The world’s first-ever menswear fashion show, by Brioni, was put on in Florence back in 1952. Following a two season absence (digital stuff apart), Florence today hosted its first post-pandemic fashion show, by Thebe Magugu. It was also Magugu’s first-ever full menswear collection.
It was held in a roughly bricked building at the edge of the castellated walls of the ancient fortress that is Pitti’s chief home, and which for this 100th edition is probably at around 30% of its pre-pandemic levels, in terms both of guests and exhibitors. This is a Pitti, however, which feels crackling with potential and dynamism—not half empty, but half full—and this Magugu show encapsulated that. It was the first time I’ve seen this designer’s work since his winning installation at the International Fashion Showcase chaired by Runway’s supreme talent spotter, Sarah Mower, in February 2019. Since then he has built a rich, deep, and distinct design vocabulary that was powerfully articulated today.