by Eliot Rabin

It’s our 45th year selling men’s clothing in NYC, and not only is it our best-ever year at retail but also the best-ever Pitti Uomo I’ve had the good fortune to attend. But before I begin highlighting, I want to thank all the vendors who supported us through the trying times we faced during Covid: it means the world to us; my goal is to return the favors!

ABOVE: The irrepressible Eliot Rabin prepares to take a bite out of Italy. Watch out Florence!

We (myself and my right-hand fashion visionary Isabelle) left NYC on January 7th to give us a chance to enjoy Florence, i.e., the Steak Florentine et vin rouge (followed by a dose of Lipitor), and the artistry of the Duomo: that ceiling!!!

We’d planned to stay at an Air B&B, which proved to be an unmitigated disaster: beds like those in a prison cell and no internet! Luckily, we were able to move to the last suite in the Hotel Albani, a short walk to the show. As fate would have it, our suite had no hot water, so we moved again.

Just two more Pitti peacocks strutting their stuff.

But fortunately, the energy, elegance, and whimsy of Pitti Uomo totally made up for these early disappointments. And after the long pandemic, how we needed that jolt of creativity; nowhere is it done with the excitement and class of Pitti Uomo.

We hit the jackpot on our first day shopping the show, discovering a small knitwear company that we will work with to create fall ’23 sweaters. Olive is the new blue, mixed with shades of bright yellow, or accented in shades of blue. Gorgeous, wearable, and in tune with our mantra: “A Whimsical Mood of Timeless Elegance.” (In other words: Funky Elegance.)

Other finds:

  • Sneakers! And more sneakers, an endless array, many sustainable and recycled.
  • Dressy footwear including classic tassel loafers; (I was even asked to sell the hand-sewn cordovan penny loafers on my feet!)
  • Hats were everywhere: homburgs, safari hybrids, modified western styles. Christy’s and Stetson booths were busy non-stop.
  • Tailored clothing was magnificent in blended touch fabrics with a bit of stretch. Softer British tweeds looked perfect!
  • Outerwear included great quilted vests from Herno, Moncler, Egoist and others, layered over sportcoats. We found some beautiful shearling-lined topcoats that you will soon see on our website and in-store.
  • Innovative accessories add a finishing touch: elegant cuff links (yes, we’ll be selling French cuff shirts), and interesting neckwear (Charleston rep strips and brushed ancient madder). For the Hampton Classic, we bought boot bags with matching gilets and blazers with signature buttons.

Top takeaway: the sustainable fashion showcased in its own pavilion at Pitti, crafted from various land and sea waste. We should all be promoting this movement to recycle our natural resources, not just to save the planet but to extend our nation’s shopping addiction, without which we wouldn’t be here.

Thank you Pitti Uomo for keeping us on the cutting edge. In the twilight of my years, how grateful am I to have experienced the best show ever!

Eliot Rabin is the proprietor of Peter Elliot Blue in New York City. 


  1. Elliot; you are a wonderful example of how our age makes us “better” and “wiser” without losing the enthusiasm with which we were born! Bravo!

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