Pitti Uomo – Interview with Nick Wooster and Luigi Lardini

In occasion of the 86th edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo, the world’s most important menswear fair that took place in Florence from 17th to 19th June 2014, we had the chance to meet Nick Wooster who introduced us to his latest collaboration.

This time around one of the most praised and photographed style icons of nowadays worked on a special capsule collection with Lardini. The name Lardini, a fashion company based in Filottrano, in the Italian region of Marche, which produces suits for luxury brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo and many others, is an epitome of made in Italy excellence since 1978.

From 1999, Luigi Lardini, his brother Andrea and his sisters Lorena and Annarita, decided to start their own menswear line under their family name. As Luigi Lardini told us: “our products: blazers, shirts, suits, sweaters, etc. can fit boys who are only 15 years old as much as 95 years old men because we have a broad range of sizes/fittings, fabrics and styles. We keep researching new textures, new materials but, at the same time, we keep up with the sartorial legacy that identifies our brand since its inception”.

When asked about the reason why he decided to collaborate with Nick Wooster, Luigi Lardini, who is responsible of the style aspect of the label, told us: “I knew that a person internationally known for his style as Mr Wooster was the perfect ambassador for introducing our brand in the American market. Once we started working together on this capsule collection we found out that we were a good team because we were literally compensating each other. I’m a very impulsive kind of person while he is a very rational one, he is pretty sensitive while I’m pretty detached…I deem this is the reason why our collaboration run so smoothly and was very enjoyable for the both of us.”

Nick Wooster Interview

Let’s check now what is Nick Wooster’s point of view on his latest adventure in the menswear world…

MSF: Welcome to menstylefashion.com, Mr Wooster, have you ever heard of our online magazine dedicated to menswear?

NW: Yes, I think so!

MSF: Nick, you are a contemporary style icon. People all over the world look up to you and the way you dress in search of inspiration. So, I’m very curious to know who are your own style icons…I mean, not just well-established icons but also friends or not so famous people that you like to check on a regular basis.

NW: Well, I have many friends who work in this business that have great style but there are two people who I think are for me the best: George Cortina and Ana Gimeno Brugada.

MSF: What do you like about their style?

NW: it’s very simple but it suits them. You know, they both say: “it’s nothing, but it’s everything”. And I think that’s a great way to approach style. I mean, to me it’s the same. I think what I do is very simple but evidently…

MSF: …you can’t help but impressing people!

NW: I don’t try, I just…

MSF: I guess it’s something that comes natural to you…

NW: well, let’s say some people know how to dress themselves.

MSF: I would like to ask you if you have any advice for young men who would like to learn how to develop their own sense of style.

NW: I think style is 100% driven by body type. So you have to understand what your body looks good in and then go from there. For instance, I’m short so wide pants don’t look good on me but short cropped pants look ok. Maybe for super tall people it’s the opposite. You have to find what works for your body type. And then you can explore what you know, it’s much easier. But to say everybody should have a particular style is not really interesting. I appreciate a lot of different styles. I always say people shouldn’t look like this, meaning I don’t think everybody should look like me, but if they want to and they are interested then, maybe, I can help them to develop their style.

MSF: I guess even fashion icons have a job. To those who may think your main job is just attending fashion shows and fairs such as Pitti Uomo walking around sporting an impeccable style and posing for photographers, would you mind explaining what’s Nick Wooster’s 9 to 5?

NW: I have had many 9 to 5 jobs most of my life. Only in the past year I have moved into this world that I have now which is really full-time consulting. So I worked with many people, I worked with the Lardini people, I worked with Il Corso in Korea, I worked with United Arrows in Japan and I have a few other projects coming up that I can’t talk about yet and to me it’s just what I’m interested at…so I get to, in some cases, be a face, in some cases do photo shooting, in some cases actually develop products. To me it’s very interesting to do a lot of different things but that’s because I’ve done many things in my career, not just one thing.

MSF: As you just said, you already worked with well-established fashion companies from all over the world. Would you like to tell us what convinced you, this time, to launch a capsule collection with Lardini?

NW: Basically we met a few months ago when I helped them do some things for the United States and they said: “we would like to do a capsule collection with you!” and I was flattered! But it’s also the thing that I said I will never do. I never wanted to have a collection with my name on it but I like having the name Lardini because they made it happen, I mean I couldn’t do this on my own so it’s nice to have a partner who can help make the dream come true.

MSF: So I assume you already knew about Lardini and their business before working with them…

NW: Yes, I also knew who they worked with. They are a very important company in terms of quality and history, they really know how to make beautiful clothes.

MSF: They have got the right know-how to produce menswear…

NW: Exactly!

MSF: focusing on this capsule collection with Lardini, would you like to tell us something about the pieces that compose this collection and the details that identify these clothes?

NW: The collection is composed of three jackets, one vest, one shirt, five pairs of pants…all realized in different fabrics, twelve fabrics, so it’s kind of an idea that gets expressed in a couple of different ways. For instance, the jacket I’m wearing now is garmented in linen and it’s very washed, the tuxedo is actually the same style but it’s in a different fabric and does different characteristics. We try to explore within styles, different fabrics to give different ideas. Although the collection is quite small, the effect is big and I think that’s good for today’s retails.

MSF: And what reflects more your own sense of style in this collection? I’ve noticed that stripes and polka dots are among the recurring elements of it…

NW: I do love stripes and polka dots…I mean, really, everything here is something I want to wear so if it’s in this collection it means I want to wear it.

MSF: So it represents 100% your style?

NW: Yeah, exactly!

MSF: The name Nick Wooster has yet become synonymous with Pitti Immagine Uomo. I would like to ask you to explain to those that have never had the chance to participate what does it mean to you, on a personal and professional level, coming to Florence twice per year and play such an important role in this menswear fair?

NW: I came to my first Pitti Uomo 27 years ago and in two weeks I’ll be 54, so half of my life I’ve been exposed to Pitti Uomo. To me this is the place where fashion starts. I mean, long before the runaway shows were happening in Milan and Paris Pitti Uomo was here. This fair has a rich history of menswear and it’s the most important place to start the season.

MSF: My last question is about a quote you posted on your website, www.nickwooster.com, which says: “you can define success by being able to wear what you want to, not what you have to”. I deem it really fits your personal style because you have the tendency to mix something that is considered very formal and upscale such as a suit, maybe a savile row one, with something pretty casual, like a pair of distressed vans slip ons, or wearing shorts and matching them with an elegant blazer and made in England brogues, thom browne style, and so on…do you feel like this quote is something that defines you and your approach to style?

NW: I think, absolutely it does! And it’s really one of the first times in my life that I can actually say that I’m able to do this. You know, a few years ago I worked for a company that had a dress code and I got in trouble because I broke the dress code. These things to me are stupid but also understandable maybe, but the good news is I don’t have to do that now. Now I can do what I want, so I’m very happy.

MSF: Thank you a lot for your time!

NW: Thank You!

 

 

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