500th My Style interview: Diego Dolcini

Portrait of Diego Dolcini

Portrait: Milan Vukmirovic — Courtesy of Diego Dolcini

Is comfort an enemy of style?

I don't think so. Chanel has been successful, based on the concept of comfort. In order to be stylish you don't need to be ‘strict’. In my eyes, being comfortable is what real luxury is all about.

Please describe your style in three words.

Casual and, comfortable, and with an elegant twist.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

I more or less accept everything. What you may consider ‘wrong’ today could be ‘fashionable’ tomorrow. For example, when ten years ago I started wearing jumpsuits under a blazer, people rolled their eyes, but today it is considered stylish. And, perhaps, tomorrow it might be accepted as ordinary.

Do you believe in role models?

I believe in the beauty that comes from inside, from a person's character. Also, in the desire to take care of themselves while being respectful to the people that surround them.

What are your favourite fabrics?

If we are talking about fibres, cotton and cashmere; also, I love vicuña because it's so light and comfortable. If we are discussing fabrics, I love everything soft, like jersey or knitwear.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

Naples and London! In Naples, the culture of menswear they have there is amazing and it's part of the area's tradition. I appreciate their sartorial approach and how people always go to a tailor to have garments made on them. I also find their eclectic approach to colour matching very sophisticated. As for London, while I admire their equally great tradition in tailoring, I have to say that their street style is fantastic!

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I think I am somewhere in the middle. But I prefer not to use such strong terms lightly, because, in the end, we are quite complex as people.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I have no rules. If I had to say something about it, is that when I look in the mirror, I'd like to feel like myself. I am not the type of person who wakes up and says, “Today, I want to be this guy or that guy”. I try to put something together that makes sense for me and to mix materials and patterns in an interesting way. I don't want to be loud with my selection of clothing; I would, however, like people to feel my energy, what comes from within. I like it when people can say that this guy has ‘something’.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Leather accessories and bags in many different types of leather, with my favourite brand being Hermès. I also have a lot of shoes, probably more than two hundred pairs. Sneakers, as you can imagine, take up of a lot of my wardrobe space. Also, I like to collect watches and rings from different brands, but I don't really wear them.

A man should always look like…

It depends on where he is going and what he has to do. There are a lot of different ways to dress depending on the situation.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My uncle comes to mind; he was a very stylish and well-travelled man. He would go to Paris and New York, and he always looked very smart in his tailored jackets and ties, everything on him was perfect. I do look up to him in terms of elegance. But when it comes to my day to day style, I don't really have only one source of inspiration.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I don't really select, I just grab what I see first. Of course, I do this after checking the weather. However, I always like to get dressed in layered ways.

The three essential things a man should know about style are…

How his clothes fit is very important. There are quite a few men out there who wear their jackets two sizes too small, and it is so unflattering. You should also pay attention to the quality of the materials as well as the construction and the cut of the garment. Last but not least, try not to overdo it with metallic accessories if you are a fan of them.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I love going to Hermès whenever I am in Paris, it's always interesting to see their colour combinations. Other stores that I love are Dover Street Market in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan and then Barneys Downtown in New York, and then the street style stores in Tokyo. I also enjoy browsing various e-commerce stores nowadays.

We will never see you wearing...

A skirt!

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

My uncle and Tom Ford.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

His shoes and his hands!

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I like Hedi Slimane for his consistency, Demna Gvasalia for his originality, and Massimo Giorgetti for his energy. Alessandro Sartori did a great job at Berluti and it's great that he is now back at Zegna. I could say that Giorgetti and Sartori are two designers that are on different sides of the fashion spectrum, but I like them both equally.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

I would probably say my coats, shirts, and shoes.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

I would say Dries Van Noten, Acne, and Miuccia Prada.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Antonio De Matteis of Kiton and Elena Ghisellini.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Always be yourself. I think it's the most important thing.

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