Gianvito Rossi talks personal taste: Part One

Milan-based Gianvito Rossi is known for his refined, elegant and imaginative shoe designs for women

Gianvito Rossi
Gianvito Rossi | Image: Gaia Cambiaggi

My personal style signifier is a pair of black double-monkstrap shoes that I had made by Church’s, which remains a traditional Northampton shoemaker even though now owned by Prada. I love the way British shoes balance elegance and masculinity. £530;serious sports car but not too flash. About £98,000;Sardinia. I spent time there last summer – it has beautiful bays, fantastic views and is the perfect place to relax and unwind if you have a boat.

The Aeolian island of Panarea
The Aeolian island of Panarea | Image: 4corners Images

And the best souvenirs I’ve brought home are shearling-lined Canadian trapper hats by Nathaniel Cole for my sons, which were very well received. From C$140;www.crowncap.com.

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The book on my bedside table is Atonement by Ian McEwan – I’m very touched by the idea of exploring how we take responsibility for our actions in life and their consequences.

One of the Canadian trapper hats Rossi brought home for his sons
One of the Canadian trapper hats Rossi brought home for his sons | Image: Gaia Cambiaggi

The last music I downloaded was Blitz by Digitalism; I like the electro sound.

Comme des Garçons 2, £62 for 50ml EDP
Comme des Garçons 2, £62 for 50ml EDP

In my fridge you’ll always find smoked salmon and Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2004 sparkling white wine – it’s one of the best and I find it goes well with the fish – plus fresh pasta and ripe tomatoes. Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2004, £69.50 per 750ml bottle; www.winedirect.co.uk.

Forme uniche della continuità nello spazio, 1931, by Boccioni
Forme uniche della continuità nello spazio, 1931, by Boccioni | Image: Mondadori via Getty Images

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a bespoke two-button Berluti suit from Milan, in deep blue. I like Berluti’s attention to detail and how tradition is mixed with modernity. I prefer the label’s clothes to its shoes. €6,500; www.berluti.com.

Church’s double-monkstrap shoes, £530
Church’s double-monkstrap shoes, £530

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Boccioni. Forme uniche della continuità nello spazio is my all‑time favourite piece of art. His sculptures represent movement and a projection of the mind into a different space and dimension.

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My favourite room in my house is my living room, which contains a happy combination of old and new furniture. I enjoy reading on my sofa, designed by Vico Magistretti for De Padova. It’s paired with a Fiorenza armchair, designed by Franco Albini for Arflex in 1952.

The grooming staple I’m never without is my scent, Comme des Garçons 2, which is fresh with a little bit of spice. £62 for 50ml EDP; www.doverstreetmarket.com.

An indulgence I would never forgo is taking time for myself in the garden of my country house, which was originally bought by my mother for its view of the sea and San Marino, between Emilia-Romagna and Marche – I sit and reflect with a cigar and a glass of armagnac.

The sight that inspires me is always a sea view. I grew up on the coast, so being close to the sea is important to me – it spurs my imagination and is an infinite blue backdrop to my dreams. My favourite examples are the Kornati archipelago in Croatia, which is not that far by boat from my home in Rimini and is great for cruising as it’s protected by the outer islands, and the beaches around Panarea in the Aeolian islands.

My favourite websites belong to auction houses – I always enjoy browsing on the Christie’s or Sotheby’s sites. The poster auctions are divine but I have yet to bid – I just find it exciting to see what is going on. It’s difficult to bid in real time because I’m always travelling. www.christies.com. www.sothebys.com.

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