January 31, 2010

"Youthful Abandon" with April 77

April 77 is back in the US from France, but this time not in the prairies of the Navajo Indians but rather somewhere between Portland and Seattle!

The time is 1980’s and the music scene is the alternative styles of rock known as grunge, hardcore, noise, and shoegazing.

The fashion scene is anti-fashion: “It is cool not to be cool,” shouts Generation X.

Androgynous, unkempt, minimalist, and contradictory, the collection for spring/summer 2010 is “Youthful Abandon.”

Thicker, darker, coarser—the denim is vintage in mood with Native American patterns and cowboy shirts—with the right mix of prep and outdoors!

Born April 1977 in Grenoble, France, Brice Partouche founded April 77 twenty-five years later as a denim wear label with a Rock&Roll twist—now becoming an all cruelty-free and natural fabric brand.

As a talented drummer and guitarist himself, Brice acquired a passion for denim from his father, who founded a reputable line of jeans in the Eighties.

Now Aprill 77 takes us back in time to those years with Youthful Abandon!

Photo & slideshow 2010 s/s collection “Youthful Abandon” Copyright
April 77.

January 30, 2010

10 Years of "Something" by Nobody

Thirty years ago, Nobody began its quest of designing fine, premium-brand jeans within the walls of an old 19th-century pub in Fitzroy, Australia, called the Leicester Arms.

Inspired by the very cloth itself, Nobody has developed its own machinery, its own techniques, and its own style for somebodies all around the globe.

The label was officially born in 1999 as a cult of Nobody! The goal was to produce a premium brand that did not promote any one designer, any one message, or any one identity—just integrity and a perfect fit every time!

In 2006, Nobody opened its first concept store in the Fitzroy area of Melbourne, which is reputed as a “haunt of hipsters, fashionistas, students, free thinkers, oddities, addicts and square pegs.”

Now, Nobody is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a new line entitled the “Australian Heritage Collection.”

So, I would like to wish a happy anniversary to Nobody, which has continually sought to do something for someone!

Photos & slideshow Copyright Nobody.

January 29, 2010

“Boys at the Countryside” with Paul & Joe

Boy, boys, boys! It seems that they are everywhere!

Especially for spring/summer 2010, we have “Boys at the Countryside” with Paul & Joe!

The boys of Paul & Joe have adopted a very poetic and bucolic look this season! Wow, boys, that’s a term for your verbal placement test! In other words, the boys this season are romantically rustic!

Although true to the flowery fields and colorful pastors of the countryside, Paul & Joe boys are loyal to their dand-rock look—they are boy dandies at heart!

Brit Pop of the 80’s sweeps through the collection, with a casual breeze.

Cargo pants, reverse sleeveless shirts, and baggy trousers transform the Rock&Roll look of Elvis into sheer outdoor comfort.

The Paul & Joe label was named after the two boys of French designer Sophie Albou, who, after graduating from the Institut Française de la Mode, launched her first menswear collection in 1995.

So, boys, it’s time for the countryside this season—with Paul & Joe!

Photo & slideshow Copyright Paul & Joe.

January 28, 2010

ON PARADE with Rene Gurskov in Fall/Winter 2010

So, what do the French, the Salvation Army, the former Soviet Union, and Gays all have in common? You got it—they love a parade!

For Danish designer René Gurskov, parades are a way to show off what you’ve gotand the things for which you are proud: your power, your ideas, your beliefs, and your looks!

With René Gurskov, the fall/winter collection of 2010-11 is “ONPARADE,” a line men’s fashion for the parading kind of guy!

Military coats, Donald Duck tops, Jackson family leather—add a little touch of classic rock, the Village People, and an old MTV sailor—and you’ve got it!

And if you got it, well then flaunt it—go on parade with René Gurskov’s ONPARADE this autumn/winter season.

For additional information, follow René’s blog.

Photo & slideshow a/w 2010 collection ONPARADE, Copyright Incircus.

January 27, 2010

Uomo Moda

As you may know, I am the managing editor of fashion for the 1st and only all-menswear magazine in Egypt called Uomo Moda—an English language publication based out of Cairo.

