I was stoked when Thursday rolled around. It was the day I was attending the biggest fashion event in Florence: Pitti Immagine Uomo. I’d been trying to figure out what I was going to wear for over a week, and, needless to say, I still didn’t feel like I belonged there. On top of that, I found out just hours before I was supposed to go that I was going alone! By this point I was definitely freaking out. The biggest fashion event in the city and I was on my own.

I entered through the gates and had no idea where to begin. I was truly overwhelmed. As I was wandering through the event, the first thing I came across were male models posing in fake grass with bocce balls. And as creepy as this may sound, I really wanted to touch their faces. They didn’t look real! It looked like some airbrushed image from GQ magazine had come to life right in front of me.

This is a real person.
Male Fashion Winter 2014
These guys also exist.

After admiring and gushing over all the male beauty, I decided I should probably go gawk at the clothes and accessories, too. I came across some very interesting finds. There was a hat collection by a maker called “Richkids,” which certainly put a new meaning to the term “swagger.” If giant “LORD” 3D block lettering across the rim of the hat doesn’t say it, then I don’t know what does.

Richkids hats - Male Winter Fashion
That’s some bold personal branding.

When rocking a hat like that, it’s only right to add some fresh style to your kicks. Lace Lords have a collection of single-image laces to customize your shoes. They are awesome. If only I wore shoes with laces more often.

Lace Lords Shoe Laces - Male Winter Fashion
Shoe laces that check you out right back.

Moving along through the tents, I picked up on what seemed to be trending amongst most of the designers and their collections. I got a hipster-meets-preppy-meets-classic kind of style, with earth tones such as burgundy red, army green, and shades of brown, tan, gray and navy blue. I asked two girls from Amsterdam, who were perfectly pulling off the color palette, what inspired them to dress the way they do.

“I like the boldness in men’s clothing. I feel like clothes and style give off a sense of personal expression. The trends have a vibe of preppy but with a twist. My style is kind of quirky but confident.” – Anouk

Women's Winter Fashion
{LEFT Anouk, RIGHT Noel}

“I like a more clean, strong, sophisticated, classical look, which is what you will see a lot of here at this event.” – Noel

They absolutely nailed the description of what seemed to be trending, which I also saw reflected in the fall collection by designer, Zoipicche.

Women's Fall Fashion Trends
Female model in Zoipicche’s fall collection
Men's Fall Fashion Trends
An autumn look from Zoipicche’s male line

But good luck if you plan on shopping for their clothes online. You’ll have to hop a plane to Italy to get your hands on these threads – Zoipicche is so exclusive they don’t even have a website.

If there is one fashion obsession I have, it’s a love of sunglasses. So when I saw a booths like Shwood Eyewear, with amazing collections of frames made out of natural materials like bamboo and stone, I had to refrain myself from buying them out. It was easier to resist when I found out the stone models run around €400; but if you have that kind of cash, I suggest you get on the trend wagon and buy yourself a pair!

Shwood Eyewear Men's Fall/Winter Fashion
Stone detail on Shwood Eyewear’s newest collection of sunglasses

Or for those of us on a college-student budget, Komono has some nice wooden frames for less than €50. That way, you’ll have some cash leftover to complement the new shades you’re rocking with one of these handcrafted ceramic bow ties by Cor Sine Labe Doli:

Ceramic Bowties Cor Sin Labe Doli
No complicated tying procedure here!

My eyes then wandered to a nearby display of leather cases, by Shikiichi, designed to hold condoms. Yes you read that right, condoms. This Japanese company practices safe sex and strongly feels that one should, stylishly of course, always carry a condom wherever they go.

Shikiichi Leather Condom Cases
“Don’t f— around and enjoy safe sex.” – Shikiichi website

Then one of the most amazing things happened to me. I made my way up a huge flight of steps into the Anthony Morato collection. I wasn’t sure at first if I was supposed to be there because, when I entered, they stopped me at the top of the steps to ask where I was from. Then the woman had to call her boss over, and that boss had to call his boss over – so much communication to get into this place! I was starting to think they wouldn’t let me through when, all of a sudden, I was handed a bag of goodies and given a preview of the spring/summer 2014 men’s line. Guys! If you want to get a head start on warm-weather wear, go for nautical style, earth tones, and a flash of edginess.

Fashion billboard advertising
This was my face on the rooftop terrace during my private tour of the Anthony Morato collection.

After a day of being surrounded by over-the-top glamour and fashion, my private Anthony Morato tour left me feeling like I was finally a part of it all. The staff ended my visit with a bang, leading me up a spiral staircase to a terrace overlooking the entire city of Florence, where I could reflect on everything I’d seen during my Pitti Uomo experience:

Stay on top of this year’s fashion trends by sticking with a warm, earthy color pallet. Keep it clean, keep it preppy, keep it classic – but, most importantly, keep it polished.

– Natalie


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