Pitti A/W 2023: Too many negronis, too few makers

Friday, February 3rd 2023
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By Tony Sylvester

It’s been three long years since I last shuffled along the cobbled streets of Florence, winding my way to the Fortezza Da Basso, the medieval castle that hosts Pitti Uomo, the international menswear trade fair.

Without stating the obvious, much has happened in the intervening time, that was far more important than the business of menswear. And, of exponentially greater consequence than the secondary aspect of Pitti, the activity that brings the fair to the world’s attention - the peacockery and general ‘sausaging about’, as my friend Aleks refers to it.

I missed out on what some would consider the glory days of Pitti, first landing in the Tuscan capital about a decade ago, slap bang in the middle of the peacock era. This period was a gross exaggeration of the quite honest phenomenon that street-style photographers like Scott Schuman and Tommy Ton had started capturing a few years prior. Their shots of visiting industry personalities and some of Florence’s local chaps milling around or seated upon the infamous curved wall made for genuinely inspiring viewing.

By the time I had enough status and responsibility in the world of menswear to attend myself, this had led to a comical explosion of wannabes and sartorial tourists, seemingly only there to get photographed and with a negligible connection to the day-to-day business of the fair.

By the mid 2010s, the outfits they wore had become louder and more attention grabbing, yet somehow more homogenised - a new orthodoxy had taken hold. The fits were tighter, the checks louder, the colour palette brighter. It was a contradictory mashing of two directions of the time: a newfound appreciation for the heritage of ‘classic’ menswear and the slimmed-down silhouette of the Hedi Slimane suit.

Unfortunately for all concerned, this hybrid ended up as the de facto look for the era. It was not uncommon to see two hats perched on heads, pocket squares festooned from multiple pockets (on the same outfit) and foot-long feathers protruding from hat bands.

This coquetry also obscured the fact that for industry professionals, part of the fun of going to Pitti is still the pomp and spectacle. It’s what separates it from other trade shows. Even if you consider your own style to be a little more elevated or natural than the parading popinjays, choosing your best outfits on the off chance of being snapped and papped has always had its charms.

And for a lot of attendees, there is a vital practical element too. For a small brand that relies on self-generated marketing, it presents an opportunity for recognition and a showcase to the fashion press, which can then be reposted and recirculated on your own channels.

Armchair pundits are often unaware of the actual work being conducted at the fair. At its pre-Covid height, there were something like 1,200 brands and 21,000 buyers in attendance from around the world.

I made the decision to skip the last few installments. With a downturn in brands showing and worldwide travel severely depleted, it didn’t seem worth it. Those who did make the effort reported back on a half empty fair and closed halls, with very little in the way of actual business getting done. In this void, the socialising aspects appeared to be ramped up to new heights and the fair looked in serious danger of losing its focus and purpose, becoming just another stop off for wealthy folks on the European holiday circuit.

I went this time with some very specific goals in mind. Firstly to help Bryceland’s with their AW23 buys from suppliers, and with the secondary function of looking for new makers for future AWMS products.

The first task was straightforward - Ethan and Kenji have a very clear idea of what they need, who makes it, and what colours and styles work for their brand. The second proved much more elusive alas. While most of the big players were back in force, fresher, newer brands were thin on the ground. Unfortunately for me, I found there to be particularly few manufacturers of interest.

Amongst the malaise and disappointment, a couple of bright lights did shine forth from newer, younger labels.

One that was brand new to me was Nashville and Los Angeles-based Savas. Historically focusing on bespoke and made-to-order leather jackets, founder Savannah Yarborough was launching a new ready-to-wear range. Resolutely rock ‘n’ roll in origin, the models had pleasingly warm tones of suede and calfskin, taking clear inspiration from cowboy shirt and trucker-jacket silhouettes.

Of particular resonance to me was the Trapp; a longer, Mao-collared style with half-belted back that appeared to marry a safari jacket and Bavarian Janker (above). On the footwear side, I could also absolutely see myself in the asymmetrically cut Letta mule in black hair-on-hide. A nice alternative to the Grecians and Opera Pumps I favour in the summer.

The other highlight was catching up with my old friends at P. Le Moult (below). Based in Vienna, Praline and Harry have been at the forefront of the ‘loungewear as outerwear’ concept since way before lockdown threw it into vogue. Their Orient Express collection of robes, nightshirts and pyjamas affixes Hussar frogging to stout jewel-toned and dark-cotton twills and silks, and I put in an order for a navy work jacket with gold knots.