Uomo Moda is the brainchild of the Cougar Group, which was founded in 1994 by Mostafa Makhlouf, who franchises 40 Italian brands—hence, the Italian name Uomo Moda.

The creativity and innovation behind the magazine owes to managing director, Heba Hassanin, with whom I coordinate on a regular basis.

Uomo Moda is a stylish, full-blown glossy-print magazine that is published quarterly and distributed throughout the country, including the VIP halls of Egypt Air and Marriot hotels.

If you would like to order a copy, please send your request to francesco@uomomoda.com. The upcoming issues are going to be stupendous!

Previous issues include the following topics:
Articles by Francesco
Summer 2009Turkish Men's Fashion: A Glance in History
Fall 2009AVVA: European Fashion with a Turkish Soul
Winter 2009/10 Giovane Gentile & Giovane G: 2 Nice Labels for Men Who Look Nice (Part1)
Giovane Gentile & Giovane G: 2 Nice Labels for Men Who Look Nice (Part 2)
Spring 2010Uomo Moda Spring 2010: “The All-Star Issue”
Be a Star in Spring 2010: Editorial, Uomo Moda
PUMA: Over 60 Years of Reaching for the Stars
Dolce & Gabbana: 2 Stars in Italian Luxury
Dolce & Gabbana 2010 Spring Collection: “Extreme Beauty”
United Colors of Benetton: A Family of Stars
Benetton's Star Desginer: Vincenzo Scognamiglio
United Colors of Benetton: 2010 Spring/Summer Collection
Tween: a Rising Star
The Tween 2010 Spring Collection: “Modern Masculinity”
Summer 2010Off the Catwalks and onto the Sidewalks!
Fashion Districts 101: from New York to Naples
Fashion Weeks 101: Mercedes Benz New York
Uomo Moda Meets Eric Kim
Interview with Sean Ashby of aussieBum
Fall 2010Coming Soon
Winter 2010/11Coming Soon
Interviews with Uomo Moda
Mostafa MakloufEgypt's 1st Menswear Magazine: Uomo Moda by Cougar
Egypt: the Men and their Fashion
Egypt & its Designers

Photos & slideshow Copyright Uomo Moda.

COMUNE: On the Way to One Year!

For autumn/winter 2010, COMUNE will be celebrating its one-year anniversary! In preparation for the big event, however, the brand-new label has launched its spring/summer collection.

Based in Costa Mesa, California, COMUNE was created last year for individuals who know how to embrace the imperfections of everyday life and turn them into creative opportunities that push the boundaries of what is possible, regardless of the consequences.

Carefree and idealistic, COMUNE reflects the creativity of the contemporary street culture.

“We got together on the premise that we’d inspire each other by just doing the work that we do as individuals, in our own mediums. It is a truly authentic group of creative minds, artistic hands and creative athletes,” asserts founder Frank Delgadillo.

Frank Delgadillo is a native of Southern California who graduated from Chapmen University. Choosing to leave a career in Law, Frank followed his heart in designing clothing, fusing indie influences from Tokyo with the underground artist scene in the US.

Since COMUNE’s mantra is “Something Better Change,” why not have a look at their spring/summer collection and see what has been changing!

Photo & slideshow Copyright COMUNE.

January 26, 2010

Walter Van Beirendonck + Chris&Tibor: Collaboration Bags

Last year I introduced you to two London-based designers who design luxury bags and accessories: Chris & Tibor. We learned that Chris Liu graduated from the London College of Fashion, while Tibor Matyas studied art management and marketing.

For the autumn/winter collection of 2010-11, Chris & Tibor have collaborated with trendsetting designer Walter Van Beirendonck in a new line of messenger bags, belt bags, backpacks, and avant-garde clothing.

Born 1957 in Brecht, Belgium, Walter studied Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. His designs derive inspiration from art, music, and literature—combined with a mix of ethnic and nature influences. He portrays humor with the color red and safe sex with the wink of an eye!

While Chris & Tibor contributed the bags, Walter has provided a collection of garments entitled Take a W-Ride, which rises from tension—the state of opposing forces, which result in mental or emotional strain.

Take a W-Ride alludes to the opposites in the world today, such as love and hate, as well as economic turmoil, political instability, and the high-anxiety producing tension within the fashion industry.

