The Portrait: Andrea Lardini
Andre Lardini is the CEO of Lardini, a fashion house founded in 1978 in Filottrano, Italy. The company rose to fame making men's clothing for Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Valentino, Etro and Burberry. They have since released their own branded and highly regarded products. In this portrait, Andre Lardini covers topics from the definition of "elegance" to his favorite dressing habits. All very dear to those of us that care deeply about how our clothing fits together.
Men's Ex Japan featured Andrea Lardini earlier this year in their recurring segment "The Portrait". Christopher Berry, Sebastian Ward's Creative Director and holder of an MA in Japanese Fine Art, translated the pages for an English speaking audience.
In his translation Christopher tried to make the sentences as readable in English as possible, without omitting the direct Japanese meanings and nuances. Without further ado, the translated text (scroll down for the images):
Yoshinori Onda shot some photographs of the world's best-dresser's Andrea, president of Lardini. though he does get overshadowed by his younger brother Luigi's extensive media coverage, the eldest brother is also impeccably dressed.
Photography by Onda Yoshinori
News Gathering & Captions by Ikeda Yasuyuki
Being Elegant is...
"A means of expressing one's individuality and feeling of a given day. In Japan, where I can feel as at ease as I do in my home, today I expressed the feeling: 'I am among friends'"
Profile & Style
Born in Italy, in the municipality of Filottrano, Marche province, 1957. When he was 21 and studying electrical engineering in college, he established a company with his brother Luigi, who had already taken part in the apparel industry. After developing an original brand, he started the famous brand, OEM. When the brand really came into its own in 1992, he started the signature mark, Lardini.
His suit is, of course, Lardini. His tie is of a think gazar-mix silk. His V-zone is an orthodox-style navy pin-dot tie against a white mesh shirt and a white pocket-chief. However, his pant hem is a rather aggressive 17cm wide at the opening. A thing of note are the Doctor Marten boots on his feet which, "...I just acquired last week while I was in England." He uses them to tread purposefully.
In your opinion, what is "elegance" ?
"Within the company, wearing denim with washed suits and garment-dyed jackets is quite prevalent. I like to mix normal staple items with things that are just a little different. Today, my clothes have the mood of washing and weathering processes. Since an outfit that is too classic looking can read as being too old-beyond-one's-years, isn't [what I'm wearing right now] rather smart looking? I think that a certain free, Italian mentality is expressed through the combining of items that are each somewhat out of place. The boots I'm wearing today are ones I bought last week at London's Dover Street Market. These days, everyone seems to be a bit fed up with being thin [hahah]!"
Things that are important to him
Wearing a boutonniere at all occasions
One of the things you can call an icon of Lardini, is the felt boutonniere. It's an idea that his younger brother, Luigi, brought to life some 8 years ago. The one he's pinned on today is a special edition made of horn.
Changing the pant hem with the times
The 20cm width that they were for a long time, has slimmed down to 18cm over the years. Today, it's an especially slim 17cm. "The silhouette of pants is the thing most controlled by what is fashionable. Despite that, I still wore flared pants when I was a teenager [hah]!"
At work, Luigi is a sworn friend
And as for his younger brother, Luigi, whom he has a largely good relationship with, there are sometimes magnificent fights concerning work related matters. "The design and styling sense is up to Luigi, but the ideas and knowledge about the technical side of things are where I'm in charge!" They have a good sibling relationship that always resolves itself.
Of course, one of the best ways to begin building an elegant wardrobe is with a well-fitting, elegant and versatile Sebastian Ward Shirt. (white is my favorite).
The translated pages from Men's Ex Japan (we took the liberty of replacing the Japanese with english text):