As the second instalment of our Editorial, we sat down with the founder of the popular Instagram page Gents Cafe to pick his brain about fashion.
You’re very up to date regarding trends, tell us about where your interest for fashion comes from?
I would say that my parents have had a strong influence on me in that regard: they have always been passionate about dressing well and they have always paid attention to details.
Of course, my idea of “Fashion” has changed a lot over the years. As I grew up, I started to get fascinated by characters like James Bond, Patrick Bateman, Harvey Specter… And that’s when I started to focus more on a classic/smart casual look and a timeless elegance, rather than just following fashion trends.
Where did you grow up and how was your childhood?
I was lucky enough to spend my childhood between Monza (the city that hosts the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix) and Milan, two Italian cities that are very dynamic and full of energy and - in terms of fashion - very inspiring.
Since I was a child, I’ve always been a “numbers” person (I studied computer engineering) with a creative soul. This combination has brought me to launch different entrepreneurial projects with a strong creative component, like Gents Cafe and FYNEST.
When it comes to fashion, who do you take inspiration from?
To me, fashion is not about wearing expensive clothes from famous brands but it’s more about researching quality, design and - why not - great stories behind the brand itself. Defining my own personal style.
For this reason, I look for timeless elegance that combines classic pieces with more relaxed ones. So, when it comes to finding inspiration I like classic style icons from the past - like Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, etc - and people that I follow on Instagram who have a very elegant and curated style. People who like to play with clothes and accessories trying creative combinations but always looking confident.
Would you consider your path different to other fashion curators?
Yes. Since the beginning, with Gents Cafe, I wanted to create something that was more like a platform, in order to curate the best content from social media and connect and inspire gentlemen. It’s never been a place to share only my own outfits and personal shots. Of course, even if it’s not my personal style account, I’ve been working a lot in terms of defining a specific style, which is different from many other “non-personal” pages on Instagram. It reflects my own view about style and elegance.
I like to think of Gents Cafe as an Instagram-based magazine.
That’s fantastic! Looking at feedback from your audience, you seem to have an approach that’s highly appreciated, why do you think that is?
I would say yes, the Gents Cafe community appreciates my curation in terms of content and niche brands that I present on the feed and inside my monthly newsletter highlighting the story of the brand and the details of the product.
I always do my best to be consistent with the pictures that I share: I never post images that are “obvious” and I never promote brands I don’t believe in or products that I would never wear or use. I’ve always been honest with all the people who follow Gents Cafe and - over the years - this has allowed me to build a trust between me and my community. In general, I always try to leverage Gents Cafe to build valuable relationships with other like-minded people.
Besides fashion, what are some other things you’re interested in?
I’m passionate about men’s lifestyle in general, so everything related to mixology, vintage cars and great restaurants. In addition to that, I love reading business books and listening to great music.
How did you first come to interact with Rosewall and what was your first interception of our brand?
I’m always on the lookout for niche brands, especially emerging ones, that value quality and pay attention to details. For this reason I spend hours of research every week on Instagram and in some way I ended up on the Rosewall’s profile. I browsed your photos, checked your website and I reach out to you via DM straight away. I love building personal relationships with the brands that I like and - why not - find a way to collaborate and support each other.
How do you feel we differentiate ourselves towards our competitors?
I really appreciate that Rosewall focuses on a small number of product categories and does its best to offer that kind of products at the highest quality. Your communication sounds fresh and I like the fact that you don’t take yourself too seriously: the “Our story” section on your website always makes me smile. :)
Haha, that’s good to hear and that’s the exact reaction we want to get out of our story, or rather lack of the our story part.
If you could do anything in life, what would that be?
I’m a very ambitious person. My goal in life - from a professional perspective - has always been to live out of my passions and build businesses and projects around them. It’s not easy, you have to face a lot of challenges along the way, but when you see your ideas taking shape and having an impact on other people’s life… That’s priceless.
Regarding Gents Cafe, my goal is to build the biggest community of modern men and offer them the best go-to-place for discovering a curated selection of the finest in Gentlemen’s products and lifestyle.
I have many different ideas I’m working on so, stay tuned! ;)
That’s very inspiring! Moving forward, who do you think we should sit down and speak to?
Two modern men that I had the chance to get in contact with thanks to Instagram: @lenn.castillo and @afathersleisurehours