Although Chris & Tibor and Walter Van Beirendonck debuted their a/w 2010 collection from 22-26 January in Paris, I am pleased to present you with the latest image gallery!

Bags within the photo & slideshow Copyright Chris & Tibor.
Clothing Copyright Walter Van Beirendonck.

January 25, 2010

“A Life Full of Holes” by Timo Weiland

Set in an English garden and castle, “A Life Full of Holes” is short film about the passion, ecstasy, jealousy, and rage of two couples—all of which translates into the 2010 spring/summer collection at Timo Weiland.

Born in rural Nebraska and raised between New York City and Jacksonville, Florida, Timo Weiland combines urban styles with a pastoral flair as he pursues an artistic approach to fashion and design.

Influenced by the sewing of his mother from a young age, Timo went on to study Economics, Business Management, Spanish Literature, and Music at Vanderbilt University before pursuing a career in fashion.

Short Film: “A Life Full of Holes”

Look Book “A Life Full of Holes”

Photo & slideshow Copyright Timo Weiland.

Tribe Underwear & Swimwear, Wishing You a Happy—and Hot—Australia Day!

Also referred to in history as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day, ANA Day, and Survival Day, January 26th is officially Australia Day for most Aussies!

As the official national day of Australia, Australia Day marks the arrival of the first British Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788.

Celebrations can be dated back as far as 1808 and currently entail parades, fireworks, aerial shows, boat races, music festivals, and the Australian of the Year Award!

Now, wherever you are, you can celebrate with Aussies everywhere—with Tribe Underwear & Swimwear!

Photos & slideshow Copyright Tribe Underwear.

January 24, 2010

Tribal Men, Tribal Instincts—Tribe Underwear & Swimwear

Tribe Underwear was launched in July 2008 as a 100% made-in-Australia label, which has recently expanded into Tribe Swimwear as well! Being a master’s swimmer, I am always excited to see a new brand of swimwear on the market!

As evidenced by the picture, Tribe is all about funky, sexy fun! The fabric breathes while the cuts leave you panting.

Tribe underwear is designed to entice with sublime prints and exotic names like Zulu and Aqua Jungle.

Tribe swimwear carries all the inspiration of the Hawaiian islands, as well as tropical sunsets and showy hibiscus.

Although sophisticated in style, Tribe can arouse the deepest, most tribal instincts—not only in the wearer but also in those who surround you.

You may not be planning to hit the Australian beaches this summer, but you can go tribal—with Tribe: 100% Australian Underwear and Swimwear. Looking for retailers now!

I’m starting to feel the beat!

Photo & slideshow Copyright Tribe Underwear.

January 23, 2010

:AVOID Passivity in Spring/Summer 2010

In a previous interview with Japanese designers Inokawa and Kido, we learned how these two talented young men launched their menswear label in 2005 with the goal of:

“portraying the true nature of clothing with no preconceptions of educational or professional backgrounds, or even the brand name itself.”

Inokawa and Kido named their label :AVOID, which, in their words, represents “a conscious decision to stay away from unwanted people, things, and events.”

:AVOID seeks to disregard any passive mentality in their creations, producing high quality apparel with attention to detail and through advanced techniques.

This season, the two designers at :AVOID have collaborated with Los Angeles artist and poet, Mark Gonzales, who is also known as a professional skateboarder. (The artworks are licensed in Japan only.)

Photo & slideshow Copyright :AVOID.

January 22, 2010

Bring on the Noise & Improvisation for Spring/Summer 2010

In a previous interview, Japanese designer Daisuke Konno at Bring on the Noise compared clothing to noise, which can sound good or bad, depending on the individual’s perception.

For spring/summer 2010, Daisuke is bringing on the rhythmic sounds of “Improvisation”—a creative line of menswear that allows men to be free and live outside the box!

Geometric motifs, original fabrics, and humorous visuals reminiscent of Jazz all keep beat to the rhythm of the collection.

So, bring on the noise this 2010 spring/summer season with the syncopated styles of Bring on the Noise!

Photo & slideshow Copyright Bring on the Noise.

January 21, 2010

"Portraits of Success" by Rembrandt

In 1968, filmmaker Andy Warhol (1928-87) asserted, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”—a statement that Warhol continually rephrased over the decades.

