20.11.2023 | Sergio Guardi is the epitome of individuality and cannot be pigeonholed. His style is a fascinating mosaic made up of different influences and unconventional approaches. Over the years, he has left an indelible mark on Barbanera, the label he co-founded with his brother and two like-minded people, taking it to new heights. In an exclusive interview for our soon to be newly published men's fashion magazine TM MEN, we asked Sergio about his Idea of Style and immersed ourselves in the currents of his creative energy. Here's a little teaser.
You've spoken about your father as a style master in a previous interview. Can you share a specific lesson or styling tip from him that holds particular significance for you?
My father's passion for old lithography prints and his dedication to what he loved left a lasting impact on my life. He taught me the importance of fully committing to one's passions, influencing not just my style but also my attitude. But one valuable lesson from him was the art of being personal and stylish simultaneously, favoring a more understated approach. He would buy designer items but remove labels to avoid being a walking advertisement, encouraging uniqueness. His strong sense of style, rooted in not caring about others' opinions, taught me to embrace my individuality. I believe style isn't fixed but comes in various forms. Authenticity is key; similar styles may not resonate if lacking sincerity, while distinct styles can be captivating when genuinely expressed.
Many people draw inspiration from your Instagram account, finding your style inspiring. However, what or who inspires you?
My style inspiration comes from a mix of musicians, singers, actors, cultural movements, and movies. Icons like Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, and Nick Cave still influence me. At 41, my son is now my hero, shifting my perspective on idols. I believe a suit should be both elegant and sexy, similar to a woman's dress. Nick Cave and Jimi Hendrix embody the blend of sexy and elegant, emphasizing the importance of attitude in style, seen in figures like Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen. In the Italian context, my style inspiration extends to timeless icons like Marcello Mastroianni, Pasolini, and the iconic Spaghetti Western 60s aesthetic. My personal style, demonstrated by Iggy Pop's shirtless look, varies, showcasing unique expressions of coolness. Movie characters, especially Clint Eastwood, highlight the balance between being a badass and showing sensitivity.
What stands out to me is your skill in blending various influences, shaping them into your unique style. You’ve lived in diverse places, starting in Palermo. where you were born), Milan, Madrid, Berlin, Los Angeles and now New York. These varied cultural and regional influences must have greatly impacted your style. It's intriguing to observe how you've adapted and integrated different elements, like taking up surfing. If you had to choose, which of these diverse experiences do you believe has had the most significant influence on your style?
Although it's difficult to pinpoint a single inspiration, living in Berlin has significantly changed and expanded my sense of fashion. Moving to Milan at 18 also played a big role in shaping my style over the past 20 years. Milan's diverse influences, combined with the impact of American style, have made my fashion journey dynamic and always changing. If I had to choose, Milan and Berlin, with a touch of American style, have been key in forming my unique approach to fashion.
Exploring my style was and is a fascinating journey, often marked by eclectic ensembles that reflect my diverse influences. Recently, I laughed at my own reflection. I was wearing a mix of '70s-style jeans, cowboy boots, a football jersey, a Western-style jacket, and a hat. It seemed absurd. But in a strange way it fitted my attitude.
My style is constantly evolving, carrying traces of every city I've lived in. It adapts to seasons, locations, and occasions. In my music career, I was a non-sneaker-wearing rock’n’roller, but today, I might go from a jiu-jitsu session in a sweatshirt to a night out in a suit with loafers and a tie. It depends on the day's activities.
Read the complete interview in the upcoming edition of TM Men, the contemporary menswear coffee table magazine by TM TextilMitteilungen. The magazine encapsulates the essence of contemporary men's fashion, capturing the dynamic energy of modern masculinity. From impeccably tailored suits to laid-back leisurewear and unexpected accessories, you'll encounter compelling content that mirrors the creative and professional facets of the men's fashion industry.