A Few Real Good Men

How do real men define real style? DEPARTURES asks six of the most fashionable gents we know to show us, in their own words and clothes.

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Umberto Angeloni President & CEO, Brioni

THE MOST IMPORTANT INFLUENCE ON YOUR STYLE? A woman I once loved who showed me how to dress in order to please a woman. She said a man's style should convey power and grace simultaneously. It should be complex and eclectic, masculine with a touch of femininity, as in a pair of cuff links set with precious stones. It's the male equivalent of jewelry, just as a colorful necktie is the equivalent of a scarf. Women look at these things. YOUR FAVORITE CUFF LINKS? Platinum squares with a small, square sapphire in the middle, designed exclusively for Brioni. AND NECKTIE? A silk knit that's straight, not pointed, at the bottom. The sort of tie Yves Saint Laurent popularized forty years ago. YOUR MOST RECENT SPLURGE? A silver Jaguar XJR convertible with a black top and black interior. WHAT DO YOU WEAR WHEN THE TOP'S DOWN? A white linen shirt, denim slacks, Persol sunglasses, loafers with no socks. ARE YOU A FRAGRANCE MAN? Yes, I wear Erolfa by Creed for winter and Eau du Sud from Annick Goutal for summer, and I carry both with me when I travel. I like to be ready for any climate.

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Tomas Maier Creative Director, Bottega Veneta

WHERE DO YOU GO FOR INSPIRATION? The street. FAVORITE SHOES? Comfortable, that's how I buy them. Right now I'm wearing a pair of dark-brown Bottega Veneta loafers called Doge, so called because they're shaped like a Venetian gondola: higher at the back and front. They're very comfortable. WHAT DO YOU WEAR OVER AND OVER? Jeans! I like the classic Levi's style called The Offender: They're cut low, with a low waist. I go through periods of wearing very dark jeans, then medium, then washed-out ones. It changes all the time with my mood. DO YOU PREFER CONTACT LENSES OR EYEGLASSES? I've been wearing both all my life, but eyeglasses reflect your personality—and give you a kind of distance. I also like sunglasses as eyeglasses.

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David Cenci President, Davide Cenci USA

WHAT'S YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I like things that are contemporary in feel but have some attachment to history and tradition. FAVORITE WAY TO KEEP TIME? A red Swatch for day, and for evening an ultra-thin Vacheron Constantin with a glass backing so you can see the mechanism. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY OTHER JOB IN THE WORLD? Sportscaster. I love watching football, basketball, and soccer as well as going skiing and playing tennis. WHAT DO YOU WEAR ON THE SLOPES? A thin down vest we make, in navy microfiber, with a bright-yellow cashmere lining. AND FOR APRES SKI? Probably a yellow Davide Cenci sweater and shirt, like what I have on. YOUR DREAM PURCHASE? One of those old wooden boats made in the fifties—say a Sangermani—that I'd then update with all the most modern technology. THE MOST PRECIOUS THING IN YOUR WALLET? An old mille-lire note that my father gave me after the birth of my first son.

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Christopher Bailey Design Director, Burberry

MOST EXCITING RECENT DISCOVERY? Beck's new album. I love his work because it changes all the time, and I can relate to that! WHAT'S A STYLE CONSTANT? Vintage Levi's from the fifties or sixties. AN ACCESSORY YOU'RE NEVER WITHOUT? A watch. I alternate between a Tag Heuer Carrera, my grandfather's watch from the fifties, and one from Burberry's new watch collection. IF YOU HAD AN UNLIMITED BUDGET? I'd buy airplane tickets for my family and friends, so I could see them more often. YOUR CURRENT CONSUMING PASSION? The house I'm building in Milan. It's an old factory where I've kept the facade and gutted the interior. I'm doing the design myself. WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU WERE IN A PAST LIFE? I've often thought about that: Either Berlin in the twenties or eighteenth-century England. FAVORITE AFTERSHAVE? Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet, which was created in 1902. IF YOU HAD A DIFFERENT CAREER? I've wanted to be a veterinarian since I was a kid. WHAT HIGH-TECH GADGET COULDN'T YOU BE WITHOUT? My Apple Titanium PowerBook. It goes everywhere with me.

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William Zeitz Marketing VP, Cole Haan

COMFORT IS? What I wear on my 23-foot Pursuit powerboat: Hurley surf shorts, a T-shirt, and bare feet. FOR MORE FORMAL OCCASIONS? A suit like the one by Jil Sander that I'm wearing here. Or something by menswear designer Thom Brown, whose silhouette is a modern-day interpretation of Robert Kennedy's classic American look from the sixties. MOST PRIZED POSSESSION? A Robert Motherwell painting that he collaborated on with the Mexican poet Octavio Paz—abstract figures in black on an ivory ground. GROOMING TIP? Kiehl's Close Shavers Squadron shave cream in the blue tube and Sisley shower gel, which smells just like freshly cut grass. FAVORITE SHOES? Cole Haan desert boots in chocolate-brown suede with a rubber-lug sole. They're benchmade in England, and I can dress them up or down. And a pair of Nike Prestos because I can wear them without socks. STYLE ICON? My dad. Every time he went out the door he looked really good, and he never would have thought of getting on an airplane without a coat and tie. But then that was in the sixties, when flying was still an occasion. Even now he always wears a sports coat when he travels by air.

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Stanislas de Quercize President & CEO, Cartier

YOUR FAVORITE GEMSTONE? Diamonds. They're a man's best friend as well. In India, for example, they believe that diamonds protect against bad omens. I think they're right. ARE YOU A COLLECTOR OF ANYTHING? Watches. Because time is of the essence. I don't need a wristwatch to tell me the hour of the day—for that I can look at my computer or my cellular phone. A watch has a far more subliminal message: "What are you doing with your time, my friend?" DO YOU HAVE A GOOD-LUCK CHARM? I do—an orange cotton shirt from Ralph Lauren that I was wearing when my wife gave birth to our third son. WHAT IN YOUR OFFICE CAN'T YOU DO WITHOUT? The picture of my wife and three sons. It's on a bookshelf, so I can see it from anywhere in the room. WHAT SARTORIAL ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR SONS? Don't ever take a cookie-cutter approach to dressing. Create something personal, don't mimic anybody else. You have one face that is yours and yours alone; be just as unique in how you dress.