The New York Times has an excellent photo essay on how the streets of Milan come alive with style beasts — fans, followers, arbiters of taste, influencers, industry insiders, and celebrities — from all over the world in town for the twice-yearly Milan Fashion Week and its frenetic schedule of runway shows and events.

The images and article are by the photographer Simbarashe Cha for the Times. As Cha explains, “Fashion students, in particular, flock to the shows armed with camera phones in hand, waiting for the opportunity to snap a photo with some of the biggest TikTok and K-pop stars.”

Though the short article doesn’t mention it, the famed and beautiful Italian city of Florence (Firenze) to the south experiences something similar, but in a more subdued, low-wattage way when it plays host to Pitti Uomo, essentially a fashion week devoted solely to men’s clothing. Unlike Milan, it’s more of a trade show without the exhaustive marathon of runway shows or the same degree of flash-bulb glamour.

We’ve been in the Florence during Pitti Uomo and for all but the most obtuse and unobservant people, there’s an unmissable, marked leveling-up of the male sartorial game. Suddenly there’s a ton of exceptionally well-dressed men (and women) everywhere and the act of people-watching gets a lot more interesting. The city acquires a palpable excitement at street level that’s intoxicating.

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