Inarguably one of Italy’s, and thus, the world’s most stylish gentlemen, Luciano Barbera was born into one of the great textiles dynasties, his father Carlo Barbera’s eponymous mill in Biella considered among the very finest purveyors of cloth for luxury men’s tailoring (“the Rolls-Royce of the fabric world,” in Luciano’s words). The clothing Luciano purveys under his own name is equally regarded as pretty much the Platonic ideal of Italian-made menswear — elegant yet unfussy, classically refined but relaxed... Much like the man himself.
The heir to a rich sartorial legacy, it’s unsurprising that an effortless sense of style should come naturally to Luciano. Or perhaps, we should say, ‘seemingly effortless’. Because Luciano’s approach to dressing is certainly not without thought.
“A man must face the world with sprezzatura,” he says, reclaiming that much abused, misused term. “It literally means detachment, but a better way to think of it is quiet confidence and low-key style. Sprezzatura means striving to do the hardest of things in an easy way.” And in fact, that requires a great deal of effort: consideration, deliberation, experience and wisdom — which is just what Luciano so kindly imparts here, detailing his Menswear Ten Commandments.
10. “It is not enough to have beautiful clothes, what is important is what you do with them.”
9. “A truly elegant man is always perfectly dressed for whatever occasion he is about to encounter.”
8. “The ideal jacket should have soft, natural lines and balanced proportions. It should fit you and never constrict you. Wear it often, it will mold to your body and become a second skin.”
7. “Think of your blazer as a passport for everything.”
6. “The suit is the key element of any gentleman’s wardrobe and a great tailor is medicine for the soul.”
5. “Avoid shiny fabrics for formal dressing. Choose instead the natural lustre of the finest noble fibres.”
4. “A man should own as many shirts as he wishes — the more the better. It is a triumph of modern life, like the automobile or the Internet.”
3. “Think of ties as pieces of elegance that distinguish one man from the next. When you change your tie, your suit is reborn.”
2. “Trousers should lightly kiss the shoes. I do not want to see your socks, but I do want to see your shoes.”
1. “Be yourself and do not follow trends. Real elegance does not waver. Use your unique sensibility to form the particular elegance you will be known for. This is the fashion that lasts.”