The style of Gianni Agnelli: how to dress like him

Know more about the unique story of Gianni Agnelli. Discover how to dress like him, with a unique and classy style! Find the secrets of Gianni Agnelli.

PAOLA SEREGO
Contributor

The personality of Gianni Agnelli

Gianni Agnelli, Giovanni agnelli to the registry office, certainly needs no introduction. Founder of FIAT and undisputed king of Italian business between the '60s and '80s, he cannot be defined only as a great industrialist.

Cultured, a lover of sports, women and life, he was for Italians an example of style to emulate. Gifted with an eccentric and all-embracing personality, "Avvocato" Agnelli had an enviable taste in style, food and savoir-faire.

In short, Gianni Agnelli remains to this day the clearest and most authentic icon of Dolce Vita and Made in Italy style. For several major fashion magazines, Agnelli is the best-dressed man in history, and it's not hard to imagine why. While he was the undisputed king of the Italian economy, an indelible symbol of Italy during the economic boom years, Gianni Agnelli was also admired for his innovations in style.

He gave birth to the art of contempt, with style choices that were impossible for everyone, but not for him. Gianni Agnelli subverted the rules of fashion by creating an extremely personal style that could not be replicated. The lawyer had a fascinating mix of audacity and innate elegance that set him apart. His timeless must-have? The ever-present watch on his shirt cuff.

A famous phrase by Georges-Louis Leclerc goes like this: "Style is the man. Style is nothing but the order and movement that you put into your thoughts."

Well, this phrase can only correspond to the unforgettable Agnelli and his style. A style that can be seen in the watch on his wristband, in the way he spoke with his unmistakable "r" (crooked rhombus), but also in the way he smiled, spoke and moved.

A style that became manifest as he sped through the streets of Turin in his Ferrari or through the most beautiful gulfs of the Mediterranean on his splendid sailboat. If there is someone who thinks that it is all appearance and fiction, it is the lawyer Agnelli himself who denies the rumors. His life itself is nomadic, always looking for adventures, energy, new stimuli. A fast-paced life, contemptuous of boredom.

Life without a fixed abode: Turin in winter watching the snow fall on green lawns, Rome in spring in an emperor's apartment. Then Paris, London, Rio, New York.

Gianni Agnelli

The king of Italy

Legend has it that on Sundays in May, Agnelli loved to go in the morning by helicopter to the beautiful beaches of the Costa Smeralda.

He would take a refreshing swim and fly to Turin to watch the most crucial Juventus matches. He always arrived when the second half had started, so that he didn't have to stop to say goodbye, which bored him.

Once the game was over, he left for one of the world's capitals. It could have been Tokyo, Paris or New York: where there is life, there is Gianni Agnelli. The actress Diane Heidi von Salvisberg, immortalized several times on a boat with the lawyer, often recalled with amusement: "He would arrive in Beaulieu by helicopter from his office in Turin, sail around for two hours, and leave again.Federico Fellini called him "King of Italy", later taken up by J. Kennedy, of whom he became a friend.

Kennedy himself repeated "Look at him, with a helmet and a horse he becomes a king. Agnelli has the physiognomy of a king". The most surprising thing is that, in order to have these appellations associated with him, the King did not have to make any effort or exert himself: he did not seek the covers, the spotlight or perform any strange deeds.

He has simply had the luxury of being himself, without having to wear masks and satisfy labels. His is a spontaneous and nonchalant style. It is likely that not even Gianni Agnelli himself would have ever imagined that with his natural and whimsical way of dressing he would become a timeless icon of Italian style, appreciated and emulated throughout the world.

His manner was not that of a "rich master" but rather that of a friend.He was capable of being funny and intelligent. A person of great taste, with whom to have fun but also to ask for life advices. He was also celebrated by the great international personalities, with whom Agnelli constantly surrounded himself.

The lawyer had taught them how to dress with style, how to furnish a house, which boat to buy, which countries to visit and often also how to conquer a woman.


Gianni Agnelli style

The style of Gianni Agnelli

But let's come to fashion itself. Let's see together which were the style choices made by the Italian industrialist. Let's discover which garments made him unique and unmistakable.

Choice that defined the Gianni Agnelli style. Gianni Agnelli loved to wear tailored suits, made for him by the best tailors in the world.

He chose gray for the day and blue for the evening. As for fabrics, Agnelli often opted for pinstripes, Prince of Wales or Solaro suits, a medium wool fabric perfect for mid-seasons.

He also did not disdain the classic gray flannel suit with double-breasted jacket. For his memorable sailing trips, the head of Fiat and Ferrari opted for a casual but at the same time refined classy outfit.

The must-have for excellence was a blue or white long-sleeved polo shirt, made of linen and with mother-of-pearl buttons. The style was inspired by American fashion, where chinos and polo shirts are the masters. As for pants, besides the classic beige or white linen models, Gianni Agnelli loved jeans, which he had learned to love during his stay in the United States.

He wore them both very tight with a seventies style and wide, like the classic Levi's 501. He liked jeans for the boat or at the stadium, accompanied by a piquet cotton shirt Polo or denim shirts. A great admirer of shirts, Gianni Agnelli loved them in blue for the day and white for the evening, but he also sported denim shirts, especially on boats.

Gianni Agnelli was responsible for the button down collar, which he often wore unbuttoned on informal occasions. The cuffs, instead, were almost always tightened with a double button. It is difficult to see him wearing shirts with stripes or checks, or in particularly gaudy colors.

Due to a bad accident occurred on the Cote d'Azur, Gianni Agnelli was forced to wear orthopedic shoes and hiking boots for the rest of his life, but obviously without renouncing to the unavoidable elegance! He loved suede boots; he often used a pair of dark brown ankle boots accompanied by tailored suits.

Then he often opted for loafers in neutral colors, and tennis shoes for the stadium or in moments of leisure.There is little to say, the Lawyer Agnelli violated all the standard rules of style in his own way. The watch on the cuff of the shirt, the tie outside the sweater, the sports shoes accompanied by the suit: all these reinterpretations have contributed to Agnelli becoming a style icon, loved all over the world.

Every person in the world has in mind the typical Gianni Agnelli watch, and and his particular way of wearing it.However, he also had some rules in terms of fashion. Gianni Agnelli never chose short socks, eyeglasses in public life and pointy shoes. Now you have all the tools you need to try and replicate at least the way the Avvocato dressed.

But keep in mind that if there's one thing in particular that Gianni Agnelli is remembered and admired for, it's his free spirit, boyish and unconventional. Cultured and never banal, he was a man with a truly international personality. He could talk about Juventus, as well as foreign policy or gossip, without ever losing the attention of his interlocutor.

We will hardly find another one like him, because Gianni Agnelli is simply unreachable for everyone.

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