In 2018, we wrote to one of the most important apparel trade shows in the world to let them know that we no longer intended to exhibit, listing a number of reasons that were important to us.

As a small company and brand that seeks to place in prime position the creation and manufacturing process of its products – which must leave room for the right timing, the right creation and presentation methods for the collection, but, more than anything else, the right production methods and subsequent sale to customers – with that letter we laid claim to the sense of urgency we felt and our moral need to disengage from a “circus”: that of the trade shows.

Trade shows represent a system that was created to bring supply and demand together and to launch new brands, yet this system has morphed into a form of showing off and become events for “celebrities”, who are very often detached from the real needs of the exhibitors. It is a system monopolised by too many influencers desperately looking for photographers.

We have thought about this at length and we can’t help but notice that all of this has led to a consequent lack of attention from buyers when doing their real work of “scouting”. Buyers, the very people who would like to attend trade shows to buy products to stock their stores – not to compete for a table at the restaurant of the moment, where you just have to be or where you go to have an aperitif to get seen – are the same people we’ve often glimpsed looking confused, rushed, tired and disoriented in the midst of that sea of confusion and huge egos.

Our choice was an endeavour considered to be a mistake by some, yet which led us to make decisions that turned out to be perfectly on point and of which we are proud.

For three seasons now, following on from our withdrawal from the trade show circuit, 1ST PAT-RN has been releasing its collections a month earlier than the traditional releases to allow buyers to focus properly on purchases. To allow them to work without all the stress and not overshadowed by the need to see hundreds of different brands in just a few weeks, without being able to look into any in-depth, without being able to talk to the designers. This is because for several years now, fashion trade show organisers have ceased to care about the buying stage, but rather seem more concerned with getting as many visitors as possible shared on social networks or published on some blog with the ever-present #streetstyle hashtag.

Take it from us, given that we began attending trade shows in the mid ‘80s.

Thus, we are not only presenting the collection before the established time to allow buyers to work better, but also to give ourselves the opportunity to make our garments better, to give our suppliers the time they need to work without being rushed. Our fabrics are exclusive: their creation is the result of slow, mindful processes. It takes time to make our products and we’ve boldly demanded it by withdrawing into our cocoon.

We want to be very clear. We are not presenting our collections early so as to deliver the merchandise earlier. Quite the opposite.

We have always said that the order taking period has nothing to do with production or commercial reasons and that rushing, releasing collections early in store, and mid-season discounts were all mistakes that would only cause harm. We are amazed that the “fashion system” is only realising this now.

We present early so we can take the time to work carefully and professionally and in accordance with the code of ethics that we strongly believe in.

That is why, three seasons ago, we created our own platform that allows buyers to view our collections online, make orders and work with us directly.
Not only that, our clients can also count on our representatives, who provide crucial on-site assistance.
We did this before COVID-19 and we did this before this method had become fashionable, as it would appear to be today.

We have never drawn attention to our decision because it seemed natural to us to evolve and work in a more modern way. Yet it is only today that we realise that the “fashion system” is promoting this way of working as an innovation. As “the future of sales”. We’re sorry to say it, but it’s a little late to the party. Conceiving of it as the response tout court to the serious situation that we are currently going through indicates archaic vision. It is not the virus that is putting the fashion system at risk. It is simply the final nail in the coffin of a system that was already obsolete in many respects.

Many of our clients are already part of an avant-garde family that makes its decisions based on more thorough values than the frantic rush at trade shows to take orders home, which are then forgotten or overwritten by other orders, simply because two months after the rush, no one remembers anything they had seen at the first trade show of the season or – as occurs much more often – they are seized by the “spirit of the moment” from the last trade show they’ve visited.

We have veered away from those brands that have already thrown in the towel or have backed out, and thus not supported the supply chain nor their clients. We have strengthened our relationships with our suppliers.

We have respected our commitments in regard to them and our clients, moving forward with a positive and trusting spirit. Because we are certain that there is – and that there will be even more – need for beauty and quality, for apparel pieces that convey emotion and respect important values, such as that of producing “only what is needed”. This is another quality that we have been pursuing since we embarked on this endeavour in 2011.

Therefore, we would like to announce that the 2021 Spring/Summer collection will be presented as usual, both within the countries we are present in – where possible, in compliance with the health regulations in place – but, more importantly, on our online platform.
It will be a bold and innovative collection that continues on the path we have set out and incorporates new textile solutions that have their sights set on a new concept of dressing and new transversal aesthetic that spans seasons.

You’ll be able to view it soon. We have no intention of losing any more precious time: follow us on social media for when we announce the release date.

If you would like to become one of our clients, please get in touch and tell us about yourself. We will get back to you about how you can access our platform.

Thank you

Cristiano Berto and Silvia Piccin