Pitti (pronounced pity!), which I’ve written before about here, is the Men’s fashion mecca. It is the largest Men’s Fashion Fair and happens two times a year in January and in June. Here you’ll find every male fashion blogger on the planet and quite a few of the female ones too, strutting their stuff in “Sprezzatura” glory!
Which brings me to the term “Sprezzatura”! Ever heard of this? You’ll find the #sprezzatura tag on all “Italian Style” menswear photographs on Instagram, a term now associated with dressing like an Italian dandy! My husband pointed out that the term is a little misused. Originally a Neapolitan dialect slang word used to describe the man in the 10,000 euro suit (like Kiton!), who drinks his espresso at the bar with his elbows on the counter!
The man who wears luxury for himself, but DOESN’T act as though he’s being watched! He’s slouching, his legs are open and he’s indifferent to how you view him, yet his watch is a Patek Philippe! Let’s just say it is a little different from the male bloggers that parade the fashion fairs, posing for the majority of the day!
It’s been a while since I was last at Pitti, and a few things have changed. I’ve written before about what it is like to launch a small artisan brand in the big fashion world here. Basically, one of the tried and tested strategies is to have a stand at one of these Fashion Fairs that occur during the various fashion weeks.
In the olden days, brands would set up their booths with the current season’s collection and buyers from around the world would walk through these glam tradeshows and “discover” new brands. Since all of the major brands are present at these Fairs, there is a good chance of attracting international buyers, especially if you showcase alongside the bigger names.
Bloggers are the new Vogue
One of the biggest changes that has occurred in fashion is the phenomena of the fashion blogger. Bloggers are a way to speak directly to an audience without the need for a huge budget. Plus, if you sell online, customers can buy your wares directly, cutting out the middle man (stores) and the middle man markup (between 2.2 and 3 times the price!! But often even 5 times!).
Not sure if you remember, but a while back the New York Fashion Week organizers made a statement about how fewer bloggers were going to be given priority seating at the runway shows so that the emphasis was placed on the buyers…again. I wrote a post about that here, entitled “How Important Are Bloggers At Fashion Week?
After this last edition of Pitti I can see that the fashion world is going to continue to change, with more importance placed on blogger street style at the Fairs and less importance placed on the brands selling or even their new collections!
The bloggers outweigh the buyers!
This year, a male fashion blogger friend of mine emailed me because it was going to be his first time going to Pitti. He asked “how it worked”? I said that all you have to do to get the most out of Pitti is hang around outside!
In the central courtyard you’ll find a constant thick fog of bloggers, characters, personalities and types gathered to chain smoke and smile, pose and lean. Everyone was wearing their best bespoke suits, collector’s edition watches, silk pocket scarves and cashmere “dolce vitas” (otherwise known as turtlnecks!
If you ever wanted to have your photograph on a male fashion blog, this is the place to be!
I forget, every now and the, the sheer quantity of luxury goods that come out of Italy. There is a reason that “Made in Italy” still holds so much value, and when you go to Pitti you realize it. Not only are items “handmade” they are exceptionally made. Not only are they made with “leather”, they are made with the best leather…the best Cashmere, the best fabrics, the best everything!
Before I started working in this world I thought that owning a “Coach” bag was a big deal! Now I realize that on the scale of 1 to 10 luxury Coach is something like a 4, who knew!
Alessandra Fontanelli – Real Mom Luxury
Among all of the hustle and bustle I met Alessandra Fontanelli, the fashion designer that we currently produce for. Her line, Alessandra Fontanelli, of hand colored alligator and crocodile belts featuring artisan Silver crafted buckles, is the purest expression of “luxury goods”.
A Women Should Dress Like a Man
One of the things I found so interesting and refreshing about Alessandra, who is a mom and entrepreneur, is that she approaches the items that she buys with a “men’s mentality”. Buy less, buy the best you can afford and make it last.
She has the culture to recognize high quality textiles, leathers and craftsmanship to decipher hype from quality, something that I am only starting to learn.
And when she loves something she LOVES it!
She mentioned that she owns 10 of everything she loves and yet still takes things to get repaired when they begin to age.
A Fashion Bloggers Dilemma
This whole experience of going to Pitti and starting back in the fashion world really got me thinking about what I buy. I’ve written before about what it is like to work in luxury when you don’t make luxury money here …. it is hard! I’ve had to develop a Fashion Foresight strategy, where I scope out the trends years in advance!!
One thing I have learned is that once you know WHO makes exceptional products you can buy directly from them!! This is fashion’s biggest revolution of all! Finding them….well that’s another story. And why bloggers are becoming even more important for small, artisan, Italian brands!
Now onto YOUR style…
#REASONSTODRESS Real Mom Street Style Linkup
This week I am proud to have Alexandra from Funky Jungle as my lovely co-host!
If you haven’t visited her fashion blog I highly recommend you check it out. She has a style that reflects so much personality and perfectly borderlines being fashionable, being original and being wearable. She’s been a huge source of inspiration for me to revisit things I already own and her way of writing is relaxed and authentic.
Oh and did I mention she blogs in Italian, German and English!
Here are a few of my favorite looks from Funky Jungle!
Thank you to everyone who linked up last week! If you would like to co-host the #reasonstodress linkup I would love to have you, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org !