The Italian King of Cool and Retro
Providence knows no boundaries. Those were the words of Gianni Agnelli, former owner and President of Juventus Torino and Chairman of FIAT or Ferrari, as well as all-in-all one of Italy's icons in the 20th century. A man who showed that boundaries are out there just to be surpassed and reset closer and closer to the edge of impossible, only to be yet once more outrun. And not only in what regards providence, but also in matters like sport, communication, business, art, forward thinking and – well – fashion.
Considered one of the best dressed men in the world in the 20th century, l'avvocato, as Esquire magazine said in an article dedicated to him: 'is the originator whose style has been imitated more times than Redford, Newman and McQueen combined.' He was (and continues to be, long after having passed away) a fashion icon in a country where it's pointless to say how important the ideas of design and style are.
Although all his suits and shirts were of top quality, tailored especially so as to meet each and every one of his demands, he stood out mainly by how he made use of the small details. Take the accessories. Considered by many quite an eccentric character for wearing his wristwatch over the sleeve of his shirts, he answered back that he was far too busy to lose any precious moment by having to check the time unrolling his cuff every now and then.
He appeared at highly-important meetings wearing his tie completely askew, having its thinner back side (at that time in the 70s and 80s, at least) way longer than the front one. He used to match his bespoke suits with rugged hiking boots, even if that could have been but a solution to a leg injury he had suffered in a driving accident earlier in life. He would also unbutton the cuffs of his cool jackets in a successful attempt to catch the eyes. Combining classic denim with sophisticated shirts he created timeless trends – a true father of retro fashion.
Altogether, simply a delightful array of displays of what Italians have made an art of in the field of fashion: sprezzatura – making the very difficult look extremely easy. Exactly how Gianni Agnelli's entire life was.
Images courtesy of thegentlemansjournal.com, lastampa.it and ansa.it