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Pitti Uomo 101: My First Visit At Pitti Uomo But What Is It Anyways?

Pitti Uomo 101 Dandiesexpect the unexpected

Less than a week after the events of Pitti Uomo 101, here I am thinking in front of the computer.

Is this article a coverage, recap or explanation about the mystery that is Pitti Uomo?

How do you process the energy, excitement, confusion but also delusion and the actual exhibit everyone forgets?

You know what, today we will do a bit of everything as I have a lot to unpack.

Strap yourselves, we are going for a ride.

What even is pitti uomo?

Pitti Imagine Uomo, commonly referred to as Pitti Uomo in its core essence is a trade show, fair an exhibition.

A biannual event, held in January and mid-summer (Pitti Uomo 100 was end of June 2021) that spans for 4 days in Florence, Italy.

Usually, this is a colossal event gather thousands of visitors from all over the world.

I actually I think I read somewhere that a few years ago attendance was at over 30000 people!

Fast forward to “The New Normal” now however and for almost 2 years Pitti Uomo did not happen.

Kostas Mandilaris in Pitti Uomo 101
Me and the elegant Kornela Sadej in Day 2 of Pitti Uomo 101

Only last summer when rules relaxed Pitti returned and so did last week between January 11-13 2022.

The tradition of Pitti Uomo began in 1972, which is an astonishing 5o hears ago actually.

It would probably boring (and silly) to rehash all the information easily found on the internet these days.

I found this article here to be short and informative about the history and influence behind it all.

Wait, I thought Pitti uomo is just fancy people

If you peruse the internet a bit and search for Pitti Uomo all you will see is photos of popular or cult figures.

Contrary to popular belief just like I aforementioned before Pitti is more of an exhibition and chance for brands to showcase their style and products.

The number of brands during Pitti 101 was over 500, which is quite astonishing.

Clothes Exhibitors
Pitti Uomo is actually an exhibition and a chance for wholesalers to attract new business partners

However, the common belief is that this is the place to go to be a dandy, a clown, stylish, classic or crazy.

Whatever you can think of, it probably exists there.

The truth is that there are many different categories of people you will encounter there.

For example, you will find men and women of all ages wearing classical, stylish, traditional or more adventurous outfits.

Then there are the people that favor streetwear with lavish colorful sneakers to silly knit balaclavas over their heads.

Others aim to impress and try too hard, or others come there just to sit on a perch and jerk off to photos of themselves later with their few thousands of followers.

And you know what, it works. Part of me wishes I was that interesting for a photographer to come tell me to pose for them.

Pitti Uomo is all about the attitude and a whole rainbow of emotions, personalities and behaviors.

Street style at Pitti Uomo 101.
Yeah…right | Photo by They Are Wearing

There were people that would never even look at you and others that will gladly spend time speaking with strangers.

In any case, this is what makes Pitti Uomo so special and a kaleidoscope of emotions.

It brings people together and it is one of the few places in the world were I felt happy and safe to speak about my passions non stop.

You always have someone that shares your love of clothing, style or shoes or accessories.

If you ever tried the explore page on Instagram or Pinterest and saw all those colorful people it will be surreal.

From the screen of your smartphone into an Oculus Rift 3D, real life experience.

The bottom line is that Pitti Uomo is a fantastic experience that you should definitely have at least once in your life.

So what is this article about?

If you are here to see picture of the dandies above or the countless copies of the pictures the internet has you are out of luck.

I will post here and there some highlights including some special experiences that I had of course.

But mostly, I want to show you the Exhibition, the booths, the vibe and maybe some brands you never heard of.

Main Area of Pitti Uomo
The Main Area of Pitti Uomo

Because believe me, there are so many amazing brands I never knew about in there!

You would need way more than 3 days to properly check them all and next time I will dedicate more time doing that.

In other words, in the next sections enjoy a quick photo montage of what happened, or what I saw.

Pitti Uomo 101 location

The lack of information about Pitti Uomo is astonishing online.

How do I enter, where do I go, does it cost anything?

To make it simple, the location is an old spectacular fort called “Fortezza da Basso”.

Fortezza di BassoGetting there is extremely easy and there are two ways to do it.

From the Central Train Station (Santa Maria Novella) in Florence it is a 10 minute walk or a 2 minute ride on the tram.

The tram line is just outside the station making it hard to miss.

For those that need actual details just put “V.le Filippo Strozzi, 1, 50129 Firenze FI” in your maps.

Entering & Getting A Pass

Outside is where you first get a taste of what will happen.

Photographers waiting to pick off fancy dressed people arriving in waves to photoshoot them.

You can easily spot who is a veteran by the way they move, pose or behave.

There was heavy police presence and as you enter you show your green pass and must have a proper mask.

Inside there was a really fancy building with shiny silver ribbed reflective attachments.

