Pitti Uomo June 2012 | A Continuous Lean.

Speaking the Same Language | Salvatore Piccolo SS13

Sep 20th, 2012 | Categories: Made in Italy, Pitti Uomo June 2012 | by Michael Williams

The best part of seeing a new season’s worth of collections is the chance to obsess over the Salvatore Piccolo line. Being a good American and not speaking any Italian (the good American thing = sarcasm) and Salvatore speaking only a tiny bit of English, we focus our communication on shirts and the process of making them.

I’ve covered the last three collections from Piccolo without fail. For whatever reason woven shirts keep my attention and the stuff he turns out always impresses me. This season in addition to the all hand-made casual and dress shirt offerings, Salvatore Piccolo is introducing a small collection of sport jackets for spring. The silhouettes for the jackets are slim but not crazy —made to be wearable and in beautiful patterns and fabrics.





Humble and Outstanding | Barena SS13

Jul 17th, 2012 | Categories: Italy, Menswear, Pitti Uomo June 2012 | by Michael Williams

Seeing photos of the Barena collection doesn’t really do it any justice. It’s best enjoyed in person. At Pitti I consistently walk away from the Barena booth saying to myself: “Barena is my favorite thing at the show”.  That is not hyperbole, I really mean it. Barena encapsulates the Italian art of looking smartly dressed and remaining utterly casual. It’s something that is often overlooked or under appreciated on these American shores. It really is a good concept though; look as dressed up as possible and feel as dressed down as possible. Who could not like that?





Being Neapolitan | A Lesson in Language & Style at Isaia

Jul 3rd, 2012 | Categories: CC Reagan, Italy, Pitti Uomo June 2012 | by CC Reagan

The first time I met Gianluca Isaia was years ago on a gray, damp day in Milano. He was wearing a heavy wool double-breasted brown and beige herringbone topcoat. His hair was long and he was throwing back caffe’ like a man doing shots of tequila. He had just arrived that morning from New York and the gloomy Milan climate wasn’t sitting well with him (in fact, it doesn’t sit well with any Italian who hails from Rome and below, but that’s for another entry). Yet, despite the jetlag and the rain, Gianluca had a take-it-or-leave-it lightness to him, a wholly Neapolitan attitude equal parts optimism and fatalism. I would later come to understand it informs everything he does, not least of all his distinct approach to dressing.

“Non pazziar’,” he tells me as he shows me through the spring collection during the latest Pitti Uomo. That’s Napolitano for “no joking” (I can’t help it if I found his blue, red and white Prince of Wales suit and signature leather Capri sandals amusing). But I should know better, when it comes to this venerable brand, style is no laughing matter. That’s not to say, though, there isn’t room for a bit of irony.





American Goods in Italia | Topo Designs at Pitti

Jun 22nd, 2012 | Categories: Camping, Made in the USA, Pitti Uomo June 2012 | by Michael Williams

My first encounter with the Topo Designs founders Jedd Rose (below right) and Mark Hansen was a perfectly orchestrated meeting over beers that happened completely by chance 4000 miles from home. A few months back I purchased a few items from the Topo online store and really came to love the design and aesthetics.  I used the bags a bunch and more often than not people asked me where they came from. Intrigued I followed the guys on Twitter and Instagram and enjoyed the laid back and approachable nature of the company. That feeling came full circle when Mark and Jedd stopped me this week in a bar in Florence after a long day in the hot sun at the peacock friendly menswear trade show that is Pitti Uomo.