Quest Talks With Designer Angelo Galasso

by Alex R. Travers

Angelo Galasso is a fashion cognoscente who never fails to fascinate. His latest endeavor has led him to set up shop in the famous Edwardian Room at The Plaza, a perfect home for a label that prides itself on the revival of a bygone era. We sat down for a tête-à-tête with Galasso to learn more about his past, his style icons, and his current projects.

QUEST: The first time we met earlier this year was on September 13th, from what I hear, a significant day for you—a day when your father organized an event that encouraged you to dress up. Tell me a little more about the build-up to this event and what it felt like when you first walked in the room.

ANGELO GALASSO: The September 13th event had a significant impact on me and is still embedded in my spirit. Each year my father organized a celebration that brought together people from the local surrounding towns. The arches in the streets were illuminated with colorful lights and in the center plaza there was an open castle with an orchestra playing beautiful music.

I learned a lot from my father. I was fascinated by the ease with which he was able to communicate with people from different walks of life, especially those who worked in the entertainment industry. As the ancient Italian proverb says: “Impara l’arte e mettilia da parte.” (“Learn the skill; you will never know when you might need it.”)

Q: Growing up in Apulia, did you have any local style icons? Were there any trips to other European cities that inspired your personal look?

AG: Gianni Versace has always subconsciously been my style icon and idol. I admire his baroque style. But since I have been living in London for the past 15 years, traditional British tailoring and pop culture have influenced my aesthetic. My collection is a blend of gothic, inspired by Gianni Versace, mixed with traditional British tailoring.

Q: Before you were in the fashion business, you worked with cars. Now you are the driving force behind a brand that is the so-called Ferrari of bespoke men’s wear. Were there any valuable lessons you learned from selling cars that helped you as you began promoting the Angelo Galasso brand?

AG: All my past experiences have had an influence on me and have shaped who I am as a designer, even if they were just temporary jobs to help me reach my goal. I believe in setting a clear goal for yourself and doing whatever it takes to achieve it. It is important to appreciate all the various steps and enjoy the experiences you have along the way. Everything I have done has helped me to become the man I am today and has made me a better designer.

Q: What is your favorite part of the design process?

AG: I love the market research and observation. My design process is an evolutionary one that takes place every day on the street: I love to observe, photograph, and take notes in bars and restaurants in the cities I visit.

Q: Your Polso Orologio (translate: watch cuff) shirt has found its spot in wardrobes across the globe and in the Design Museum London. What’s unique about the piece is that the cuff becomes a frame for the watch. How important are watches to you when you dress? Would you ever leave home without one? And what timepiece do you wear?

AG: The Polso Orologio shirt was created in the early 1990s and was inspired by the former Fiat president and style icon Gianni Agnelli. It has become an iconic piece that represents my brand’s heritage. I have always been fascinated by the art of creating the perfect shirt—a tribute to master tailoring skills. In my research, a gentleman who
purchases a Ferrari wants to drive around and show off. This type of man would want to do the same with his expensive watch; however, it usually is hidden underneath the cuff of his shirt. The Polso Orologio shirt was designed out of necessity and, from this design, the Angelo Galasso watch collection was born—and continues to be perfectly showcased.

I only wear my own brand’s watch. But, yes, on the weekends I go out without a watch; it makes me feel free.

Q: This April you moved into The Plaza’s historic Edwardian Room. The room is known for its Spanish Renaissance revival style, which seems fitting since the Angelo Galasso brand is known for adding modern and innovative details to timeless formalwear. What are some new looks in men’s wear that you are reviving?

AG: For this reason, I always say that nothing happens by accident. The Edwardian Room and The Plaza are a perfect combination that fits exactly with the philosophies of my brand: classic, Renaissance, innovation, and evolution. These unique philosophies are embedded in the ethos of my brand. Luxurious fabrics are used in sportier attire and unexpected details are seen in formal wear. The collection features classic designs infused with a modern and innovative twist. My collection is constantly evolving.

Q: What is something every man should own?

AG: A little bit of self-irony is what every man needs. Break the rules and dare to be creative!

For more information, visit the Angelo Galasso website here.