Lapo Elkann, the Italian American entrepreneur, has a saying: “If you want to follow a trend, you’ll be late. If you want to create a trend, you’ll become presumptuous. If you free your own style, fashion can become interesting.”
Take heed. The grandson of Fiat plutocrat, Gianni Agnelli, Lapo Elkann runs the design business Italia Independent and is a creative consultant for Ferrari’s Tailor-Made service too; and has already collaborated with luxury big names Vertu and Gucci, who continue to recruit him for his spicy take on the male aesthetic. He is a businessmen, a style icon and this generation’s latest playboy. And today he’s our man to steal style from.
Breaking It Down – Lapo Elkann Style
Without compromising on what it means to look like a gent, Elkann’s playful approach to colour makes him a reluctant, modern dandy. Suits aren’t safe from sugary hues, and Lapo Elkann style shows that when tailoring it looks better in any colour other than black. Luscious velvet, silk and cashmere replace common cottons and wool for jackets, pants, and ties. The colour and touchy textures make for an overall style that screams sexy. Or as Lapo Elkann explained in a recent interview: “Women don’t want to have an unsexy man. Women want their man to look as sexy and elegant and refined as they do.”
If that’s the case, it pays to note each of Lapo Elkann style moves.
Lapo Elkann is a fan of splitting the suit. The most key look from Italian is the double-breasted blazer. The jacket ranges from linen in summer to mohair wool in the chilly months and is never typical in colour; opting for electric blue for Gucci events and muted mustard while strolling the streets of New York.
Whatever the occasion, the point to note is the gargantuan lapel, in peak cut, accentuating the chic formalities of the blazer and how Lapo Elkann style effortlessly lays the classic jacket over light, neutral trousers. It’s both a smart casual and party attire winning look.
White denim is innate to Italian style and Elkann likens it to summer’s answer to jeans. Plus, the white colour means the creative man can wear denim up top, too. Again in his favourite double-breasted, wide-lapelled blazer, denim creates a textural, standout night time look; the worn-out wash of the jacket matching the vintage rub of his leather boots.
Day time denim comes in an electric blue hue over military shirt-jacket, featuring utilitarian pockets and shoulder straps. Note the tie, even for a semi-casual look, and its loose styling in a chunky, silk weave. The openness of this outfit – from the button-collared shirt to the jacket to the exposed, coloured socks – show Elkann’s push for comfort when off-duty, despite sticking to all the sartorial must-knows.
Bam. Like a splash of acid to the eyes, Lapo Elkann style doesn’t hold back on the saccharine hues as tangerine and electric blue dandify the classic suit. Intent on exploring the realms of sexiness through colour, even ties, shoes and under shirts get the hyper-colour treatment.
Elkann is perfect at taking colour and pushing it hard and fast, matching his eyewear to his hue of choice. All this, before he strips it back to neutral and natural, with the introduction of leather on shoes and a croc skin briefcase balancing out the colour-blast.
Big on accessories, Elkann is rarely seen, both night and day, without some sort of eyewear framing his face. The glasses are bold and chunky, opting for a classic wayfarer silhouette to accentuate squareness. The material is where these frames standout; in plush velvet to accentuate the lenses away from the arms.
Coloured lenses finish off the statement specs, often matched with a shade or hue aleady featured in Elkann’s outfit. It’s all about creating symmetry and subtle tonality between accessories and garments.
Highlighting a fondness for London, the royal hues of navy and red are a casual favourite. The complementary colours are a classic way to rock patterns and prints under a blazer. Keeping the jacket navy, Elkann works plaid in red and blue for a lumberjack take on tartan.
Or for more finer engagements, try thin pyjama stripes in the same hues, this time with a soft blue tie – woven for textural depth. Whatever the combination, a quality pair of slim or straight cut jeans in mild wash are key – never overshadowing the focal macro-prints and white pocket square neatly tuck in.
Key Elkann Fashion Items
When he does don one, tuxedos are made-to-measure from Gucci. For all his jackets, Elkann frequents Neapolitan tailor Rubinacci, Turinese tailor Alessandro Martorana, as well as Milanese tailor Careceni, who also made the suits that Elkann inherited from his famous grandfather. London tailors Huntsman and Anderson & Sheppard are his UK favourite.
A bespoke shirt worn open, with a high collar stand is essential from Turnbull & Asser, while more casual shirting comes in denim from Nudie and in plaid from Thom Browne.
Dolce & Gabbana offer a superb mid-wash denim, while Incotex or J.Crew chinos are a trouser above the rest. For white denim go French with A.P.C.
Gucci ankle-strapped boots and he frequents British shoemakers, Gaziano & Girling, especially for slippers and loafers. Ann Demeulemeester offers derby shoes in white to go with Elkann’s denim. Shop black leather moccasins from Oliver Sweeney.
His very own Italia Independent sunglasses in velvet-trim frame are Elkann’s go-to. His favourite crocodile leather briefcase can be picked up from Santiago Gonzalez.
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