The assertion, however, sprung from Warhol’s perception of how the media could make anyone famous for a moment, simply to dispose of the individual at will.

Surrounded by celebrities and superstars, Warhol could appreciate the fleeting nature of the 20th-century’s great icons and their capricious sense of styles.

Now, these images are echoed throughout the 2010 fall/winter collection of New Zealand label, Rembrandt, enabling every man to capture a moment of permanent success and project an enduring image of assurance, achievement, and confidence.

Photos & slideshow Copyright Rembrandt.

January 20, 2010

"Just Dandy" by Wayward Heir

“Style is the dress of thought.”
- Lord Chestereld

The modern-day suit and tie easily find their roots in the style of dress promoted by George Brummell (1778–1840), a staunch advocate of tailored or fitted clothes, elaborate cravats, and full-length trousers.

For fall/winter 2010, Wayward Heir has decided to pay tribute to George Brummell and his style of dress, which has come to be known as dandyism—that menswear and attitude so typical of the Regency period.

“It has been too long since men in general have taken real pride in their appearance and we want to change that,” says Wayward Heir designer Jaime Winks. “Give men a clean, confident, modern, and luxurious look to be admired.”

The Wayward Heir collection is youthfully edgy, pristine in cut, and immaculate in fit. Suits appear in vivid grey with solid checks and bold stripes—all spiced with a dash of purple, green, and blue hues.

“There is a difference between standing out because of your outfit and you standing out in your outfit,” says Winks. “This is the brand for the confident, self-aware, and charismatic individual who knows who he is and wants the whole room to know it too.”

Photo top right, Copyright Wayward Heir, a line of Rembrandt.
Photo bottom left, George Brummell, Public Domain at Wikipedia.

January 19, 2010

"Easy Street" by Trix & Dandy

I normally don’t post press releases word for word but rather prefer to rewrite them in my own words.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions to almost every rule and—besides—I do not think I could express the following concept any better:

“Far from being neck deep in sawbucks and cruising Easy Street like they planned, the dynamic criminal duo of glamorous Trix and sly Dandy are on the lamb from the law.

To make a dollar Trix is doing any gig she can get at the more swanky underground clubs, while Dandy is scamming and skimming on the poker tables in backroom casinos.

The double act is the inspiration for the dynamic new diffusion label from Michael Pattison.

Only in its second season, the winter 2010 range sees the Dandy man in relaxed tees with iconic and pop art prints; hoodies with a wider range of color options, knit options and because you can’t get into a casino without a collar, shirts that focus on subtle detailing.

‘The menswear is about pieces that have a bit of designer flair but that work for both casual and corporate environments,’ says Pattison.

‘The collection is unied by styles rather than a distinctive color palette,’ says Pattison.

‘If you love dressing glam and hitting the big bad city for a night of hustling and gun play, those dressed in Trix & Dandy will help you pull off any caper in style.’”

Photos Copyright Trix & Dandy.

Elusiv: “Enduring” Fall/Winter 2010

Now celebrating 5 years of European-influenced men’s fashion, the New Zealand label Elusiv is presenting a remix of all that, which designer Nicola Reilly represents.

“This collection is all about sophistication and understated style,” says Nicola. “I want guys to have fun with the way they dress. They shouldn’t feel restricted or pressured to dress a certain way. It’s all about breaking free of the mould.”

The collection is based on Elusiv’s most successful items, which have been handpicked by Nicola herself: tailored coats and jackets, fitted jeans and pants, stylish t-shirts, and a wide assortment of accessories—all of which are designed to last long with little upkeep.

While these items are the most Enduring of a man’s wardrobe, the color palette is completely reminiscent of the rugged New Zealand coastline.

“They are stormy colors,” says Reilly: “colors of a West Coast beach after a high tide.”

Photo Copyright Elusiv.

January 18, 2010

"Satellite Spies" by Doosh

“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.”

Serbian Proverb

“I have always been fascinated by space,” says New Zealand designer Theresa Brady. “It is so far beyond anything we can imagine that we can’t conceive of the wonders it holds.”

Theresa began designing the 2010 fall/winter collection at Doosh during the 40th anniversary of the moonwalk, an event that instilled her with deep inspiration.

