I customized backpacks in high school. It began with mine, then everyone wanted one. They were quite garish; Disney meets Pollack meets splatter…
I consider myself a writer; I love words. I think fashion is a fantastic subject as it’s the most immediate, acute, and precise reflection of society. It keeps me excited, because it is constantly changing; the more fashion moves, the more my writing style evolves– a mutual feeding I truly enjoy. A book (already in the making) may be the next step in my career.
Who has influenced your journalistic style?
I’m a bookworm and spend many sleepless nights reading. I’m particularly fond of Agota Kristof‘s super dry prose, Italo Calvino‘s precise lightness, Giacomo Leopardi‘s grumpiness, and Carlo Emilio Gadda‘s verbal inventiveness. However, I discover new ideas every day, often in the most unexpected places.
How has your style evolved over the past 5 years?
My choices have become stricter, but my tailoring softer. I’ll be forty soon and have slowly entered a quiet phase, with a few exceptions.
Quietness is a state of mind; even my wildest choices, if you look closely, are classic and eminently sartorial– It’s the proportions that sometimes go bonkers.
I jog every day to kip fit because I was a fat child. I’m a self-taught illustrator—I draw kinky little characters every now and then.
Never caught wearing?
A tank top in public, unless I am jogging.
What are your go-to wardrobe staples?
Unlined blazers that are softly tailored, single-pleat trousers that are a tad too short (and a bit too wide, with a turn up), and massive brogues are my staples.
Which shops could you spend the whole day in?
I’m mad for dusty old shops. I love the bowties and velvet robes de chambre at Charvet in Paris and the unlined blazers from Vertice in Torino. Dover Street Market in London and Piombo in Milano are also great. I see shopping as treasure hunting.
What do you wear when traveling?
The same as usual, but I replace the blazer with a field jacket or parka so I have proper pockets for everything. You know, beards get custom agents pixilated; I better look proper or they’ll mistake me for the Unabomber! They should know nothing is as it seems…
Most visually inspiring place you’ve been?
La Canna– a rock protruding from the vast open blue sea not far from the Aeolian island of Filicudi, it’s sublime.
Whose style do you admire?
Besides the fantastically put-together elderly men I meet every day on the street in Sicily where I live, who wear ages-old pieces with dignity and grace? I would say Peter Sellers…
Do you cherish any particular heirloom pieces?
A black evening coat with a silver lining that belonged to my late father– it’s boxy and strict in a Mad Men kind of way.
Most memorable gift?
Love from people I love, both given and received.
Most stylish movie?
There are so many; Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Teorema, Chris Marker’s La Jetée, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His wife & Her Lover.
How have you surprised yourself recently?
By saying a polite NO to a job offer. I hate to say no, but this one sounded like a bluff, despite the good pay.
What do you never consider an indulgence?
Living in Sicily and being involved in the fashion industry may be considered an indulgence to others. I love being lateral and cherish insularity; it keeps me focused.
Most important style advice you’ve received?
I received advice from Wallace Stevens, through his poems, “Reality is the product of the imagination”.
Godard provided insight for me to advise a friend in trouble, “It’s not where you take things from, but where you take them to”.
What do you feel most powerful wearing?
Deep blue; it makes me feel like I ooze Olympic calm.
Sartorial rule you never follow?
As a rule, I don’t believe in rules. But it’s always helpful to remember that trying too hard is not elegant. One should look like he did not try at all.