Oh, and when I say hottest I mean it in the most literal way possible. June 19th, 97 degrees, humid, you can basically say it was 1,000 degrees in Florence…and Pitti Uomo and Pitti W were just kicking off. Needless to say it was a sweaty day at the Fortezza da Basso for Whitney and Nina.
Apart from sweating through my clothes, this event is actually one of the coolest things I’ve ever been to. I think it’s safe to say Whitney and I agreed on this, as, for the first two and a half hours of the day, every other sentence out of our mouth was “Oh what is that??” “Oh my gosh that’s SO cool!” “Let’s go get that free stuff over there!”, “Let’s just stay all day today and then come back tomorrow, too!”…… etc etc. (This enthusiasm soon turned into, “It’s so fucking hot, I think we’re about to die.”)
Anyways here’s a couple of reasons (or a lot) why we started out as excited as we did: When we first walked in, we saw some DOPE hats from two brands called Rich Kids and R.S.V.P (who apparently don’t want you to buy any of their stuff at all because they have no websites that we could find…) that I could never pull off but I totally wish I could.
After we saw these hats we ran into some awesome shoes (that probabblyy anyone could pull off) from Dolfie, a company founded in Barcelona that is all about injecting some love from your toes up (seriously check out their website they’re really concerned about you loving their shoes). They had some totally original takes on the classic converse sneaker kind of look. (Quick side note: looking through my pictures now, I realize Whitney and I must love shoes because it seems like we really bee-lined to them all day…)
After we hit the first building and drooled all over everything in sight, we walked outside and practically cried (from excitement) about all the cool shit everywhere. We went into a couple “places” (bars…) and got some free champagne. One place had really super delicious rosé sparkling wine that I was lovin’ (Astoria’s 9.5 Cold Wine Pink). We picked up free bracelets, drinks, and bags basicallyy everywhere we could, because who doesn’t love free shit? One bag we got was from the super cool Desigual booth that was decorated like we were actually at the beach. They had this whole tropical-music-playing, tiki-bar set up where they were also handing out watermelon skewers and Veuve Clicquot (really awesome Champagne). We went back twice…
Then we entered a building that we didn’t know we would obsess over for the rest of the day/next day/probably the next 2 months. We were on the prowl for cool Italian brands we didn’t know, and we found even more footwear (shocker), this time from Wally Walker. These shoes looked a lot like a cool, hispter take on the classic (and ridiculously popular in Italy) Clark’s. There was a bunch of suede sneakers and some pretty floral prints that kind of reminded me of less chunky Dr. Martins (who were also at Pitti but didn’t have anything new we hadn’t already seen on hipster’s before).
The next two booths we stumbled upon were actually what I dreamed about last night (maybe depressing, but I loved every second). First, more shoes. I KNOWW, I knoww. Enough with the shoes already! But this isn’t the last shoe booth we hung out at, but it may be the best. The brand is 2Stars, and you can actually buy their fucking awesome shoes because their website works! I can’t speak for Whitney, but I definitely could never pull off any of these shoes. This doesn’t effect my love for them (I WILL figure it out one day. Mark my words). These shoes (made in Italy, which sparked a heated office debate about what cool inventions Italy has given us, seriously check our twitter #ItalianInventions) have some awesome funky patterns all up on them, and they’re also just so cool I don’t even know if I have to speak for them. Just look at the picture. I know, right?
THEN just to make our day even insanely better, we came upon THE BEST BOOTH IN THE WORLD. I seriously feel that way. In this booth we had High Fydelity on the right side, with all these crazy metallic bags – even metallic bikes. And on the left side we had Quay, the coolest sunglasses in the world – literally neon everywhere, frames you’ve never seen before, just really fucking awesome. Then to make matters better/worse, after trying on a million pairs, we had one of the most pointless conversations ever. Whitney asked one of their sales managers how much they all cost, and he says all of them are 20 euros. TWENTY EUROS. We’re freaking out like we’ve just struck gold, but then this man proceeds to tell us that they’re not available for individual purchase at the booth – not even on the last day when some booths let their merchandise go. Ok, we’re upset. But then Whitney asks if we can buy them online. The man stares back at her and says, “What is online?” Whitney goes “….the internet.” And he gets it now, “Oh! No. Not online.” Dreams CRUSHED. Well as it turns out, I took some brochures and did a little research and this man apparently doesn’t know what the internet is because they ARE available online, and shipping to basically any country in the world is €10.00. You guys can thank me later.
As the day went on, and we kept getting hotter and hotter, we stumbled (why did we wear high heels?) across some more cool stuff. For anyone that likes little trinkets and innovative, crafty, useless things (me), you would appreciate Lost and Found (also, no website we can find. I know. I don’t understand it either…). It’s basically one of those cool gift places you’d walk into in any town that has stuff like XXL wine glasses and bandaids with moustaches on them – you feel me, right?
Anyways… outside again there was a food bar set up like an old gas station. Yeah, I know. Pretty cool.
And right in front of that was Tee Trend (nope, not even they have a website, that link is to their Facebook), where they had some electro music, the most amazing leggings, metallic bags, and not to mention free t-shirts they were print making right in front of you. They read, “L’art vous rend libre” (art sets you free).
Inside Pitti W, innovative trends in women’s wear, we basically saw just as many bright, colorful, neon things as we had been seeing elsewhere. We found some unique hand-sewn, jeweled bags at the Sunita Mukhi stand…
…and some other really awesome bright bags from an Italian company Leghila’ (BOTH OF THESE BOOTHS HAVE WEBSITES. BOTH. ok.)
At this point, neither Whitney nor I could walk or breathe, so we hit our last stop pretty quick and checked out a few more men’s booths. We found some shnazzy shoes by Louis Leeman that were super blinged out and would probably make anyone feel like Kanye West.
Then Whitney and Nina died. Kidding kidding, but it’s pretty much how we felt after walking all over giant medieval military fortress ground, in heels, in the SCORCHING heat, for 5 hours. Destroying our feet forever aside, the day was totally awesome. We walked away with dreams of cool sunglasses, sneakers, and a crap ton of free shit. Soooo I’d say our Pitti Uomo + Pitti W run =’ed success.
Check out Whitney’s article to see pics of the best dressed peeps we saw at Pitti!