The Aesthete: Alvaro Maggini talks more personal taste

The Panerai creative director concludes his list of likes with the metrosexual style of David Beckham, his Prada suit and shopping in Milan

Alvaro Maggini at home in Geneva
Alvaro Maggini at home in Geneva | Image: Beat Schweizer

My style icon is David Beckham. He is a great example of what it means to be metrosexual. The late photographer Peter Lindbergh once said to me during a shoot: “I saw him walking barefoot downstairs, wearing just jeans and a white T-shirt, and suddenly I understood why he’s deified.” 

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a slim-fit cotton Prada suit that I bought recently in Milan, in a very nice indigo. I have been a loyal customer for decades. £2,320; farfetch.com.

David Beckham, Maggini’s style icon
David Beckham, Maggini’s style icon | Image: Getty

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Pristina, in Kosovo, a fascinating place in the heart of the Balkans. The people were so kind and I was struck by the respect they show to their land. I felt personally enriched by the experience.

The thing I’m eyeing next is Autoban’s Box sofa. It was designed for an interior in which all the seating is clustered in the centre of the space, so it looks handsome from every angle – and its tapered legs give the impression that it is hovering above the ground. From £6,642; kookudesign.com.

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The last meal that truly impressed me was on a visit to the Argentario coast in Tuscany with some friends, where we found Alicina Hosteria in Porto Ercole. The food was exquisite. I loved all the raw fish, but the most impressive element was the red shrimp; it was the best “crudo” I have had in my life. +39056-483 2630.

My grooming and wellbeing gurus are my personal trainers. I am currently living between three cities – Milan, Geneva and Megève – and I have a personal trainer in each one. Going to the gym relieves stress, improves my memory, helps me sleep better, and gives my mood and body an overall boost. I have Francesco Russo in Milan, Gabriel Stevens in Geneva – for Pilates and yoga – and Clement Makiello in Megève. I try to do a minimum of one hour every day. Francesco Russo, +39338-858 9660. Gabriel Stevens, ptr-training.ch. Clement Makiello, mgv-coaching.com

Box sofa by Autobahn
Box sofa by Autobahn

If I had to limit my shopping to one city, I’d choose Milan. Definitely. When the city hosted the 2015 World Expo, it not only improved its infrastructure, but also used the event to position itself as the gateway to Italy – a destination for more than just fashion, design and business. My favourite shops are downtown: the Prada store in Montenapoleone and the clothing boutique Gio Moretti on Via della Spiga. Also worth a visit for designer clothes and accessories are Antonia, in the Brera area, and Biffi, in the Navigli area. The restaurant I love most is Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, in the centre of Milan since 1957. The food there is amazing, as is the historic Bagatti Valsecchi building, one of the most prestigious in the city. Antonia, antonia.it. Biffi, biffi.com. Gio Moretti, giomoretti.com. Prada, prada.com. Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, ilsalumaiodimontenapoleone.it. 

If I didn’t live in Milan, Geneva and Megève, I wouldn’t feel the need to live in any particular city. Who I am with matters much more to me than where I am. Being Swiss, I’m used to speaking different languages and am open to all cultures. 

Pristina in Kosovo
Pristina in Kosovo

In my fridge you’ll always findcheese. Ricotta is my favourite, followed by Emmental and Alpine cheeses in general. Being Swiss, I love dairy, but I am careful about my weight and my health. I always have a nice bottle of Bellavista and a tin of caviar in there too.

An indulgence I would never forgo is discussion. I adore working in a team, and conversation is stimulating – it’s undervalued. 

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If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a screenwriter. I like the idea of inventing stories, playing with words and creating characters, and of being able to transform and manipulate the plots and the characters’ lives.

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