshirts in all shapes, colours and textures you can imagine. The key item! Next to sneakers, which are also seeing more and more glam accents.

Chic dresses

Craft workmanship, original designs, timeless clothes, elegance have never been away. But they are getting more attention again. You can find more and more retro inspired dresses, finely pleated skirts, sweet collars and balloon sleeves. Together with appliqués, sequins, and embroideries for the extra details.


Not the first time that I have this on the trend lost but it still needs to be mentioned. Parents are looking for sustainable fashion, gifts and everything. Brands are reacting and we do not need to sacrifice on style when looking for an ethical brand!
A green mindset is increasingly present in the collections and brands invest in the health and future of our children.

Trending Colours:

Pink continues to be a favourite.

Purple. Ultra Violet is the colour of the year and has probably influenced this colour choice. Seen a fair bit of pink/purple mixes.

Green is staying as well. It was already trending this past A/W. Also represents the active market, I mentioned above.

Warm yellow – a great colour for Autumn if you ask me. I have seen some lovely jackets in that shade and I love them.

Trending fabrics and prints:

Fleece is THE trend of the season. After fake fur, fleece jackets, jumpers and more are everywhere.

Checks – maybe my move to London changed my sight but overall I could sense some strong English influences in the collections. And then especially checks. Heritage plaids, tartans and lots of checks.

Slogans are back!

90’s influences with track fabrics, blocked colours and straps.

Velvet, especially for the chic collections and occasionwear but also adapted into the more sporty collections. Very interesting!

Girl Power:

Starting with Barbie turning 60 this season and their slogan: “You Can Be Anything” to fight against stereotypes.

Image credits:
Il Gufo: @indigitalimages
Raspberry Plum / Show finale / Pero: Giovanni Giannoni
Pero backstage: Eeva Suutari

Pitti Bimbo 89, from 20-22 June 2019

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