Envisioning the immensity of the universe, Theresa embedded maps of New Zealand in the tees and hoodies.

You will also find seismic waves washing across the garments, while shooting stars streak across the black sky.

If you are aiming for the stars, then Satellite Spies is waiting for you!

Photos Copyright

January 17, 2010

Fleetwod Mac, Bauhaus & "Tell Me Lies"

Fleetwood Mac was formed in London back in 1967 by Peter Green, who named it after the last names of two band mates.

Not only has their music influenced an entire generation of youth, but their styles have also made an impact around the world!

Now the Australian label, Bauhaus, would like to pay tribute to the band and everything 70’s with the 2010 fall/winter collection entitled “Tell Me Lies.”

“Fleetwood Mac is a band of chemistry. We’re a bunch of primitives who have honed their art by doing it a long time and by having sensibilities that oddly mesh in a way you wouldn’t expect.”

- Guitarist Lindsay Buckingham

Photos Copyright

January 16, 2010

"Blame It on the Rain" by FourFountaine

As we enter the dead of winter in the countries of the North, winter looms on the horizon of the Southern Hemisphere.

So for one 2010 fall/winter collection in New Zealand, we are going to blame it all on the rain!

Party cancellations, postponed wedding celebrations, puddles everywhere...

“Winter weather is like life,” says FourFontaine director Mark Hurley. “Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad; there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.”

Little can we do except accept the inevitable with a color palette of moody blacks, along with blues and gray—all of which are punctuated with white, baby blue, orange, and a lively purple.

Check out the prints, too, and pay tribute to those gloomy, tumultuous skies with howling wolves and cawing crows, skulls, Gothic keys and axes, butterflies, fruit, and fluffy clouds that dot the blue skies—all pointing to the glorious arrival of spring and summer!

As W.J. Vogel stated, “To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring.”

Photos Copyright FourFontaine.

January 15, 2010

Billy Reid, a Southern Boy at Heart!

For spring/summer 2010, Billy Reid juxtaposes the shrimper of the Gulf Coast with the dandy law professor of the Deep South in a silhouette of heavy work weAdd Imagear, durable enough for the delta shrimp farm yet refined enough for a Southern campus.

Influenced by a rich Southern heritage, Billy Reid takes a traditional American approach to sportswear, adding a modern twist to upscale classics.

William “Billy” Reid grew up in Amite, Louisiana, where his mother ran women’s clothing boutique out of her mother’s house.

From the wetlands of Louisiana, Billy went on to Southeastern Louisiana University and, then, the Art Institute of Dallas to study fashion design and merchandising.

Now based in Alabama, Billy Reid launched his first collection in 1998. Through many toils, snarls, and snares, Billy Reid has finally come!

Photo & slideshow Copyright Billy Reid.

January 14, 2010

How CHICKENSHIT can Save Your Nossse

Save Your Nossse was established last year in St. Petersburg, Russia, by one of the designers of CHICKENSHIT.

In a similar way to the label from the chicken coop, Save Your Nossse collaborates with famous fashion photographers from around the world in the design and production of handkerchiefs.

The first collection of handkerchiefs were produced in partnership with the renowned Swedish photographer, Knotan, and was presented in Stockholm at his exhibition entitled MeMeMe.

Photo & slideshow Copyright Save Your Nossse.

January 13, 2010

CHICKENSHIT: a New Artistic Medium

Although chicken shit dates back as far as the bird itself, CHICKEN-SHIT as a label was born in 2006.

Strange in name and aggressive in mood—or should I say, aggressive in name and strange in mood—whichever way, CHICKENSHIT specializes in t-shirts that are dedicated to famous fashion designers.

Based in St. Petersburg, Russia, CHICKENSHIT specializes in all areas of art and design, including exhibitions, installations, performances, and parties.

The first collection of clothing was launched in 2008, at which time CHICKENSHIT featured “Favorite Scandinavian Photographers,” such as Knotan—one of the most famous in Sweden—presenting 52 of his photos, as well as a series of designs for clothing.

Directed by two brothers, Alexander and Slava, CHICKENSHIT has recently entered into collaboration with Diana Luganski of Finland.

Finally, CHICKENSHIT is art!

