Piero Lissoni talks personal taste: Part One

Architect and furniture designer Piero Lissoni has lent his talents to Boffi, Kartell, Flos and Cassina

Piero Lissoni
Piero Lissoni | Image: Albrecht Tübke

My personal style signifiers are trousers worn a bit short and a handkerchief in the pocket of my jacket. I can’t leave the house without a pochette square and have so many, mainly from vintage stores. I always choose one based on my mood and, of course, the colour of my jacket and shirt. I wear my trousers short because I like it when people aren’t perfectly dressed. In theory, you have to be precise to be elegant – but you also have to wear something that’s slightly off.

Pierre Marcolini chocolate
Pierre Marcolini chocolate | Image: © Marcolini

The best gift I’ve given recently was a large dinosaur – a Tyrannosaurus rex about 60cm tall, which I gave to my nephew. It’s not terrifically poetic, perhaps, but I saw it in a shop in Milan called Natura E that sells all sorts of nature-related things. Corso Garibaldi 73, 20121 Milan (+3902-8646 5050; www.natura-e.com).


And the best one I’ve received is two beautiful, tiny porcelain vases that are part of a series by an artist called Jennifer Dengler. They are very simple and look almost as if they’re intended for kitchen use or storage, but they’re extremely delicate. www.jennifer-dengler.com.

Le Labo eau de parfum, £150 for 100ml
Le Labo eau de parfum, £150 for 100ml

An indulgence I would never forego is chocolate in any form, ideally by Pierre Marcolini. Faced with a bar, I am willing to entertain the existence of God. www.marcolini.be.

Fattoria Le Pupille’s Poggio Argentato, from about £8
Fattoria Le Pupille’s Poggio Argentato, from about £8

The grooming staple I’m never without is cologne. There are about 20 I like, some of which are made for me at Le Labo in New York. But I don’t have a staple. I have to give my feminine side some space, which means variety. I think a man who doesn’t give this room is incomplete. 233 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012 (+1212-219 2230; www.lelabofragrances.com). www.liberty.co.uk.

A Rainbow in Curved Air by Terry Riley
A Rainbow in Curved Air by Terry Riley

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Osteria Francescana in Modena. The most marvellous thing on my recent visit was owner-chef Massimo Bottura’s interpretation of tagliatelle al ragù. He uses very little fat and mixes the ingredients with intense care – the process is almost pharmaceutical. Anything he prepares becomes sublime. Via Stella 22, 41121 Modena (+39059-210 118; www.osteriafrancescana.it).

Osteria Francescana in Modena
Osteria Francescana in Modena | Image: Paolo Terzi

The last item I added to my wardrobe was a pair of white-and-brown checked trousers from The Store in Milan. They are cuffed and have a super-straight leg – they’re real gentlemen’s trousers. When I was designing the Cassina shop in London, I used a series of cushions with a white-and-brown check and I recall thinking: “This fabric would make a fantastic pair of trousers.” A few weeks later, I saw these in the window of The Store. Via Solferino 7, 20121 Milan (+3902-874 723).


In my fridge you’ll always find fizzy water, coffee, pecorino cheese, fruit and some excellent white wine – preferably Tuscan and as natural as possible. I like those from Poggio Argentiera and Motta, both of which are in the Maremma, and Elisabetta Geppetti’s from Fattoria Le Pupille, which is superb. www.fattorialepupille.it. www.mottavini.com. www.poggioargentiera.com.

The last music I downloaded was a really old piano concerto by Arnold Schönberg and a few songs from the 1970s by Tangerine Dream. And then an album called ARainbow in Curved Air by Terry Riley. He’s an experimental composer from America, but the music is classical.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the centre of Rome, in and around Campo de’ Fiori. Here you’ll find the best food stores in the city, such as Salumeria Roscioli; excellent wine shops like Il Goccetto; and quite a few small book and shoe shops. And Dar Filettaro in Largo dei Librari sells the best fried baccalà in the city. Dar Filettaro, Largo dei Librari 88 (+3906-686 4018). Enoteca Il Goccetto, Via dei Banchi Vecchi 14 (+3906-686 4268; www.ilgoccetto.com). Salumeria Roscioli, Via dei Giubbonari 21 (+3906-687 5287; www.salumeriaroscioli.com).

My favourite websites are Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, Il Sole 24 Ore and The New York Times, which I read on my iPad. But I prefer reading newspapers in paper format a hundred times more and only use the web if I absolutely have to. www.corriere.it. www.ilsole24ore.com. www.larepubblica.it. www.nytimes.com.

See also