Runway Recall: When Thom Browne Showed the Exact Same Look on 41 Models at Pitti Uomo

The man loves a uniform.

75∞ Pitti Uomo Thom Browne ph Dan & Corina Lecca

Image courtesy of Pitti Uomo.

Next week, buyers and designers from around the world will land in Florence for one of the world's premier menswear tradeshows, Pitti Uomo. Each year, the show invites a different designer to stage an exhibition of his work. So while we look forward to seeing what Z Zegna designer Paul Surridge has in store for this year, we're taking a moment to remember Thom Browne's entry from 2009.

Instead of showing an array of different looks, Browne dressed 41 models in the exact same outfit and arranged them in neat rows of desks at the Istituto di Scienze Militari Aeronautiche. Reporters quote him as saying that instead of putting on a fashion show, he wanted to create "an introduction to what my sensibility is." The end result looks a little like a hyper-tailored version of the accounting office scene from The Producers.

The first model, cast in what we can only assume is the role of branch manager, came out wearing a khaki trench coat, a gray suit, a white shirt and a black tie. He replaced his suit jacket with a gray cardigan that was waiting for him on a coat rack and sat down at a desk separated from the rest of the ones in the room. Then he rang a bell and the show began. Take a look at how it unfolded below.

—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner.

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