Finally, the other half of Pitti: the daily looks.

The first day, I was excited to show off my latest commission from Fred Nieddu and Zoe Yates at Taillour, made in a deadstock buffalo plaid that I bought off Pendleton’s old eBay store almost 15 years ago. I believe it was made for Filson, for a Japanese collection.

An unorthodox choice for a sports coat, in both colour and weight, it is a heavy beast - heavier than most English overcoat cloths. But remembering the bitterness of Pittis past, I thought it would do away for the need of a coat. The unseasonal warmth had other ideas though, and made it almost too wieldy for the occasion.

The idea for the jacket came from a couple of sources. When Engineered Garments’ Daiki Suzuki was at the helm of Woolrich Woolen Mills, he presented what many consider to be the greatest collection of the Tumblr / #Fuckyeahmenswear era in AW10’s Hunting Noir, which relied heavily on a similar palette of black with bright blue. Around the same time, J Press, under Mark McNairy’s guiding hand, sold a sack jacket in red buffalo plaid complete with hand warmer pockets.

With a jacket carrying this much information, I felt it best to pare down the rest of the outfit with a simpatico, quieter palette. Alongside my AWMS black beret, I wore Taillour bespoke charcoal flannels, the Brycelands RAF rollneck in black, blue sunglasses based on Max Pittion’s Politician shape made by General Eyewear, and some vintage black RM Williams Craftsman boots on Dainite soles. While not for everyone, I was extremely happy with the overall look.


Day two saw another Taillour-related choice in the shape of Bryceland’s brand new Easy Jacket, developed with Nieddu for the launch of the new Bryceland’s London store.

An unlined and unvented jacket with shirt cuffs and patch pockets, it is designed to take the same place in your wardrobe as a Teba, or a French work jacket, but with a little touch of 50s West Coast Americana. I went for the navy wool twill from Abraham Moon with brass buttons, and wore it with a midweight burgundy rollneck from Smedley, white HBT deck pants and hand-knitted watch cap (both from Brycelands) and JM Weston 180 loafers in black lizard.

The last day was also a travel day, so comfort was the overriding theme; nothing that new or fancy was employed.

I took the opportunity to wear the new AWMS beret sample in a nice inky blue; a vintage Ralph Lauren duffle coat in a blue and green plaid with a pleasing ankle length, a navy fisherman’s jumper from Labour & Wait and my trusty spruce green ‘Andrew’ pleated cords- more vintage Ralph. This was the closest to my day-to-day clobber out of the three days, though the Easy Jacket is also becoming a firm fave.

And like that, the whirlwind was over for another season. Being back in Florence really brought home what I missed about the place, as well as that sense of what the fair is lacking in makers.

With apologies to Dickens (and you the reader), we can call it the Tale Of Two Pittis - the work and the social. It would be hypocritical of me to bemoan the endless stream of Negronis, but hopefully next time, they’ll feel more like the reward of a day’s work well done.

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It’s seems every year now there is a stream of comments on the superficiality of the ‘peacocks’. I thinks it’s time we moved on and stoped discussing them. It’s no surprise nowadays and has become an inevitability. It’s like going to east London and reporting back that’s it’s full of fashion kids. We know!

Interesting touching on the buying trip for brycelands. I would like to have read more detail about this. Perhaps that would be a nice Pitti article I.e following a buying trip? It seems allot of the pitti coverage on this site relates more to the social aspects and a few street style shots. Let’s get back to business!

Playing devils advocate here slightly but please could you explain to the my unenlightened self the difference between the first picture and the second? I assume the second image is intended to highlight the dreaded peacock but I see little to no difference between this and the first picture.


Yes, there’s a good continuity with that article. I would say though that’s it a bold jacket and its paired with a Beret. To the untrained eye or anyone outside of the menswear/ fashion world the looks in these two pictures would be one in the same. Its easy for those who are tuned into the nuances of this particluar subculture and look at menswear everyday to differentiate however to the layman there wont be much difference. I just think its worth bearing in mind when single out some guys at pitti for looking a bit silly that perhaps to lots of people you look equally so.


