November 12 2012
My style icon is my father. I am fortunate in being the son of a man who knows about life and the better things in it. Not only does he know about clothes, he knows how to wear them and he is a connoisseur in the old sense – he knows about 18th-century porcelain and Old Master paintings, about food and wine; he also has such beautiful manners. He is a great Neapolitan gentleman; I could not have hoped for a better teacher to prepare me for the journey of life.
A recent find, although it’s a classic, is the Chateau Marmont in LA. It was a revelation for me; it is my new favourite place for a Trunk Show on the West Coast. In New York I was delighted to discover real Neapolitan pizza at a place called Pizza Arte in midtown on Fifth Avenue; after I ate there I found out that a friend of mine had brought the oven and the craftsmen to install it over from Naples to New York. Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California 90046 (+1323-656 1010; www.chateaumarmont.com). Pizza Arte, 69 West 55 Street, New York 10019 (+1212-247 3936; pizzarteny.com).
The site that inspires me is Leblon Beach in Rio de Janeiro; it is my favourite place to chill. I’ll have a caipirinha on the rooftop of the Fasano hotel and watch the sunset; when you see an open view like that, your eyes drift into the distance and your mind opens up. It is like being out at sea. Avenida Vieira Souto, 80 Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22420-000 (+5521-3203 4000; www.fasano.com.br).
The last item I added to my wardrobe is a vintage linen herringbone suit in green. It is a heavy linen that I made into a single‑breasted style with patch pockets; I was reminded that we had this cloth when I saw some graffiti of exactly the same shade on a wall in Milan. Made to order, £3,900; www.marianorubinacci.net.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Damien Hirst. I did just buy two deckchairs from Gagosian, yellow and cobalt blue, in New York, with Hirst’s butterflies – they are now on my terrace in Milan. £310 each; Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Avenue, New York 10075 (+1212-744 2313; www.gagosian.com). www.othercriteria.com.
My favourite room is my kitchen. It’s in typical American style, everything surrounded by domestic appliances. It’s not very big but it’s comfortable, and what I love is that everywhere you look you see beautiful kitchenware.
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Portobello Market in London. Even though the whole world knows about it, you can find the best vintage things there. It is the perfect shopping experience, as you never know what you will see in all of the various stalls. Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill, London W10; Mon-Sat, 8am-6.30pm.
The person I rely on for personal grooming is Alessandro Scalici, my personal trainer in Milan who keeps me fit and feeling good. +3932-8832 0525.
If I didn’t live in Milan, the city I would live in is Naples – one of the most fascinating cities in the world. I was born there, and if I didn’t have to run our Milan shop, I would live there. I especially love La Gaiola, which is a small area next to the sea in the Virgiliano Park, whose peculiarity is the fusion between volcanic, archaeological and biological elements. And the historic centre, where especially during Christmas time it looks like you have been thrown back into the 1500s. The atmosphere is fascinating and magical. And last but not least, our shop. When you walk in our Napoli branch, you step into another century… vintage fabrics cover the walls, the books on the table describe all the suits made by us since 1930, with all the small pieces of fabric, names of customers and dates of order… in short, you enter a private club where you can discuss everything about elegance.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a professional sailor… in the Luna Rossa racing team as a trimmer. I was twice Italian champion of the 420 event, and I was in the national team, but I missed out on competing in the 2000 Olympics for the 470.