photo-Interview

Interview with Alessandro Calascibetta, Men’s Fashion Director

by Alessandro Berga


First off, I would like to ask you about your teaching of fashion?

Fashion that is taught is the one you find in fashion history books. Then there’s the “Image of Fashion,” which is expressed through Fashion Photography and that’s not something that you can teach or learn: it is pure instinct. It’s better to have a photographer who has elementary technique and strong instinct than the contrary. And it’s better to have a stylist who can’t tie a bowtie but knows how to express his or her talent through an innate style.

You have a very precise approach to men’s fashion and you share it with your readers. Instinctive impulses?

I have the privilege of being the “director” of men’s fashion for various Rizzoli publications, each of which has a different aim and reaches a different audience. Therefore, my approach changes according to the editorial guidelines of the publication. It’s very challenging work, and not simple by any means, but it is rewarding because it enables me to reach a wide and varied audience that has different needs and habits.

This aside, to set up a fashion shoot, I rely totally on instinct. The set, the casting, the grooming and, naturally, the fashion itself are the fruit of a process that is certainly instinctual.

Your editorial work tends to destroy the false structure of the logic of taste, at which point our foundations begin to crumble and that which is boring and common give way to an uncontaminated space from which our own individuality emerges. How do you do this through Max Italia and Style Magazine for men and Io Donna without being “ex-cathedra”?

In actual fact, when one has such an “important” role it is very hard not to teach “from the chair.” I’m happy that I don’t give that impression, but it’s pretty inevitable. The secret lies in creating a styling or writing style tips that are fairly unconditioned by trends (naturally, it is impossible to be completely unconditioned: if you want red and no one has ever done red…). As I said before, you have to listen to your instinct in order to invent something new every time. But before me, the designers are the ones who invent and provide inspiration; my work comes as a consequence of theirs. At any rate, the end consumer has the last word. Do my editorials influence readers? I don’t know, but, naturally, I hope so.

At the ripe age of 50, you continue to be relentless in your fight against hypocrisy. What are the taboos you would like to destroy in the fashion world? A world that you defend tooth and nail. Is there a hierarchy of values?

The hierarchy of values is established on its own based on the experience of each one of us, and it’s not always respected. The discussion would be too long and I don’t want to start an argument, but I do like to speak clearly.

How do you explain the charismatic effect you have on people?

You’re very kind. In fact, I can’t explain it at all :) But if you say that I have it…then you should explain it to me!

MALO is the last bastion that selects only the finest cashmere and transforms it into high-quality threads, fabrics and knits thanks to sophisticated technology combined with a deep knowledge of the textile tradition. Why is Italian craftsmanship suffering despite its mastery?

Well, first of all, the economic situation in Europe isn’t doing anyone any favors. The importance of remaining rooted in tradition and craftsmanship is undeniable, and Italy is unrivaled in this respect. The State should provide benefits to SMEs.

Last question: what is your recipe for happiness?

Thinking of the well-being of others, in addition to our own.



Alessandro Berga
http://modediplomatique.com
Portrait by MICHAEL CINQUINO

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