WATCH WORLD FOR STYLE
Menswear designer Angelo Glasso is a creative force, once hidden in the world of banking, a force which may never have seen the light of day as Andrew Peters discovered when he met up with the fashion icon.
The Godfather of Italian style' was a description attributed to Angelo Galasso by GQ Magazine. From humble beginnings to international recognition and success, Angelo is the complete antithesis of the perceptions some would associate with an Italian Godfather. His warm and friendly persona greeted me in his Knightsbridge store on a very cold and dreary winter's day. He laughed as I asked him what he was doing in London on such day, answering: “ I love London, it's my home and has been very good to me.”
As with many things in life, Angelo's chosen path may never have happened, as growing up in southern Italy his parents wanted him to have a secure future. They pushed him to work in one of the professions: law, finance, or medicine. Sure enough. he ended up in banking where his creative spirit. remained mostly hidden, coming it, light after his father's death. Only then did Angelo fed able to pursue his true calling and what he regarded as a game soon turned into a passion.
Q Angelo, you began customising your clothes at a young age. What was the reason for doing this and did it help to develop your sense of design and style?
A I was born in Francavilla in Puglia. To keep me off the streets when I was a growing lad, my parents used to take me to the workshops of a number of local tailors and artisans. In an age without mobile phones. I could be found easily. So I began to absorb the two characteristic elements of my land: tradition and a spirit of observation. These experiences gave me a talent for transforming Tradition into innovative, bespoke suit,, that make whoever wears them truly unique.
Q How would you define style?
A I have a classic style with a vision to the future.
Q Your ethos is tradition in Evolution. Can you explain this?
A I envisage tradition in evolution as a new breed of man enjoying a service that reinvents the tradition of classic tailoring — steeped in Italian craftsmanship and the unbridled creativity of the culture house, reviving a world of exclusive and unique garments with just one client in mind.
Q What was your first fashion venture?
A When I was fourteen years old, in the city where I was horn. Then I costumised clothing from neighbouring companies. My first venture was myself.
Q Is everything you produce Fatto in Italia?
A Tutto fatto Italia! It would hi impossible for me to create my menswear, from the smallest detail to the very best high end, in another place. Italians are the only ones with the history and the hand to do it.
Q What was the Inspiration behind your groundbreaking Polso Orologio (watch cuff) shirt in the 90s?
A Gianni Agnelli, former Fiat owner, was forced to wear his watch over his shirt cuff due to an allergy. My shirt combined elegant style with practicality and it was born naturally.
Q Were you surprised the shirt was regarded as a work of art when it was exhibited at the Design Museum in London in 2004?
A Yes, I was very surprised. My son visited the museum with his school and told me that my shin was there. It was a big surprise and I’m really proud.
Q What did this particular shirt design do for you as a menswear designer?
A It created a sort of trademark for me along with the philosophy that my menswear was classic, but with a nod to the future.
Q How did you react to the Financial Times naming you in 2002 'The Da Vinci of Shirts'?
A I think there are no words to explain such a great compliment. With a parallel like that I leave my reaction to your imagination.
Q When did you come to London and why?
A I came to London because it is a modern city, where the miniskirt was born. Here there is the freedom to do everything: I needed to make the brand international.