Hi Simon, I second the request for an article on a buying trip. Not that I’m planning one, I just find this type of background knowledge garnered your excellent more technical articles very interesting.
As for the whole ‘peacocks’ thing, I’m of a ‘live and let live’ opinion and don’t take it seriously at all. Just possibly it brightens what could be a bland experience that can be more typical of trade fairs generally. In any event I just enjoy looking at the photographs of a diverse range of people who are not picture perfect models.
Have a good weekend.


Simon, do you feel the association with the peacocks hurts the show or you as a menswear enthusiast? If so then in what way?


Ryan –
it was an article bemoaning the shortage of business to be done and the current focus on the more social and street style aspects of the fair, all the while acknowledging the central hypocrisy in “complaining” about those aspects of the fair while admittedly indulging in them myself. I guess I failed in communicating that clearly.
As for the outfits, horses for courses, I guess. If you need things spelt out to you, let this be the takeaway; if you’re going to wear a bold jacket, make sure the rest of the outfit is pared back and simple with a muted palette.
Thanks a lot, Tony


Ryan – sounds like the beret and bold check print may not be the outfit for you to wear at the school gates. But Tony pulls it off, no doubt.

Stephen J

Bit harsh? Don’t think it called for that tone.


I’m always interested to see photos of Pitti but all too often think they should call it ‘a pity’ (sorry !).
A lot of the men seem to have gone ” a little too much”. Jackets are alittle too tailored , trousers are a tad too short , colours are a bit too strong.
This is never the case when you see women dress up . Each is flamboyant in her own way and as a collective it looks beautiful.
Could this be why men have a black dress code but women don’t ?
e.g. Ascot .. the women look wonderful and the men , all in morning suits , look great and aren’t distracting from the ‘female peacocks’.
It seem when you have a range, variety of tailored men it all adds up to just too much !

Think we need a woman’s perspective on this ./


It’s always pleasing to read an open and honest account of the events at Pitti. I have some questions that relate to Tony’s observations.

Firstly, will he be involved in running Bryceland’s London store, e.g. as a manager, buyer or consultant? Can he provide an update on when it will open and what it will sell?

Secondly, he wrote that, “at its pre-Covid height, there were something like 1,200 brands and 21,000 buyers in attendance”. It would be useful to know the latest estimates for brands, buyers and attendees.  

Thirdly, why were there so few manufacturers of interest to Tony this year? Who was absent and why have they stopped going? Have they lowered their products’ quality or changed the designs?


Hello Gary –
I’ll tackle the Q’s one at a time:
the store is open, and trading. Ben Chamberlain is the manager, and the Instagram account to follow is @brycelandslondon. I work on various aspects with the team, but Ben is your man for all shop related talk. frustratingly, the Pitti marketing team have been very reluctant to share the attendance figures this time around, I have had a request in since the day the fair finished. These are the figures from January 2020, and the last ones they made publicly available. there are some big players who stay away these days, favouring Paris instead, rather than a drop in quality per se.

Thanks a lot, Tony


Hi Tony. Many thanks for your helpful answers. Hopefully, the Brycelands website will be updated soon as it only gives opening times for the Tokyo and Hong Kong shops – https://www.brycelandsco.com/pages/contact-us-1. It would also be useful to know if the Chiltern Street prices are the same as the website’s in Sterling. I’m assuming that, perhaps mistakenly, the store’s merchandise is also available on the website. Cheers!


Gary – as I say please follow @brycelandslondon for all the relevant info (the website is not live yet). In a nutshell, store hours are Tues-Sat 11-6, sun 11-5

Google has the address and phone number too!


Update: they HAVE now published the stats: 800 brands and 13,500 buyers

All the best, Tony


Thanks Tony. So brands and buyers are down by a third. I suspect that decline was due to some brands closing during the pandemic and others preferring to go other shows. It must have been disappointing that, of the remaining 800 brands, only a few were of interest to you. Can you say which brands that you were looking for, or expecting to see, were missing? An article comparing Pitti with Paris and Milan would be very valuable.


The article was worth reading just for the “peacock” photo, which brightened up my day considerably! The Brycelands Easy jacket looks really good on Tony, a trip to their London store is in the offing. I was wondering if anyone knows what the grey knit frog buttoned jacket in the penultimate photo is?


