Vito Dell’Erba, Creative Director, Future Lifestyle Fashion, talks to MW about his personal style, favourite designers, favourite shopping destination in India, and more.
How do you define fashion? What does it mean to you?
The word “fashion” does not have a hard-etched definition. It is different for each individual and is largely controlled by where one lives and their surroundings. I truly believe that fashion is an expression of who you are. There are many ways of expressing fashion. Many people believe that fashion is all about blindly following trends of the season. With the rise of social media, it seems everything is a trend; long, short, white, tight, all at the same time. It is a “fashion jungle”.
Fashion is all about knowing yourself and knowing what fabrics, shapes, colours and looks suit you best. It is an extension of one’s personality and not a use and throw concept. To me, it is all about quality and comfort. It is about feeling that clothes are a part of me, like a second skin, and are absolutely timeless.
How has working in the fashion industry influenced your personal style?
Being associated with the fashion industry has been the major driver in honing my personality as an individual. Having worked with some of the most important luxury brands in Milan, Paris, London and so on, places that are synonymous with being high on fashion, I have always been an audience to preview the best that the industry has to offer. This, along with my own extensive research on the same subject, has made me sensitive towards colours, shapes, fabrics etc. There is a huge database on history of fashion trends in my head, which can be converted into a mini library. Along my journey, I have also learnt that one should never compromise on quality
What do you consider your personal style statement?
For me, fashion is stylish carelessness, which means being imperfect in the perfection – personalising what you wear and disrupting the rules.
Are you very particular about what you wear, about your hair, shoes etc?
Of course! I am Italian. *wink*
What was your last purchase?
A silver ring with indigo stone from Italy.
Do you prefer tailored or off the rack?
Both are equally important and necessary as per one’s needs. I get my clothes tailored from my personal tailor in Umbria, Italy.
Are you into designer wear? Which designers are your favourites?
I prefer timeless classics. Designers often do seasonal fashion. I don’t have a fetish for designer wear in particular, but that does not mean that I do not opt for them. To me, it is the silhouette, fabric and colour that matter, and not the label. On personal front, I either buy clothes based on quality which showcase a timeless appeal, or get my clothes stitched as per my requirement.
What do you think of men’s jewellery? Do you invest in watches?
Jewellery to me is like seasonings in my dish. It not only adds flavours but also completes the dish. Rings, bracelets, chains, brooches — you name it, I have it all. I love collecting watches. I have a soft corner for my classics.
How would you describe the perfect suit?
A perfect suit is the one that takes up the perfect shape of one’s body; neither too tight nor too loose. A perfect suit to me is not boxy in its fit. It should follow the silhouette of one’s body. Blue suits are my favourite.
Do you have any fetishes, such as shoes, socks, accessories?
I do not discriminate. All of these are equally important to complete my look. Having said that, rings are my personal favorite.
What are the casual and formal items every man must own?
A white shirt, black suit, blue blazer, a pair of brogues and a well fitted pair of chinos are the essentials.
How do you like to change things up for weddings?
Weddings are stiff, pompous and overdone. Hence, it is not a fashion event that I feel connected to. But, I love beach weddings, where one is dressed down and not up.
What is your favourite shopping destination in India and abroad?
In India, I like going to luxury shopping malls for my shopping. Also, I have a strong feeling that the new Central Mall coming up at Aerocity, New Delhi, will be my personal favourite in India. When it comes to shopping abroad, it has to be London. The choice of brands there is endless.
What is one piece of style advice you would give all men?