Pitti Immagine Uomo is certainly the most eagerly anticipated menswear trade show in the world. It takes place in Florence each January and June and buyers flock to it from every corner of the globe along with journalists, bloggers, photographers and models.
One of the reasons for its coveted allure is that unlike other trade shows it bills itself as a trend show rather than a buying show (although lots of business was certainly being done). It invites cutting edge forward thinking brands to exhibit and it is therefore widely regarded as the place where future trends are set and galvanised. It is one of the hardest shows to gain access to both as an exhibitor and as a visitor so I felt highly privileged to attend last months Uomo 94 edition.
Pitti Immagine Uomo is not just about the brands and their incredible displays - some of which are conceptual, some theatrical and many give you a mini experience as you enter their 'space'. The event is very much about networking and going to be 'seen'.
Outside the main exhibition hall you will find the 'Pitti Peacocks' (photos below), a brilliant name coined by GQ Magazine - groups of men in their 'finest' desperately hoping to appear on instagram streams but it's the cool men like Ethan Newton and Mr.Winston from Brycelands that the photographers like Garcon Jon and Dan Roberts are really wanting to spot. Having met with Ethan in Tokyo last year I can only describe his beautiful Brycelands salon in the Shibuya district of Tokyo as a sublime curation of beautifully tailored pieces. Classic with an edge. He describes his house style as "classical and masculine, a style that would be as appropriate in a '40's movie as it would be today" .
There is even a buzz at the exit gates. Crowds who have not managed to gain access to the show hang out keen to catch a look at what the worlds top fashionistas are wearing - suit hems were above ankle bones, soft leather man bags were key and I lost count of the number of swede loafers I saw.
For any 'eagles eyes' out there you will see Japanese fashion PR guru, Toshihiro Yasutake in the background of this shot below (hint, blazer & loafers)
And then after show parties...
Corks pop (many), jazz bands strike up, polished beautiful people appear from medieval doorways and restaurants stay open late. The banks of the Arno transform into temporary clubs and the ancient town of Florence just takes it all in its sophisticated stride.
But what trends for 2019 you may well be asking? Interestingly there were three colour groups that were consistently evident throughout virtually all the stands,
• nutmeg / cinnamon / bronzed cigar
• khaki, moss, forest greens right through to a bluer teal greens
• smoked deep plum through to inky blues
And then its all over, Florence reverts to its more normal tempo . . . until the next Pitti Immagine Uomo in January 2019.