Alan –
lt’s a made-to-order piece from Bryceland’s called The Wadded Mandarin Jacket.
Thanks a lot, Tony

Eric Twardzik

As a recovering Ivy style nerd I’m always interested in ways that a blue blazer can be worn in a more modern fashion. That Bryceland’s jacket is an inspiring example and here’s to hoping it’s available MTO for the unwieldy proportioned.


On a totally unrelated point, I thought I’d share the attached picture ahead of the weekend and interesting illustration of a time when a suit was worn when travelling by motorcycle.

Peter Hall

I’ve never really understood the fury directed at the more extravagant dressers at Pitti. To each their own.

I can appreciate Tony’s choice of wear. I can easily incorporate his Day two outfit,although remain unconvinced I have the necessary nonchalance to rock a beret.
Sadly,I have a sufficient quantity of blue, soft shouldered jackets to justify the lovely jacket,but I have an old melton ,wardrobe bothering, upon which a set of brass buttons will shine.

I think Tony should quit fashion and sail around Brittany, lobster potting. It’s obviously a subconscious desire.


That last comment definitely got me to chuckle. I wouldn’t dare say he should, but I can definitely picture him doing it, maybe selling clothes or scouting factories in between stops.

Andrew Poupart

I agree with your first sentence—most of those folks are simply people doing their job.


But are the “peacocks” simply doing their job? Or are they attention-seeking poseurs who freeload at parties at the expense of the exhibiting brands? Tony’s and Simon’s comments above suggest the latter.

Joshua M.

Totally agreed. What’s wrong with having a little fun? After all, aren’t we all silk scarf wearing, beard trimming, preening peacocks in our own way? 😉

Alex McShane

Hi Tony, and Simon, very interesting article as normal, peacockery, and general ‘sausaging about’ is a great way to put it.
Similar to the article on Wednesday on showy vs subtle, do you believe that actually going beyond being a bit bold – strong blue check jacket, to actually things being too tight, pockets stuffed with different items, in a vain attempt to be noticed leads to degrading the show and might lead to the actual businesses moving on to different trade show somewhere? If it hasn’t happened already.
From my short time reading about menswear, has the world moved from the “sprezzatura” that was so coveted previously, to the bold and more obvious peacocking that has become prevalent? Or is it more the peacocks get more screen time now?


Great writing. It was a pleasure to meet Tony there by the way.
I wonder, if photographer of all kind are not also responsible for peackoking, they are there, because there is an interest for it, if this interest fade, I guess they will disapear as quickly as they arrived.

Andrew Poupart

Well, as a wannabe and a sartorial tourist with a negligible connection to the day-to-day business of the fair, I make no apology that Pitti is a social event for me. There is no other place I know of where, for a few days, one can mingle and talk with people who share a common interest. In that, it is like any such convention and I see no downside to that whatsoever.
I enjoy seeing brands I care about, and chatting to the people working their stands. I am respectful of their time, knowing that I am not there to do business, but if they have the time to chat and answer some questions, then I’m appreciative. It was good to see Edward Green back at the fair, for instance, and good to reconnect with some people there with whom I’ve done some projects, particularly during the pandemic. I spoke to a young man on the Begg stand who had excellent insight into the brand’s newer offerings. We spent an illuminating couple of minutes chatting with him. And so it goes.
And, Tony, I enjoyed our brief chat at Harry’s. See you next time!


Same, Andy, look forward to chatting again.

All the best, Tony


Watching from afar, I found myself wondering if Pitti is a cosplay event.

J Crewless

I enjoy the Peacocks. They’re a lot of fun. And make Pitti (in)famous. Otherwise it would be just another nondescript trade show.


As someone not in the industry but imminently interested in style, I still enjoy seeing the different looks to glean inspiration from those that are well done (to my eye), while disregarding those that are not. But I can fully understand why the peacocking would rub those there to do business the wrong way. And the endless pictures on social media of cocktail parties and dinners do get a bit redundant, and I certainly tend to skip over it more than not these days.

Bob M

Pitti means nothing to me. I think once you have an idea how to mix colors and textures that flatter you, the rest is noise. To me, it’s all about silhouette, fit, and then personal interpretation.
Just yesterday, I saw a young man in beautiful mid gray slacks, a nice deep navy jacket, and a pocket square. Hardly groundbreaking. But simple in execution and he looked fabulous.
More of that, please. So many today are so poorly dressed that even simple basics are a delight.


