Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Conversation with Luciano Barbera and Friends


Recently, Barneys was gracious enough to ask me to participate in a discussion about men’s tailoring with one of my style icons, Luciano Barbera. We were joined by an equally stylish cast of characters such as Simon Doonan, Nick Wooster, Wes Del Val and Tom Kalenderian. This excerpt is just part of that conversation, but if you’re only familiar with Luciano through photographs, after viewing this you’ll see why he’s a man of grace and eloquence.


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  1. Aqeel Fikree

    October 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm


  2. Patricia

    October 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Great talk and it was interesting to see you speaking. I got so used to see you in pics that somehow in my subconscious mind I had the impression you were an eternal silent guy hahah :D

  3. Betty

    October 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    So inspiring to hear these icons of fashion. Your photos speak a thousand words but your videos give flight to the words behind the passion. Thanks Scott!

  4. Fashion Snag

    October 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Fabulous video!


  5. Denisa

    October 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    really wow. Have a nice day.


  6. Leslie

    October 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    So true about European men and suits. In the US, you wear a suit and someone things you’re going to an interview. In Europe, a suit can be worn any day, for any purpose.

  7. The-Bigwig

    October 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Great talk. Interesting things.


  8. westcoasttiger

    October 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    “We are born with the suit.” Great observation; I think it goes beyond just sartorialism. I think American men used to wear suits or jackets more often but that probably changed with the advent of leisure. Men (and women) used to work so much more so that the suit was their uniform. I’m all for casual clothes but I wonder if one cares less about one’s appearance, it follows one cares less about his behavior and the way he interacts with his fellow man. Imagine how different life would be on the street if everyone took the time to dress themselves better; not necessarily more expensively but neater. The city folks in Tokyo manage to do so and that, among other considerations, may equate to more civility.

  9. Miami

    October 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    A polite conversation with male friends! So reminds me of Garance’s talks with her friends, but it seems we seldom see the men talking in this fashion. This is so nice!

    • Sara

      October 9, 2013 at 7:32 am

      Well, I just thought the opposite! How different and strong this is from how women talk about fashion, where it’s less about bringing out your personality and the clothes are not just there to accentuate very subtly who you are. Female fashion is more about, what’s the most awesome, cool, out there, flashy thing that makes women look like male birds.
      I wish women would take up this subtle point of view on fashion, that it’s there to enhance your personality, not to overpower it. The more you think about it, the more it becomes a sociological question, about why in our society is it that men can stick to whoever they are and wrap that in some elegant subtle suit, but women need to “dress up” in neon and crazy heels to be “noticeable”.

      Some womenswear designers do try, but even Philo at Celine has now gone down the deep end… Sander is left perhaps?

  10. aly

    October 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Is it possible to watch the entire conversation somewhere?

  11. carole

    October 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    you have the best job!!!

  12. milex

    October 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I wish to be there

  13. LIZPR

    October 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    This was cool … and I agree with a previous comment – I also associate you with being the “silent photographer”, so it was wonderful to hear you speak.

    Loved the comments about the suit “as a second skin” and that in Europe, suits are commonly worn, whereas in North American there’s an assumption of a job interview in the works.

    I would love to sit down with Mr. Barbera and chat with him over pasta, wine, and of course, dessert, about style.


  14. RGL

    October 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    This is why I continue to monitor and view your site…would love to see more of this sort of thing, with icons, designers, buyers, creative types, trend setters…. etc…very nice!! so much more than just a picture but the words with the video of the group…GREAT

  15. theKacar

    October 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Legendary group of men at that table. Great to hear The Sartorialist speak. For so many years, we’ve loved thousands of your photos but this was definitely a pleasant surprise.


    • westcoasttiger

      October 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      For those who have missed the spoken word, you need to check out Scott on YouTube.

  16. Galen

    October 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Aesthetics in Italy can be seen and felt all around anyone living there. Architecture, sculpture, paintings, teach Italians and all people, proportion, color and texture. Japan is another country steeped in aesthetics. It comes from a more natural source; forests, water and mountains.

  17. Jones s.

    October 8, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Awesome!!! Scott, please do more video interviews of people in the Sartorialist business. Very inspiring and mesmerizing. Maybe a full length documentary on pitti upmost or what it means to live a sartorialist lifestyle.

  18. linda wright

    October 9, 2013 at 12:52 am

    I remember the time I visited a very important fabric exposition in Como, Italy some 20 years ago. I met Luciano Barbera, and fell in love. I have never seen a more elegant individual in my life. He remains the same. I am still in love.

  19. StreetLounge

    October 9, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Nick Wooster is the best! :)

  20. Os

    October 9, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Dear Scott, I am following you for more than 3 years now and this is the first time I am writing to you. I love everything bout Mens Fasion and their photos and now you have started putting some amazing videos. For me I look at some photos for hours to understand and absorb the photos. It’s an amazing platform that you have started. I have to been Milan a few times and I agree that the Italians are born with their Jacket. You have captured one of the most elegant Men in your camera…Good Luck…os

  21. Ali

    October 9, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Can I marry Luciano? What a divine man…

  22. bp294

    October 9, 2013 at 8:26 am

    But nothing really new got said. Nor anything predicting the future of menswear style, of production values, of men’s sense of themselves vis a vis clothes.

    • j

      October 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      It was a discussion about tailoring… not about the avant-garde…

    • Name*

      October 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      for bp294

      it was about a 2 hour discussion edited down to 4 minutes.
      we discussed lot of those issues but I guess you had to be there

  23. Raquel

    October 9, 2013 at 10:09 am

    This is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing. In my opinion this is one of your more special posts.

  24. Ninotschka

    October 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Mr. Barbera really touches me, because he is much more a humanist (in a European Renaissance way) than a fashion icon. It’s an honour for the fashion industry that he’s interested in fashion and shares his philosophical focus on “style”.

  25. Liz

    October 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I loved it :). Interesting bits and pieces.

  26. Claire

    October 10, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Sometimes I really envy men! Within the parameters of your (some would argue) narrower dress codes, you have come up with timeless expressions of individuality, elegance and comfort.

    I have long admired men’s tailoring for these particular elements. Indeed, in autumn and winter, I find myself inspired by the tweed jackets and long trousers of certain males. I try to tweak, streamline, feminise this look for myself. As soon as I put on a cut tweed jacket with, say, a soft scarf that brings out subtle accents in the wool, I forget about how I look and focus on what I am doing/where I am going. It is so liberating.

    Sometimes in Fashion, we get caught up in the latest thing that we forget that this is not the end-all, be-all. All this is just wallpaper, and should be used as “subtler accent” to bring out what we have inside of us. The soul of the wearer. It takes someone like Mr. Barbera to elucidate such a simple yet fundamental point.

  27. Laurier

    October 10, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    wow. thanks for posting. really good.

  28. allen

    October 11, 2013 at 11:58 am

    “Don’t show your suit.”
    I took this to mean that no matter how beautifully you’re dressed, the clothes are secondary to the person wearing them.
    Couldn’t agree more.
    What a great take-away.
    Thank you!

  29. alessia

    October 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm


  30. Bey

    October 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    His designs fit me like a glove.

  31. Shafi

    November 2, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Beautiful, from the video you get the sense of the rich knowledge that Mr. Luciano Barbera !!

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