Photo White No. Collection by CHICKENSHIT.
Slideshow Copyright CHICKENSHIT.

January 11, 2010

STAND—for What You Believe

STAND International was launched by designer Paul Field with the goal of creating street wear that stands out by making a positive difference in the world!

Since its inception, STAND has stood fast, remaining firm in what it believes. Likewise, the label STAND has been rising to fame as it allows men around the world to stand up for what they believe.

Cutting-edge styles, eye-catching graphics, and attention to detail—all stand for STAND! But who is the man that stands behind STAND?

Born and raised in Perth, Australia, Paul Field was sitting on a Vancouver bus on day in 2001, pondering over the commonest of questions: “What am I going to do with my life?”

Suddenly, a light went off, almost as if he heard a voice say, “clothing!” Everything thing then fell into place.

By 2003, Paul was in Las Vegas helping pioneer a fashion label and, as a side project, STAND was born.

Now, STAND poses the question to you: “What do you stand for?”

Photo & slideshow Copyright STAND.

January 10, 2010

Editorials by Francesco

IntroGreen Fashion... More Than Just a Color!
Green Fashion... Still Just a Color?
CorporationsCorporate Killing Fields & the Death of Small Businesses
Dressing for
Dress for Success: Part 1
Dress for Success: Part 2
CopyrightsResponsible Blogging
Old/NewFashion Blogging vs. the Press
BiasesFashion in a Box? Time to Open the Lid
Italy vs. USNever Judge a Book by Its Cover, Unless It’s in Italian!
Part 2: Formal
Part 3: Fitted
Part 4: Frilled but not Frilly
Part 5: Fashion-ability
Part 6: Fear “less”
Part 7: Fine Tuned
Part 8: Finalmente


Spring Color Trends & a Happy Easter!


Cheimaphobic Or Thermophobic Fashion: Which Trend Are You?
Coming Soon!

Ethosens: Will you be a Gentleman in 2010?

For 2010 at Ethosens, Yui Hashimoto takes an incongruous approach to the rules of masculinity, punctuating his spring/summer collection with a question mark: “Gentleman?”

Completely respecting traditional styles and menswear, Hashimoto casts a slight shadow of doubt when it comes down to what he terms “modern town wear.”

In order to expand any limitations to menswear, Hashimoto expresses them in the 2010 collection, continuing where he left off last season, wherein I wrote: ETHOSENS and the Notion of "Gentleman?"

Photo & slideshow Copyright Ethosens.

Nicole Farhi & the Talented Mr. Ripley

For those of you who love old movies, you are really going to enjoy the 2010 spring/summer collection of Nicole Farhi.

It all starts with the series of psychological novels written in the 1950’s by Patricia Highsmith about Tom Ripley, a young man who is struggling to make ends meet in New York City.

Based on the first novel, the Talented Mr. Ripley, French director René Clément produced a movie in 1960 entitled Plein Soleil (also known as Purple Moon, Blazing Sun, and Full Sun), which is full of adventure and sexual tension.

Hinting to the relaxed summer life of the Italian Riviera, Nicole Farhi draws on the epicurean styles of Alain Delon, who plays Tom Ripley with his rolled-up trousers and tilted panamas.

Nicole breaks up the suits of Delon with a selection of chinos and polo shirts, allowing the modern-day Ripleys to step away from formalwear of New York and enter the relaxation of Italian summers. Nicole designs the collection using a color palette of cobalt blue, white, and emerald green.

British designer Nicole Farhi has been combining her Turkish, French, and English heritage into luxurious tailoring for the past 27 years. Born in Nice, France, Nicole launched her eponymous label in London, in 1982.

Photo & slideshow Copyright Nicole Farhi.

Manuel Bozzi: “I’MNOCENT” in 2010

Although Manuel Bozzi may have been guilty in the past of winning the prestigious Young Designers Award as the “Best Accessories Designer,” this year he declares “I’MNOCENT” with his new collection of jewelry that will be presented at Pitti Uomo.

Unisex, romantic, and made in Italy, the collection of innocence has drawn its influence from the world of rock, baroque, and art deco, going ont to position itself as a premiere luxury brand on the international market, already available in France, Germany, Russia, Japan, New Zealand, and the US!

