The folks over at AskMen.com recently sent me a link to their profile of industrial giant, and father of Fiat, Gianni Agnelli. This founder of the wear-your-watch-on-your-sleeve club was a consummate clothes horse. Of course his clothes were lovely hand made heirlooms so well crafted that his equally eccentric grandson Lapo Elkann still wears them.
The profile is pithy but well done and highlights Agnelli’s flair for the functionally dramatic. What really caught my attention though, was the collection of additional profiles listed at the bottom of the page. JFK, Barack Obama, Kanye West and the last three decades of James Bond, to name but a few. Each one is a succinct shot of what specifically makes them an icon of style and how specifically you can create your own interpretation of their style. Normally I give these sorts of things short shrift because they are so often thin cliches. Not so these brief nuggets of history and fashion.
I think they are a great resource for classic and classy looks that stand the test of time. They also throw out small but fascinating nuggets of information, like the make of sweater worn by Jack Kennedy during his iconic walk through the suft of a Massachusetts beach. It was a J. Press pima cotton v-neck and you can still buy it today. Or that the watch worn by President Elect Obama is in fact a chronograph given to him by his Secret Service detail. It’s actually from the Secret Service store and has the agency’s shield logo emblazoned on it’s face.
Secret Service watch given to President Elect Obama
Now, that’s the sort of stuff that I find interesting. Taking the time to put objects in their context and not just saying “this is cool, wear it”; helps the reader to understand where things come from and how they can make them their own.