Pitti ReflectionsVery appropriate for an event with the theme “Pitti Reflections”.

As you go through the thermal temperature scanner, you get a stark reminder of the times we are living in.

Then there are 3 reception points in a single room depending on who you are.

The first is for visitors which will cost you 35 Euros and in my case was quite strict with the information they ask.

Invoices, VAT Numbers and all details made me wonder how the random people get in there.

Then there is the Press area where photographers and media get their pass.

Lastly, the Brand/Exhibitor booth which is quite self-explanatory.

You get your pass, you scan it through the barriers and voila!

Locations and exhibitions

I did not expect to see such a huge selection of buildings, booths and events.

Like, I was seriously unprepared and so will you be if this is your first time.

There are scattered buildings where some labels have huge private booths for example such as Lardini.

I cannot focus on all those since I honestly did not have time and energy to check them all.

There is a main square and building however where all the people sit.

Like, literally you cannot miss it. Just look for the peacocks…peacocking.

The main building at the back is the one that interested me however for a few reasons.

To begin with, it is a 3 story building (bottom, middle and top floor) with probably the highest amount of brand exhibits.

Secondly, I wanted to visit my good friend and shoemaker Paolo Scafora.

Paolo Scafora Booth
The Paolo Scafora Booth at Pitti Uomo 101

You can check out last week’s factory visit in Naples!

In this starting (amateur) coverage of my Pitti Uomo stories, I will focus on pictures and thoughts from this building alone.

Cashmere, accessories & Tailoring

If I could sum up with a few words what you would encounter in the main hub, it would be those three.

Honestly there was also a very big focus on knitwear in general, but also sustainability and green futures.

Instead of me raving about things that I honestly forgot to look about or inquire, here’s a gallery of some of the brands that caught my eye.

If there is anything specific that interests you, contact me or comment and I will try to find the information.

trends of pitti uomo 101

Backtracking a bit to my statement of not showing you the dandies, there is merit to talking about trends.

Other than the mobster streetwear that I do not care about, there were many similarities in the tailoring side of things.

There was a strong focus on tweed, three piece suits and even corduroy in heavy pastel colors.

colored suits
Even I (second from the left) tried to go crazy during the last day!

Everybody tried to look Italian with often extremely tight fits and trousers, cropped way too high.

The weather was exceptional but I would rather do a voluntary colonoscopy than go there with loafers sockless in January.

Most of the people wore single breasted coats, because they wanted to keep them up but still show what’s under.

Possibly the biggest trend of them all for me was the hats.

Tons of fedoras and classical hats with a few berets here and there.

Luckily, most of them were pretty tasteful so you will not see many idiotic Top Hats or Bowlers.

Remember that last sentence because there will be an upcoming rant article on stupid hats.

Lastly, many forget that this is not an event just for men, but there are a lot of women as well.

It is really enjoyable to see and most of them are very stylish too!

Is pitti uomo anything more?

You know, the answer is yes!

Pitti is a place where like-minded enthusiasts meet and the city feels it.

It brings a certain vibe and festivity that jolts everyone into life.

Pandemic aside, there are tons of private after parties and events that you might stumble upon!

For example, I managed to get into a private event of Dandy Magazine with Laurita who pretended to be my wife.

It was amazing and we met such fabulous, open people such as Philippe (Interview Here!).

Whether you are here to party, meet people, check out cool brands or a mix of it all, you are at the right place.

How do they take Your picture?

You can of course go around and ask people to take your picture but you will be dead on arrival.

If you want to be like the veterans do all you have to do is walk around like you own the place.

Tips include smoking a cigar, leaning on a wall, existing and talking to people like you know them forever.

Avoid high energy, overly enthusiastic movements and be cool as ice.

Just go there and have a nice time and stop worrying about appearing in the next Instagram Story.

which day is the most important?

Usually Pitti Uomo is 4 days but due to the pandemic it was reduced to 3 right now.

The first day is relatively quiet with still enough people buzzing around.

However most of the visitors tend to arrive during the first day at the evening or so.

People at Pitti Uomo 101The second day will usually be the most outrageous, action packed of them all.

The third day was more of a ghost town with really the hardcore influencers left.

So think about if you want calm, spectacles or an experience and adjust.

Final thoughts

Whether it aims to awe, inspire, make you laugh or think, Pitti Uomo is an experience worth having.

Pitti Uomo 101 was my first but definitely not last even in this beautiful city.

It overwhelms you with so many simultaneous emotions that can disorient you and time passes so quickly.

Whether your interest in menswear is marginal or you want a glimpse of stardom, this is the place to be.

Bring good mood, positive attitude and an empty stomach (for the local delicacies!).

Next time I will have a more cohesive report I hope for you all but this was a good start.

Stay healthy and elegant and I will see you next week with a furious article about hats or an exciting shoe review.

Thank you for reading,

Kostas Mandilaris,
Misiu Academy

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