Few years ago you have founded StyleReport.ro which meanwhile has become one of the leading Romanian luxury on-line magazines. Is luxury synonym with an excellent product or nowadays it can be only a deceptive imagine?
The „Luxury” word has become a marketing trigger these days when it should define a unique experience. Luxury is more about content and not only image. When you define an appearance as a luxury one, that is when a valuable concept allows connoisseurs to „read” the quality signs.
How would you define a well-dressed Man?
The man who knows how to dress right is the man who understands where and when is appropriate to wear a cocktail suit and when it is better to leave the tie and put on a pair of cotton trousers and moccasins without socks. In the same time, a well-dressed man knows that The Jacket is needed in 99% of all times, even if it is only a linen and silk, very light fabric, unstructured model.
What are the biggest style mistakes you see guys make?
There are a lot of mistakes being made but the biggest one is when guys refuse to change. As an image consultant I always advice men to buy clothes their actual size, not too small even they want to look ”Italian” or too relaxed because they are used to wear sports equipment all the time. Another mistake I see very often is wearing smart casual clothes during meetings when formal attire is required.
How would you define your style?
In my situation, I was fortunate to meet Alessandro Martorana and to learn from him what it means to dress like a „Gentleman”. Of course, considering my cultural background I follow Alessandro’s Italian and English principles but my style is somehow different. I like to wear colored clothes and I love to mix jackets and pants. There are days when I prefer serious suits and a silk tie but my favorite choice is when I build „happy outfits” considering details in „every corner”, from the inside color of the jacket to the socks. If I may quote an Alessandro’s saying about style, „The moment you think every day about how to dress is the moment you have a style of your own.”
Are you sentimental regarding clothes? What is your favorite suit?
I can say I have favorite outfits, depending on the season. I will always like my first bespoke suit and I still wear it from time to time, but I am faraway from being sentimental regarding clothes. I think that style evolves and therefore a man should look for a new shirt or a new jacket in order to have a fresh image all the time. My favorite part is matching pocketsquares and in my collection I have two or three pieces which I like a lot and feel like wearing all the time.
Favorite pair of shoes ?
When I consider shoes there are two different topics in my opinion. There are the ready-to-wear shoes and the bespoke ones. I am fortunate to have a standard foot so I am not strictly related to custom shoes. I have a few pairs manufactured in the Alessandro Martorana atelier using the classic techniques dating back since the last century. But, when I choose ready-to-wear, I pay special attention to Santoni and Ferragamo. These two companies are still very connected to the quality that made them famous and this is something I respect a lot. My favorite shoes are a Santoni green pair of moccasins with ”nappine” but I wear them only when the outfit and the moment allows. The well dressed man uses mainly black and dark brown shoes.
All my shirts are manufactured in Alessandro Martorana Atelier as I am part of his team and I therefore I choose a product I trust. I have favorites shirts depending on the rest of the outfit. I can say I have a favorite type of fabric for shirts because of the feeling you get when wearing it and for the resistance in time.
My favorite watch is the Breitling Navitimer World I wear almost every day. It represents my style as it is Bold, Rafined and Versatile.
Alessandro Martorana & Constantin Baches
You have special relation with Alessandro Martorana. Can you tell us more about this?
I met Alessandro back in 1997 and since then I have been his ambassador in Romania along my career as a lifestyle journalist. This is actually the way he reaches all the markets in the world. His style is not to be found in shops or any other conventional outlets. Alessandro Martorana is a style you get to know by meeting him, his clients or his team. In Romania, we are proud to have Ilie Nastase as one of the most representative ambassadors. In Italy, you can recognize Martorana style on Alessandro del Piero and on almost all the famous soccer players not to mention business men and TV celebrities. In America, the clients list opens with Andy Garcia and reaches tens of important characters from actors to sports and politics.
More than two years ago, I had the chance to prove Alessandro Martorana that I am ready to represent him in other markets besides Romania as image and communication consultant. I started with a few small projects in Italy before I got my first important mission – to launch the brand in Astana, Kazakhstan. In the meantime I received a main position in his team and since this year I am in charge also with Middle East markets.
What are the key elements that define a Martorana suit? What does bespoke mean to you?
First of all, Alessandro Martorana is quality. Even if we are looking at a modern and dynamic business model, the fabrics are turned into suits by a team of 35 tailors using only sartorial techniques. This is why every single piece is distinguished by its unique look as it follows the measures and the special requests of a certain client.
Alessandro Martorana produces only bespoke clothes and accessories following orders from all over the world. The brands bespoke style is a combination of ultimate quality, of concierge type services and the ability to reflect all kind of special requirements. And this is what Bespoke really means: Unique.
What particular techniques details should a Man know when buying a suit?
It depends on the suit. If a man buys a ready-to-wear suit he should look at the brand only as a guarantee. But, the most important thing is the quality. After checking for the right measure, a good suit has to be made with natural materials, has to have clean lines and no „fashion tricks”. A good suit is a classic one. For made to measure suits or bespoke, be careful about what you choose and what you receive. It is better not to pay for bespoke and receive ready to wear. The difference is simple: made to measure is a suit of a universal size being altered for your particularities. If you are size 48 but your sleeves have to be shorter than standard, the production takes less time as the rest of the measures follow 48 model. In bespoke world, every details is cut after your own „carta modelo” so it is much harder to build and it takes more time.
The XXI edition of the famous International Festival George Enescu will be held in Bucharest in September 2012. What would be a Gentleman perfect outfit for this special occasion?
As in this type of ceremonies, the outfit should be elegant and simple: dark suit, white shirt, serious tie and black shoes.
In a Top 5 Romanian luxury business the names would be …
I consider Romanian luxury as a topic still to be defined in the following years. Even if, in some places, Romania managed to build up luxury appearances, the services are unfortunately below the expected level. Even so, considering some retail places and hotels, the country is on the right track.