In true 21st century fashion, the star of Alessandro Squarzi was forged in the fires of an adolescent Internet 2.0. It was the decade after the bubble had burst, when YouTube was still young, Facebook was still tolerable, and the “blogosphere” was still a thing—you know, that section of the web full of personal journals, DIY guides, party photo galleries, and occasionally, yes, the aesthetically pleasing fashion blog.
Well, Mr. Squarzi shot to fame on just such a blog, a photograph of him snapped in 2009 by photographer Scott Schuman and published in his hugely popular online street style journal The Sartorialist. Just a year later, Instagram would roll out its addictive infinite scroll, filled in large part by the crisp, clean, fashion photography style that The Sartorialist pioneered. The blog aesthetic had migrated to greener platforms, and along with it, Mr. Squarzi—his online presence and popularity steadily growing.
But Mr. Squarzi’s story is deeper than that of an unwitting online influencer, and transcends far beyond likes, @s, and #s. Mr. Squarzi has in fact always worked with clothes, and is a prolific fashion entrepreneur. He currently oversees the marketing and distribution of various brands, including three of his own: Fortela, AS65 and Atlantic Stars. Of these, his label AS65 has received special attention, mainly for its fur-lined parkas inspired by vintage military jackets for men and women.
But what Mr. Squarzi is perhaps best known for is far more ephemeral: his Taste. From his tailor to his favorite restaurant, Mr. Squarzi’s choices are impeccably informed and joyously enacted. A consummate collector of all sorts of lovely things, from scarves to pens, to vintage cars and luxury watches (he owns over 400), when it comes to style, Mr. Squarzi simply follows his mood wherever it might lead him.
And where it has lead is to the crosshairs of many a fashion photographer’s lens. His elegant, American-influenced, vintage-inspired approach to dressing remains a steady source of (very ‘grammable) inspiration and admiration.
Here, Mr. Squarzi—the so-called “most photographed man in Milan”—kindly addresses JMM’s increasingly unconventional survey:
Jacques Marie Mage: What presently compels you to wake up in the morning?
Alessandro Squarzi: Love for my daughter and passion for my work.
You’ve lived and/or worked in many places around the world. How does a sense of place influence your creative practice?
I always wanted to travel around to feed my creativity and keep my mind open. Places like the USA and Japan are always my favorite countries to visit for this purpose.
Please describe the inspiration behind your recent work with Fortela?
I’ve always been around looking for something that could meet my taste, but I’ve not been able to find it. So I decided to create it by myself, for myself, and then I started to share it with men who have my same tastes.
What do you look for in a proper pair of spectacles?
Glasses are like wives: you have to live with them everyday. So, they have to fit perfectly to your needs!
Can you tell us the story of the last time you felt “out of your comfort zone”?
Quite difficult to answer, because I try to never be out of my comfort zone.
What song would you choose to dance to at 5 in the morning?
“I Love You Baby” by Gloria Gaynor.
Can you describe the last time you had déjà vu?
I experience deja vù all the time! So it would be a little boring to list them all. What I can tell you is that I really like experiencing them, I always have a lot of fun!
What is your longest standing obsession?
What is your favorite erotic image?
A lady wearing white lingerie.
Where do you go, what do you do, to be alone?
To my home in Rimini, Romagna. It’s the perfect place when I need to relax and recharge batteries.
Describe your scariest encounter with an animal?
When I was a child, I was been attacked by a Rough Collie. Until that time, Lassie was my hero. After the attack, I couldn’t stand that breed anymore!
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