My Style: Matteo Gottardi

Fashion designer Matteo Gottardi

Photo: Courtesy of Matteo Gottardi

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

When a man sacrifices his confidence and comfort to embrace a passing trend. People should dress for themselves and themselves alone.

Please describe your style in three words.

Masculine, structured, purposeful.

Do you believe in role models?

Absolutely. They have played an important part in my personal life and career. Being open to another’s experiences to help inform your life’s decisions is a valuable tool; it’s foolish not to be open to the wisdom of others.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Core fabrics in my everyday wardrobe and line, W.R.K., include waxed cotton, wool flannel and chambray. They speak to my appreciation for form and function.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Personal style in an individual expression. I appreciate those who are willing to put themselves out there and say who they are or what they are feeling through the clothing they wear.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

My home and creative studio are in N.Y.C. so I am partial to my fellow New York men. Right or wrong, they embrace dressing with a confidence and attitude that I can appreciate and relate to.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Conservatively bold.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

Dress appropriately for the task at hand.

Celebrities and style...

Unite.

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

Henleys. I consider them the building blocks for dressing in both my menswear line and personal wardrobe.

A man should always look like...

A MAN. 'Dress like a man' is one of my sincere beliefs.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My father and grandfather. I grew up in Italy until I was nine; this experience combined with the men I was surrounded with and their European approach to dressing definitely formed my style.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I have a very practical and purposeful approach to dressing, which I can probably link to the fact that I ride a motorcycle to my creative studio in Chelsea from my apartment downtown when the weather allows. It basically boils down to my consideration of the weather, my tasks for the day and ultimately my mood.

What is your biggest regret?

I don’t believe in regret. I learn from the past and keep moving forward.

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

You have the ability to define your own style. Your comfort should be a consideration. Less is always more.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I don’t believe in impulse purchases or buying for the sake of buying. I purchase according to my needs and if I purchase something that I don’t necessarily need it is usually because the item speaks to me from a design perspective. If after I leave a store and I cannot stop thinking about an item, I go back and buy it. I believe in curation — always.

We will never see you wearing...

A bow tie. No offence to the bow tie wearers of the world, it’s just not my thing.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

My Italian grandfather. At 80 years old, he still dressed daily in what I considered his uniform which was both purposeful and utilitarian — a blazer, slacks and military boots. He would then ride his motorcycle into town every day for coffee. He was the man.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

His confidence.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

A WWII identification photo of my grandfather in which he is completely buttoned up in uniform. It totally speaks to my aesthetic and my resemblance to him in the photo from when he was younger; it is pretty unreal.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

A lot of designers are working to further menswear and our collective industry; however, I really admire the work of Massimo Osti, the original creator/founder of C.P. Company. I see him as the forefather of men’s sportswear, he was the epitome of true function meeting fashion.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is...

His jacket. It is a man’s armour to the outside world and it is the one article of clothing that best embodies his essence and purpose for the day.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

I have a go-to uniform: my waxed cotton W.R.K. Touring Jacket, a W.R.K chambray shirt, selvedge denim and wingtip leather boots.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

No. There is absolutely no reason a man should not feel as great as he looks.

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

Undercover.

Who would you like to recommend for €œMy Style?

My friend Nick Brown, founder and creative director of Soludos.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

My mantra. Work Hard. Live Honest.

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