Tony’s harsh/straightforward words come from a place of love, I can tell.
Valued and needed criticism, not many in his position would so easily bring this to the attention of the novice.
I find it comforting really, that we aren’t coddled.


Are you refering to the article or Tony’s comments? I do not see harsh words as being positive in this place. I maybe think the response to that first comment was to be a bit OTT. Looking a bit sensitive and impacient to me.

Simon Granat

In defense of the peacocks, I began to tune into fashion during the #menswear era, and learning about the peacocks was a part of that. They weren’t to my taste, but I never would have learned of Pitti without them, they provided me countless hours of looking at and thinking about outfits. Unless they are actively taking business away from the trade show, what harm do they cause?
At the risk of being provocative, part of Pitti seems to be the propriety of peakcocking. It strikes me as the place to test the limits of one’s own style in a new way — and that’s great. I think it is fair that to talk about how some outfits are more or less successful than others; or how some outfits are more or less to one’s taste, but often I see this conversation veer into wholesale labelling and disdain for “the peacocks”. It can be elitist and gatekeeping and I’m just not here for that.
Lastly, I think most of us have probably had a moment in our style journey that we regret (bright red collared shirt and white tie at high school formal). If I’m being honest, I still do make mistakes –and test boundaries– that’s an essential part of the learning process. The gentlemen in the photo above look like they’re having a great time. Good for them. To borrow a phrase, who cares, it’s only fashion.

A. B.

Couldn’t have said it better. The peacocks did put PU world famous (or Instagram famous, if you’d like). The way they stood out so much (or too much) is the reason why people outside the industry found out about PU.
Yes, the peacocks’ outfits are artificial, lack harmony between the pieces, and often laughable because of it, but they did their thing. They advertised the fair, so the little businesses presented there could have an additional chance of being seen.


Your comment reminded me immediately of an old article, where Simon was at Pitti with the tie tied with the two blades completely side by side, and got called out in the comments for it (I searched it now: it was with the Dege & Skinner linen suit).
I remember reading it and thinking “come on guys, it’s Pitti Uomo… I’m sure Simon would tie it differently for a business meeting in London or something like that…”. Like, you are almost expected to do something like that there: show up in a perfectly symmetrical half Windsor, with one dimple in the dead centre of the knot, no back blade in sight, and it would be called boring, wouldn’t it?
Most of the people I follow on instagram, even though dressed more conservatively than these five chaps in the picture above, were still doing something that many people would consider peacocking: double breasted suits deliberately open, back blade showing/longer than the front blade/super long tie overall, loud/white socks, etc. Even some commenters here consider the author’s outfit peacocking, while the author himself would not agree.
The bar for what is peacocking and what is not is clearly subjective. And PU seems to be one of the places where people try to push it.


parading popinjays”. Ha! Nice.


In the so called peacocking picture, is the gentlemen on the right even a peacock? Sure, his shoes are showy, but he’s hardly in the same league as the gentleman on the left – and certainly looks much better than the man, back left.

Kevin Svindland

I found Milano Unica far more interesting in terms of #streetstyle.
I always enjoyed flicking through the old Pitti reels by Tommy Ton and Scott Schuman.

However, I did enjoy a couple of negronis in Florence too.


I’m with some of the other commentators. That blue jacket is really hard to pull off – it’s an enormous statement piece in itself. Pairing it with a beret and some distinctive specs and a tattooed hand is just way too much. Not sure it’s much better than the second of the ‘peacocks’ – at least the shoes, however badly judged, are just one dramatic(ally ugly) thing. The third peacock is handsome enough to get away with it – he’s over-the-top in a joyous way, at least. Unlike the first, fourth and fifth peacocks – and, dare we say it, the author of the piece – who all look like they’re taking their strange outfits too seriously.

I worry that Simon’s becoming over-influenced by Tony. I suppose the problem with a site like this is that it needs 150 articles a year. Newspapers and magazines achieve this by following fashions and stars. Maybe some of the recent articles are a sign of this demand for content, or maybe they’re a sign of spending more time in menswear circles rather than at the office and on the tube. (I work in a bank. It’s been pleasing to see the return of jackets, and even ties very recently. At first with senior management, but quickly trickling down. Though pleasing in a worrying way. I think it may be one sign that the downturn is coming. And possibly a sign that finance doesn’t have to compete with ‘tech’ companies for employees so much after the recent lay-offs. Possibly also a reaction to Sam Bankman-Fried. It’s no longer cool to look like you’re taking things easy. Suspect it will take a while before the jacket and ties spread to the back-office and to allied industries, but already lawyers are noticing we’re back in ties and switching to match us. Before long, Selfridges will start selling them again!)