The silver collection weaves together powerful symbols and concepts of the design’s profound search for feelings and romance, of which he writes: “I am guilty for having ‘stole’ treasures and guarding them with care, for having stolen, trapped, and tied them to me. But I am innocent...and most of all free”.

I’MNOCENT—silver-engraved ropes woven into knots that capture treasures and bind them to your heart.

Manuel Bozzi—born 1973 in Pisa, Italy—a Tuscan artisan par excellence.

Photos Copyright Manuel Bozzi.

January 9, 2010


Despite the saying “Never judge a book by its cover,” clearly both American and Italian men do judge but according to different degrees and standards.

As for which standard of judgment you want to apply or even the choice of book you want to snuggle up and read at night, well, I will let you decide that for yourself!

Read the full article:
Part 2: Formal
Part 3: Fitted
Part 7: Fine Tuned

Photo Copyright Men's Fashion by Francesco.

January 8, 2010

7 Major Differences Between Italian and American Men: (6) Fine Tuned

Last but not least, Italian men find great pleasure in co-ordinating the entire look.

Co-ordination entails the right choice of each garment and accompanying accessories, as well as matching colors not only to other colors but also to skin complexion and hair tones.

As a matter of fact, many Italian labels promote something called “total look” collections.

Total look is particularly helpful to men who are “fashion challenged”: all they have to do is purchase a complete outfit from any given collection, and they are ready to go from head to toe.

Read the full article:
Part 1: Never Judge a Book by Its Cover, Unless It’s in Italian!
Part 2: Formal
Part 3: Fitted
Part 4: Frilled but not Frilly
Part 5: Fashion-ability
Part 6: Fear “less”
Part 8: Finalmente

Photo Copyright Men's Fashion by Francesco.

January 7, 2010

7 Major Differences Between Italian and American Men: (5) Fear “less”

When it comes down to fashion, Italian men are not totally fearless; but they are definitely less afraid of new colors and innovative styles than American men. Virtually no color is taboo, while it is not uncommon for Italian men to adopt a radically different style from one season to the other.

In general, Americans tend to wait for a rare color or style to “catch on” before everyone can be seen wearing it. I recall the painstaking difficulty of selling the square-toe shoe to American men back in 2001. Now, eight years later, they seem like they will just not go away.

Read the full article:
Part 1: Never Judge a Book by Its Cover, Unless It’s in Italian!
Part 2: Formal
Part 3: Fitted
Part 4: Frilled but not Frilly
Part 5: Fashion-ability
Part 7: Fine Tuned
Part 8: Finalmente

Photo Copyright Men's Fashion by Francesco.

January 6, 2010

7 Major Differences Between Italian and American Men: (4) Fashion-ability

Italian fashion is in constant change and flux.

Although there may be two major fashion seasons in Italy as with other countries—namely, Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter— throughout the course of each season, fashion houses release minor collections called “flashes.”

A flash entails roughly 15-20 new pieces, which are released about every 3-4 weeks throughout any given season. Each flash offers new shades on the color palette, as well as slight alterations in style.

Although American men find this hard to believe, many young men in Italy used to visit my showroom each week to inquire about new merchandise, often requesting to see a catalog to catch a sneak peek of the upcoming flash!

Read the full editorial:
Part 1: Never Judge a Book by Its Cover, Unless It’s in Italian!
Part 2: Formal
Part 3: Fitted
Part 4: Frilled but not Frilly
Part 6: Fear “less”
Part 7: Fine Tuned
Part 8: Finalmente

Photo Copyright Men's Fashion by Francesco.

January 5, 2010

7 Major Differences Between Italian and American Men: (3) Frilled but not Frilly

Another major difference in values between Italian and American male dress lies in the attention to detail.

Italian men, in general, tend to pay considerable attention to detail in their dress.

First, Italian brands incorporate assorted embellishments into their designs, such as asymmetrical pockets or necklines, double stitching, extra buttoning, playful belt hoops, and so on.

Secondly, Italian men love to accessorize. It is not uncommon for Italian men to crown their head with a pair of cool sunglasses or strap a small wallet-size bag across their shoulder. Wrist bands, ankle bracelets, and stylish scarves complete the cover!

