Set in the Tuscan hills and brimming with historic architecture, Florence is a natural home for design. In town for menswear expo Pitti Uomo 90, we explored the storied streets of the Renaissance city with photographer and filmmaker Dennis Swiatkowski.
“The beautiful statues sprinkled around town, the parks, the bridges and the old architecture, it all makes it a dreamlike experience to an outsider like me,” says Dennis, coming back to reality from his time in Florence. Were it not for the contemporary, sartorial crowd pouring through the narrow streets, the time travel would be complete. Since its debut in 1972, Pitti Uomo has been harbinger of the men’s fashion world and cemented Florence as a fashion capital of the world. While brands continue to exhibit traditional menswear garments, the event is a platform for designers like Gosha Rubchinskiy and Craig Green to display their innovations that bring gendered fashion into question.
At Pitti Uomo 90, the MINI Fluid Fashion Exhibition entered the discourse of genderless fashion by commissioning five international designers including our friend Hien Le, Agi & Sam, Études Studio, SANKUANZ and Sunnei to each create limited edition sweatshirts. Perhaps a lesser known fact, MINI has had its hand in the fashion world for decades and continues to engage with contemporary design. Dennis captured some shots from the exhibition at the Palazzo Pitti and its picturesque surroundings.
At Pitti Uomo Dennis’ subjects were primarily men—unusual for a photographer known for his portraits of women in various states of undress. He captures the beauty of humanity through rejoice of nudity and a highly-refined eye, often taking his models out of the studio and into natural landscapes, shooting them primarily on film. Like Florence, his photography possesses a timelessness that is both classic and still at the height of art—his analog images harken back to traditional journalistic photography, with a contemporary aesthetic driving them forward.
“Florence is a beautiful city. It oozes romanticism and it has got a mythical heavenly aura about it. The beautiful statues which are sprinkled around town, the parks, the bridges and the old architecture, it all makes it a dreamlike experience to an outsider like me.”
Thank you Dennis, for accompanying us on our trip to Pitti Uomo and taking such incredible shots of Florence and the event.
This portrait is part of a collaboration between MINI and Freunde von Freunden. For the occasion of Pitti Uomo 90, five international designers have been enlisted to interpret the MINI sweatshirt for the limited MINI FLUID FASHION Capsule Collection. Following on the latest trends in urban culture and lifestyle, the collection is an expression of MINI’s optimistic and boundless view on fashion. For further insight, see our portrait on Berlin-based fashion designer Hien Le, one of the five designers selected and see the full collection of sweatshirts here.