However, Tony seems pleased with what he’s wearing. If he’s happy that is, or would be, the main thing. I wouldn’t judge – but I suppose that in writing an article like this you’re asking to be judged – and if you take pot-shots at over-striving menswear addicts, you probably shouldn’t wear a beret, a loud jacket, some over-striking sunglasses and a visible tattoo!


At some point the peacocks become tiresome to mildly annoying. Tony’s title says it all as the makers are apparently coming to that conclusion as well. The peacocks have a great time, but business is becoming secondary it appears. Perhaps Pitti should reassess its business model before the show becomes irrelevant and just fades away.


I don’t think it’s just the peacocks as many of them will also be buyers who use the event as a sort of runway to gain attention for their business on social media. After all Simon, Tony, the Bryceland’s guys among many other are just as guilty of this. From what I’ve been told by retailers the main problem are those who treat the whole show as some sort of tourist event rather than a trade fair meant for business, occupying the booths and generally overcrowding the place. I suppose the ogranizers will find it hard to challenge this with the amount of events surrounding Pitti seemingly ever increasing.


Hi Simon, I think its worth distinguishing which people in the ‘Peacocks’ picture this term is referring to. The chap second in from the left seems to be dressed relatively conservativly with perhaps the exception of his shoes. I wouldn’t consider this to be to dramatic a faux par. Equally the gentleman on the far right looks fairly well put together all be it with what some may consider a loud shoe.
I think we need to be slightly careful here and show some awareness and sympathy. I was recently discussing with a black female friend of mine her experience at fashion school. Her tutors were exclusively white European men how would often pour scorn on aspects of her work or view it negatively as it didn’t align with their own cultural expectations and preferences in terms of what clothing or fashion should be. Her perspective was one of a Nigerian/ British upbringing and with that came a set of cultural values and tastes. The work she was producing at fashion school reflected this but could not be understood by the tutors.
Now you could argue that the course -although not titled as such – was [European/ western] Fashion Design due to the types of people leading the institution and their experiences that had lead them there. But in reality what it meant was that the students cultural perspective was being funnelled down a narrow European view point. This was a source of great upset for my friend as she was considered to be not very good and missunderstood/ unappreciated when in fact her work would appeal and align with large parts of the community she was from and great swathes of the world at large.
Although we live a very multicultural society here in the UK allot of the institutions – educational or otherwise – do not reflect the variety of perspectives necessary in order for people of minority backgrounds to be fully understood. In allot of west African cultures colours are highly symbolic and often used more broadly in a manner that may seem bold to some with more western tatstes. Matching the colour of accessories – which is often derided as being the opitamy of poor taste to the highly refined menswear enthusiasts – is perhaps not surprising when considering what colours mean and their importance in other countries. When these two traditions of dress meet this may seem an obvious outcome and one that should be sympathised with rather than dismissed as being superficial.

I guess my point is this. Before we single out people in these photographs as being ‘wannabes’ and looking down our noses at them lets consider the cultural context and tastes that may inform the way these people have chosen to dress and ask whether or not it is any less valid that our own. You can choose not to like it, but you cant necessarily says its any worse than your own way of dressing beyond the consensus of your immediate peers.


Would anyone care to name the other trade fairs referred to here?

S. Brent Cardani

I have the same Ralph Lauren tartan duffel coat, purchased new in about 1989 or 1990! I guess now it’s vintage ?


I greatly enjoy Tony’s pieces, particularly his personal but well informed meditations on particular subcultures / influences like Artist Style, Arny’s, and vintage Armani. He brings a more bohemian and eccentric perspective to Simon I feel, whilst still existing in the same sartorial universe. Yes please to more Tony deep dives!


Is Pitti only for trade or can anyone purchase a ticket?

I’d love to go.

Giorgos Makris

From my prespective, there were people at Pitti who went for work, lifestyle, as well as some who… I can’t figure out why they went. I came out of it with a great wealth of new connections and many beautiful purchases.