“I believe totally in vanity,” Mr. Degennaro said. “But, in the sense that you have to be proud of yourself and of the way you leave the house in the morning, of how you take care of yourself, how you present yourself in public.”
His friend Emanuele Tumidei chimed in. “There’s a real difference between confidence and pure ego,” said Mr. Tumidei, a designer who had created his own drop-crotch jeans with deep turned-up cuffs and a laser-printed vest/apron. (His Mounties hat and skivvy T-shirt were internet finds.)
“Vanity is a double-edged sword,” said Mr. Tumidei, who is in his 30s. “It’s important to like yourself. It’s only bad when you start to love yourself a little too much.”
Just days before Pitti Uomo began, an Hermès men’s wear fashion show had closed out the official return of Fashion Week to Paris (Giorgio Armani in Milan, which preceded it, gets credit for the kickoff) and an enthusiastic return of both an industry and a pursuit that, for all its shortcomings, remains among the most powerful drivers of contemporary culture.
Hardly an area of modern life is untouched by fashion, as anyone even glancingly familiar with TikTok, hip-hop, YouTube or the N.B.A. could tell you. While the pandemic drove the world indoors for safety, an evolutionary desire to preen ourselves proved tough to stifle.