Italian men, however, do not restrict their attention to detail solely to clothing or accessories but rather to their entire outer appearance.

Italian barbers and hairstylists, for example, exert much effort in ensuring that each “cut” corresponds to the general “look” of the male sitting in the chair. Accents of facial hair then accompany the cut to highlight the entire look.

Read the full editorial:
Part 1: Never Judge a Book by Its Cover, Unless It’s in Italian!
Part 2: Formal
Part 3: Fitted
Part 5: Fashion-ability
Part 6: Fear “less”
Part 7: Fine Tuned
Part 8: Finalmente

Photo Copyright Men's Fashion by Francesco.

January 4, 2010

7 Major Differences Between Italian and American Men: (2) Fit

Italian designer, Francesco Smalto, once declared “Fashion, in my opinion, is balance. It’s taking into account the shape of the head, the shoulders, or the stomach.”

Accordingly, the first concept behind fitted or tailored clothing in Italy is proportion: Italian men value proportion, equating it to seductive elegance.

For the most part, Italian brands accentuate the male physique, creating a silhouette of broad shoulders and a robust chest as the upper garment narrows down to a thin waist.

Correspondingly, the bottom wear picks up where the upper wear left off, accentuating the buttocks, thighs, and strong slim legs.

Contrary to current trends in the US, Italian men prefer to wear clothing that corresponds exactly to their size.

American men tend to “buy up,” not just one size but several sizes, creating a more baggy silhouette, to which they often refer as “casual.”

As for Italian men, “casual” has nothing to do with size.

Read the full editorial:
Part 1: Never Judge a Book by Its Cover, Unless It’s in Italian!
Part 2: Formal
Part 4: Frilled but not Frilly
Part 5: Fashion-ability
Part 6: Fear “less”
Part 7: Fine Tuned
Part 8: Finalmente

Photo Copyright Men's Fashion by Francesco.

January 3, 2010

7 Major Differences Between Italian and American Men: (1) Formality

The first of seven major differences between Italian and American men lies in the degree of formality within their dress.

In general, Italian men tend to be more formal in dress than American men, especially at the workplace.
Currently in some job settings, Italian businessmen can be seen in a jacket and tie with jeans and casual shoes—that is, as long as the jeans and shoes are stylish, meeting the standards and conditions outlined below.

Even in other social settings outside the workplace, Italian men think twice before leaving the house. For example, an Italian young man would not commonly go to school or attempt taking his girlfriend to a restaurant dressed in a plain undershirt, sweat pants, or gym shorts—much less in flip flops!

Read the full editorial:
Part 3: Fitted
Part 7: Fine Tuned
Part 8: Finalmente
Photo Copyright Men's Fashion by Francesco.

January 2, 2010

Never Judge a Book by Its Cover, Unless It’s in Italian!

Although the phrase “Never judge a book by its cover” has a relatively short history, being widely popularized in 1947 by Cary Grant in the movie the Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, the concept actually dates back to the days of antiquity.

Consequently, in most languages and cultures there exists some way to express the admonition. Despite its widespread use and popularity, however, the fact of the matter is that most cultures do judge books by their covers!

What differs, however, are the values that each culture applies in judging any given book. When it comes down to the books of fashion, apparel, and dress, the irony cannot be truer!

Throughout my life, I have lived in eight assorted countries and I have worked in a dozen others. Time and time again, I have been confronted with the same question: “Why are Italian men so stylish?” The answer is quite simple.

The reason lies in the degree to which Italian society judges the covers of their “books.” When it comes down to the books of fashion, apparel, and clothing, Italians place a very high value on outer appearance as compared to other countries, such as the US.

Fortunately I am acquainted with the buying patterns of both Italian and American men. I worked in retail for some time in the US, while I ran my own showroom in Italy.

So, hopefully without transgressing into stereotypes, I will point out the major differences in values between Italian and US men and the degree to which each one judges outer appearance by its cover.

Read the full article:
Part 2: Formal
Part 3: Fitted
Part 4: Frilled but not Frilly
Part 5: Fashion-ability
Part 6: Fear “less”
Part 7: Fine Tuned
Part 8: Finalmente

Photo Copyright Men's Fashion by Francesco.