Interview with Fabio Attanasio: Creator of The Bespoke Dudes

Interview with Fabio Attanasio: Creator of The Bespoke Dudes

 The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, Fabio Attanasio 

TAILORING. CRAFTSMANSHIP. CLASSIC STYLE

In less than a decade – six years to be precise, Fabio Attanasio has successfully mastered an Italian style blog and co-founded an eyewear business. As gentleman in manner as the suits he adorns, Attanasio exclusively discussed his website The Bespoke Dudes, The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, tailoring as a trend, and what men today can learn from Old Hollywood. 

FROM A LAW DEGREE TO BESPOKE TAILORING - “I like telling stories, I like writing. During university, I started working for free for a magazine. This magazine sent me to a tailoring house in Milan, and I fell in love”. Being the young voice of Italian bespoke tailoring nearly didn’t happen for Attanasio, who graduated from his studies with a law degree in Milan. His passion for tailoring was solidified by his introduction to tailoring houses, but perhaps his love for the craft became rooted in childhood. “My father was a lawyer. I would look at him going out – going out in a suit. I remember seeing him back from work, even more elegant looking, even more elegant in his suit worn all over the day”.

A TOUCH OF ELEGANCE - With experience contributing to magazines such as GQ Italy and Fashion Illustrated, Attanasio has required a professional knowledge on all angles of the tailoring industry. He calls The Bespoke Dudes “a second university”, attributing his know-how through the many interviews conducted over the years. While social-media and blogging are typically synonymous with young, trendy, pop-culture looks, Attanasio has carved out a name representing classic menswear, opting away from current fast-fashion, showcasing appreciation for artisanship. This appreciation has attracted a loyal following across the globe who identify themselves with his timeless dressing.

Fabio Attanasio The Bespoke Dudes interview - EGM Cigars blog
Top Left: The Bespoke Dudes, Photo by Eleonora Proietta, Bottom Left: Speedmaster watch, The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, Centre: The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear Mohair Sunglasses in 24 carot gold plated rhodium, John Smedley polo, Photo by Eduardo de Simone, Right: Fay Brand raincoat, The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, Photo by Nafiseh Kaboudvand. Images on Fabio Attanasio Instagram.

“If you wear something, you must know the rules”

CONTEMPORARY STYLE VS. OLD HOLLYWOOD - It seems modern gentleman have much to learn. “We’ve lost the beauty of presenting yourself in a dignifying manner”. He alludes to the amount of men who no longer wear jackets. In the Golden Age, there was a “dignity in wearing – a different respect of others”. In losing these rules and principles, some men now struggle with understanding the basics on how to wear particular pieces. “If you wear something, you must know the rules”, he states with graceful assertion. Our admiration for the appearance of icons like Humphrey Bogart, mirrored a spider-web organically attaching itself to our conversation. Collectively, bygone stars can teach balance. “Balance in terms of manners, in terms of textures – in terms of style”.

STYLE INSPIRATION - At the moment of typing (followers will continue to rise), his Instagram Fabio Attanasio has a substantial 201k. Establishing his career predominantly through the social-app, I found it intriguing and refreshing to hear how the most elegant person’s he has come across, are “not so visible online”. The people whose style he admires, are “private people”. With the online world fusing trends together, naturally tailoring – specifically made-to-measure tailoring (choosing from a large array of materials and personalisation without fully creating from scratch), has found a youthful demographic. Despite owning a large assortment of bespoke suits, “I have jackets from Milano tailors, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Roman – they all have their charms”, Attanasio respects the business of both methods. “There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the difference between made-to-measure and bespoke”. When discussing the latter, “the important thing is to have a pattern that is very fitting to the body of the cut. If the pattern is right, there’s no need to spend that much money on bespoke – it’s even quicker – its less expensive. “

THE BESPOKE DUDES EYEWEAR - As a true craftsmanship and tailoring devotee, gaining an education from Italian artisans seems most befitting. The Bespoke Dudes is known for championing the true hard-working tailors who have assiduously learnt their art. With a welcoming and pleasant voice – increasing in enthusiasm, Attanasio talked about The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear – handcrafted in Italy. “I love eyewear. I was kind of a collector when I was younger. Four years ago, I met my business partner [Andrea Viganò] – he had experience in online marketing, I had the community of people interested in artisanal stories and artisanal goods.” Relaying the trouble and effort taken to try to step-foot in their chosen business field, Attanasio’s underlying passion is demonstrated. “After many closing doors in front of us, we finally got to meet this 82-year-old man – he used to be one of the best producers of eyewear in general”. Having witnessed client orders dropping due to the economy, this producer decided to believe in the aspirations of two young guys who “didn’t know anything or didn’t have no money. First time we went there, we ordered 12 pieces – now we are ordering around 10,000 just from him”. When asked to define The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, he asserts “artisanal, timeless, Italian”.

Fabio Attanasio Interview - The Bespoke Dudes - EGM Cigars blog

Left: Eduardo De Simone, The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, Top Centre: Vicuna jacket and whipcord trousers, bow-tie double monks, Omega Globemaster watch, Photo by Eleonora Proietti, Bottom Centre: Capodimonte silk lining and Mohair suit, Right: Vacheron Constantin overseas chronograph,The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, Photo by Nafiseh Kaboudvand. Images on Fabio Attanasio Instagram.  

 “We are returning unfortunately to a factory country" 

CHAMPIONING ARTISANSHIP OVER CORPORATIONS - At EGM Cigars, the link between cigars and Cuba is equal to the link between drinking coffee in the morning and putting a pillow under your head to sleep at night. Its unwavering – we as a company base our luxury on the luxury of Cuban Cigars. It appears in some ways; this is how Attanasio feels about Italy. Our exchange took a bleak turn when speaking about the large corporations buying out factories and productive places – something he has ensured his business is separated from. “We [Italy] are returning unfortunately to a factory country”. Though positively, “we still have the creativity. The ability of many artisans – a competitive advantage skill in the upcoming decades”. Creativity flows through Italian tailoring. Conversing about how to actually find a good bespoke tailor and know where to go for a bespoke suit, there are a few simple things to look out for.

"At the beginning, start with the basics"

FINDING THE RIGHT TAILOR - “First thing – make sure they actually work as a bespoke tailor. You must like the style of the house. Every tailor has a different style and every style is more appropriate for every circumstance. Is the suit going to be worn in a board meeting, or is that suit going to be worn as a weekend suit to go out with your friends? – depending on this, you select your tailor”. Additionally, figuring out the timing of a tailor is important. “Many tailors take too much time. How much time does this tailor take to make the measurements, to do the fittings and to deliver the finished suits? Very important is the delivery”. Wrapping up our phone conversation on style, crossing-fingers for sunny British weather during his nearby visit, Attanasio shares key advice for sophisticated men, wanting to develop and create their own clothing image. “You must understand who you are. At the beginning, start with the basics. Start with a simple navy suit, single breasted, and then the second one should be a plain one – plain grey. As my grandfather use to say, when you have a grey suit and a navy suit, its like having three because on the third day you can have separates – grey trousers with a navy jacket.” Regarding his first bespoke suit he had made, he laughed at the mistake – a complicated “green solaro double breasted”. To summarise the ending of my lesson in bespoke tailoring, Attanasio left me with these lasting words – “I believe if you have taste, you will always be able to discern between what is just a trend and what is actually good for you – for your style, for who you are”.

Interviewing Fabio Attanasio was an absolute pleasure. Be sure to keep up with his blog The Bespoke Dudes, and sample his spectacular eyewear - The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear. More to follow with a part 2 interview post, discussing travel, bikes, relaxation and our favourite past-time - Cuban cigars