February 20, 2017
In Conversation With Fabio Attanasio
Former Law Student of Bocconi University and style icon in the men’s fashion blogging world is Italian journalist Fabio Attanasio of ‘The Bespoke Dudes’. Fabio never fails to impress in his signature bespoke tailoring, oozing sprezzatura and charm. MFM caught up with the down-to-earth young Italian male. Discussing his day to day life, his success story and his views on the fine art of tailoring.
For those who may not know, tell us what it is you do day to day…
I actually do a lot of things; fortunately they’re all related to my passion for bespoke tailoring and craftsmanship. I keep updating the blog whenever I find a true artisan or business with a story that is worth mentioning. I do consultancy for brands and private investors, whilst work as a contributor for GQ Italy (where I have a column), Fashion Illustrated, Arbiter and some Russian magazines such as Vedomosti and RBC Daily. I recently launched an eyewear collection of Italian hand-made glasses available on www.thebespokedudeseyewear.com. Soon I will also launch a small collection of hand-made shoes designed by me from the sketch to the leathers and details.
Why ‘The Bespoke Dudes’ and what made you start it?
The Bespoke Dudes aims to create a virtual community of people around the world who appreciate quality over quantity and foster the rebirth of an updated sartorial classicism. It fills the huge gap between an increasing demand of quality clothing and the supply represented by artisans who don’t know how to communicate their charming jobs, since sometimes they still use the word-of-mouth. TBD is my “creature”, I believed in it even though at the beginning my friends and family thought it was just a whim.
For a long time people thought it was another “fashion blog”, but now it’s clear – at least to those who read it – that TBD has nothing to do with catwalks or high fashion, but rather with a concept of male elegance and rediscovery of some crafts. Bespoke tailoring is often perceived as not affordable or only for older people. On the contrary, it can be affordable and it is appealing, it’s an industry that every day is stealing more and more market share to the ready-to-wear industry.
When you first started did you imagine yourself to be so successful?
Absolutely not! I remember I used to think about a B plan (e.g. working as a lawyer), but as of now I don’t even take it into account.
What has been a personal highlight for you?
Without a doubt the two conferences I had the opportunity to hold. The first was in a high school in Sulmona, Abruzzo: I was afraid to annoy them, instead – to my great surprise – they were asking me questions about my job, one of them even wrote me some lines just to tell me I had inspired him to approach the craft and start working as a tailor in a local workshop.
The second one was incredibly exciting since it took place inside my former college, Bocconi University. The name was “The new bespoke”: the new way of selling bespoke products nowadays. The room was full, people were standing on the door and asking questions. I am happy of my decision to extend the invitation to speak also to some artisans: they showed a business model that is not so common on the books they study every day.
You recently started working with GQ Italia – how did this come about?
I simply mailed the Deputy Editor asking to work with them and showing my articles about tailors in Italy, but without even thinking to receive an answer. On the contrary, he replied to me and I was thrilled to hear that there was a chance to collaborate.
As a fashion editor we all suffer with ‘writer’s block’ how do you overcome this, is there specific ways in which you find your inspiration?
It happens to me too. I suppose deadlines are the biggest enemies of the inspirations. I usually read good books: reading nurtures a lot my writing flair.
How would you describe your style and which are your favourite brands?
I always define it as a sort of “neoclassic”. As for brands, I appreciate what Brunel Cucinelli is doing, but also Caruso, since I admire Umberto Angeloni, the CEO. I love Alden shoes, but also Velasca Milano for the incredible price/quality ratio.
A lot of new male fashion bloggers out there look up to you, who are your style icons?
I’m honoured to read it. More than icons, I have a lot of friends whose style I get inspiration from. An example can be Valentino and Nicola Ricci of Sciamát, but also Vittorio D’Agostino and Gerardo Cavaliere of Sartoria Giuliva, Gennaro Annunziata of Chiaia Napoli. The list is quite long and for sure I have forgotten to mention some others.
Do you have any exciting upcoming plans with ‘The Bespoke Dudes’ that you can tell us about?
One is the above-mentioned collection of hand-made shoes with Velasca Milano. Designed by me and made in Montegranaro by the hands of artisans with decades of expertise. Another plan is the first book about Italian tailors, but it’s still at the beginning.