How Pitti Uomo Became a Fashion Week Favorite

As fashion week draws towards an end, we take a look at one of its growingly major components.

Pitti Uomo’s website boasts that the fair is “the world’s most important platform for men’s clothing and accessory collections.” While some of fashion’s insiders may have previously scoffed at this brag, the disbelievers are becoming fewer and fewer.

Final figures for this year showed roughly 1,200 exhibitors, 21,400 buyers (8,300 of them were international), and a growing number of fashion editors from across the globe. As they say, numbers don’t lie.

Neither do the likes of Telfar, Jil Sander, or Stefano Pilati’s Random Identities, all of which showed this season in Florence, directly in conjunction with the organizers of Pitti Uomo. While the fair has been putting on shows for years, the caliber is indisputably reaching new levels with each season. And beyond reaching new levels, it is reaching new audiences; Telfar’s horde of die-hard fans, who love the designer’s now-iconic “Bushwick Birkin,” as well as his embracement of the queer community and generally unique representation of beauty, have little crossover with the old school Jil Sander’s lovers, perhaps a bit older and more in favor of sleek, chic traditionalism (at a post-show dinner, I spoke with other editors about how we all wanted nearly every piece we saw on the Sander catwalk).

Moreover, the shows have begun shifting Pitti Uomo from an industry-insiders only event to being more public-facing, as are the fashion weeks in New York, Paris, etc. People are tuning into the shows more and more and are mistaking them less and less for taking place in Milan rather than Florence.

Plus, Solange was there. I think that says it all.

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