As a reminder, don't forget to subscribe to the Styleforum pitti86 label if you want to get all the coverage from me and @Synthese. I began my first day of Pitti like a normal person, walking around Florence like the tens of thousands of other non-#menswear American tourists that come here every summer. Of course everyone will recognize the Duomo or the Uffizi, but I happened by this interesting installation outside some ancient building on a Florentine alley. Someone has covered the building in fake dollar bills. More cleverly still, the bills at one time covered the building all the way to the pavement. But of course pedestrians have stripped off all the bills within arm's reach of a tall person. I would guess whoever did this anticipated this result, and would not have considered the piece finished until it reached its current state. This might be the only gathering I've ever attended that features more vests than socks. Between Greg, me, and Jasper, we were probably wearing half of all the socks inside the Fortezza yesterday. And it turns out it isn't even all that hot here this year. But if you had spent the last month planning to strangle Pitti with your bare ankles, or touching up your calf tattoos so you could wear shorts with your double-breasted jacket, or finding the perfect sandal to wear with a suit, would you let a 70-degree day stand in your way? It seems not. My first appointment was an interview with Luca Rubinacci. We were to meet outside the main pavilion, which is usually swarmed by the bloggers and the blogged at all hours of Pitti. Even with all this crowd, there was no back-and-forth in our arrangements about what we were wearing and how we'd recognize each other. The unspoken, truthful, subtext, of course was, "I know you've seen dozens of pictures of me on the Internet. Don't worry, you'll be able to find me." And sure enough, it was no trouble at all. After speaking with Rubinacci, I strolled around the main pavilion a bit. Perhaps paradoxically, besides bare ankles, the biggest trends seem to double-breasted jackets and vests. And patch pockets on everything. And collars that curl up as they meet the jacket lapel. This is the new un-buttoned button-down collar. One of my goals for this trip was to try and fathom why companies come to Pitti, and what they're doing here. Isaia is a brand that stands at the intersection of a lot of the trends I mentioned above. On the one hand, their booth and their employees are as trendy and attention-grabbing as any 50 square feet at Pitti. Gianluca Isaia wore a suit with sandals, every employee wore a loudly patterned suit, and their mannequins were decked out in berry patches of color. Many of the jackets have visible hand detailing. Plenty are double-breasted with patch pockets. An outfit doesn't have a color scheme, but a color "story". At the same time, most of what you see in the Isaia section at high-end department stores are well-made, nicely styled conservative suits in solid colors. They are one of many of the large, already well-known brands such as Kiton or Cucinelli that use Pitti as a marketing platform more than as an opportunity to meet with buyers and do actual business. They have 6 ft tall models at the front of their booth, offer a beautiful lunch spread on a daily basis, and generally see and get seen. Isaia at Pitti Uomo 86. Eidos, which is owned by Isaia but run by wunderkind designer Antonio Ciongoli (@NickPollica here on Styleforum), represents an entirely different Pitti experience. The project is still young, still defining itself as a brand, still picking up retail outlets, still generating basic designs that it will surely return to over and over again in the future. When you go to the Eidos booth, there are no models there to scan your press card, there's just Antonio (and his helpful and knowledgeable sidekick Quentin). He's there to go through the collection with potential buyers, and he's actually trying to sell what he's got in his booth, and what he's wearing. He's where Cucinelli was decades ago, when perhaps Brunello himself was manning a small booth at a Pitti of yore. Eidos at Pitti Uomo 86. After a day at the booths, I met back up with Greg and Jasper at a Tie Your Tie anniversary event, where I also so the Armoury dudes, Salvatore Ambrosi, Kamoshita-san, and other luminaries. Much more to follow.