Lino Ieluzzi is definitely a character. As one of the Sartorialist’s favorite subjects and the owner of the Milanese haberdashery Al Bazar, he has certainly made his mark on the men’s fashion world.
He is especially popular in Japan, and too many in the rest of the world, an original style icon. Last year, I had the chance to meet him in person and today, I would like to discuss his style.
The Person Lino Ieluzzi
In the past, many articles have been written about Lino Ieluzzi, but to my surprise, it seems that no one has mentioned his real name! Lino is in fact short for Pasqualino, which in turn means little Pasquale. However, Pasquale is more of a southern Italian name and Lino never liked this connotation. So he decided to just go by Lino. Silvio Berlusconi called him by his real name when he honored Mr. Ieluzzi for his achievements for the Italian Republic (see photo).
Overall, Lino seemed to be a very amiable chap, who likes to sun bathe and who enjoys life in typical Italian fashion. Unfortunately, he does not speak English, and my Italian is limited to understanding basic phrases, but his friend and general manager Gianpaolo interpreted. We talked briefly about Sprezzatura – the Italian equivalent of nonchalance – and Lino’s belief that it is something natural that comes from the inside. While this made perfect sense to me, I was surprised to see him pose when I asked if I could take a picture of him. He quickly slipped into his camel color Ulster overcoat, put on Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses and showed me the typical Milanese courtyard right behind the store, that had probably been the location for quite a few photoshoots before. Coincidentally – so it seemed – the neighbor’s dog appeared in the courtyard and Lino was genuinely happy to play with him. Later, I deduced that this dog might be one of Lino’s favorite accessories when I saw another picture of Lino and the dog.
In any case, he has a particular style:
Lino Ieluzzi’s Style
Strongly influenced by his father, Lino developed an affinity for the double breast jacket in the late 1960′s when formal clothes became more and more unpopular. Instead of just wearing it for business purposes, he
created sporty casual double breasted blazers in vivid colors ranging from bright pink, azure blue to triple plaids. He never buttons the lowest button of the 6×2 silhouette and wears the coats very fitted. The button cuffs of his shirt remain usually unbuttoned, but he wears his hallmark cutaway collar with a cashmere or wool tie.
On a whim, he started to have a hand embroidered 7 on his tie. It began as a more of a joke because he was born on the October 7th. Immediately, many customers noticed the seven and also thought it was their lucky number. Today, Al Bazar sells a large quantity of 7 embroidered ties, although all 7 ties are also available without the number. However, unlike the name might imply, all ties are made in a classic three fold construction. Personally, it would be a little too much for me, but it is a perfect example that fashion is not predictable and I can’t help to think that sometimes it is all about being a part of something – at least to certain people.
Lino’s trousers are fitted, with pleats and cuffs. Another signature style element is his double strap monk shoe in tan with dark polished captoes. With his outfits, he usually wears a money clip which is attached to this trousers with a long sterling silver chain. Again, this is absolutely not my style, but there are many imitators out there which underlines Lino’s status of a style icon. He truly sets certain trends rather than following them.
In Lino’s view, double breasted jackets can be worn by anyone if they are just fitted the right way. The other day, I wrote about suits for larger men, and I still believe that this silhouette looks much more pleasing on a slim person. I also prefer to wear my blazers not as tight, but Lino is all about that. He even never uses the inside button to consciously create an imperfect look. As such, he also suggests to tie your tie without a mirror to create this casual look. As mentioned above though, when it comes to photos it seems important to him how he looks, and vanity is certainly not a bad thing – it’s just interesting to see it from somebody who emphasizes nonchalance, because trying to look imperfect is like standing in front of your mirror trying to make your pocket square look like you just casually stuffed it in your chest pocket. Unfortunately, that’s just as contrived as a perfectionist.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at the store and I respect Lino for his ability to create his own style without being influenced by other fashion trends. However, he is not all sprezzatura, but also a little bit of vanity.
Guerre from Guerreisms created a short video about Lino:
What do you think of his style?