ME, MYSELF AND I
Angelo Galasso says he has no influences, no interest in legacy and is concerned only with ‘self, self, self’. No wonder he’s the world’s most singular fashion designer
Angelo Galasso knows a thing or two about style. The charismatic Italian is not only a fashion designer to the stars, but also the eighteenth best dressed man in the world according to GQ. Here he discusses the importance of shoes, why he won’t work with Flavio Briatore and why Prince Charles is the best-dressed man in Britain.
When did you become interested in fashion?
I was born in a small village in south Italy, one of those places where everyone knows everyone. My father was chief of police and didn’t want me hanging round the streets getting into trouble, so they sent me places where they could check up on me. I went to the shoemaker, the shirtmaker, I helped to produce leather and cut trousers. I enjoyed it so much, but being a male fashion designer wasn’t really a solid career choice in Italy at the time. Until my father died I did nothing; the day after I did everything.
How did you find working with Flavio Briatore on the Billionaire clothing line?
There were problems. In the fashion business you need three things: the product, the ambassador and the money. When you have these you can do what you want. Flavio was very popular then. All the newspapers until then had talked about me, but when I was with him no one wanted to talk about me at all. It became a problem, and people turned away when they found out Flavio was involved. I pushed a lot of my connections to build up the brand. Meanwhile, his team wanted to downgrade the material we used because Flavio’s background was in Benetton, which is very high-street. They wanted to bring the price down and do fake luxury. I didn’t like it. So, we had a bit of a fight and split up and I launched my own brand in 2009 so I could do what I liked.
Tell us about the Unico service you are launching this month It’s the first official Angelo Galasso bespoke line.
In truth, I was one of the first to push for bespoke for men, perhaps 20 years ago, as a lot of the factories in Italy were against it. Now every big fashion brand – Armani, Prada – offers a bespoke service. You know, men are much more vain than women. They’ll spend on spa treatments, a Ferrari, or other expensive boys’ toys. With that in mind, our Unico service offers individually designed jeans, pyjamas and even underwear so men can look different in every way. And they are willing to pay well for the privilege.
Who wears your clothes?
Rod Stewart, Frank Lampard, Hugh Jackman, Al Pacino. I organised something in Venice for Al Pacino; he wanted a tuxedo that was a bit different. I was shown a picture of him wearing it the morning after an event to go to Starbucks in LA, so it’s fair to say it definitely looked different then! He liked that jacket a lot.
What trends do you like?
None: I ignore trends. I don’t want any influence, ever. I want to start with nothing. A classic look is the best. For me, the best-dressed man in the UK is Prince Charles. He must have a great tailor, you can see from the shoulder of his jackets and the stitching.
What are your fashion tips?
If you want to change your look, you have to do it completely, you can’t just change one piece. Never wear more than one flashy item at a time. The shoes are the most important part of a man’s wardrobe. If I want to know who you are, I’ll look at your shoes.
We’re continuing to open stores worldwide, but other than that I don’t have a plan. It’s the Italian attitude - we live by the day. We’re very relaxed. My father always said that the last suit you wear should have no pocket because we don’t need it. We can’t bring the money with us, so why do you want to work, work, work?
How would you like to be remembered?
I don’t want to be remembered. We should just enjoy the life we have. When we die, we die. There are only three important things: myself, myself, myself.