Style Icon: Alessandro Squarzi of Fortela

Quick Q&A with Alessandro Squarzi, a menswear style savant

As one of Esquire’s 40 Best Dressed Men in the World, Alessandro Squarzi is one of the few people who can masterfully blend the old and the new, being at once timeless and totally current with his personal style. He threads the needle (pardon the pun) skillfully—between decades and geographical perspectives, ultimately arriving at a style that is fresh, elegant, and apropos no matter the occasion.

It should come as no shock then that Alessandro Squarzi has spent decades as a fashion entrepreneur, quietly consulting, collecting vintage textiles and garments, and launching fashion brands in Italy with a cult following.

We reached Mr. Squarzi to ask him a few questions about his background, his philosophies, and what he’d wear everyday if he had to choose only one outfit.

Q: How did you start to love fashion and style? Was there a moment, a particular item, or style icon that sparked your interest?

A: La mia passione per questo mondo è presente fin da piccolo. Guardavo il mio babbo, vestito sempre in modo molto elegante, e mi piaceva molto.

My passion for fashion and style begins since my very early age. I used to look at my father, who has always been dressed elegantly, and I loved his style. 

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Alessandro Squarzi of Fortela
Alessandro Squarzi, the man behind brands like Fortela, AS65, and Atlantic Stars.

Q: What inspires you to explore new styles and new looks? What’s your personal philosophy?

A: E’ il lavoro stesso che mi ispira, quello che faccio è un pò per lavoro e molto per passione. La mia filosofia è “filoclassica”, sono molto legato al mondo classico.

My job itself inspires me, what I do is partly work and mostly passion. My personal philosophy is very close to the classic world, something I feel very bound to, hence I can define it “filoclassical.”

Q: You’ve founded several fashion brands, the most recent being Fortela. Tell us about the idea behind Fortela.

A: Io amo Hèrmes, un marchio timeless; il mio sogno per Fortela è creare capi che una volta acquistati possano essere parcheggiati nell’armadio ma mai rimossi, capi evergreen, con cui non sei mai fuori moda.

I love Hèrmes—I consider it a timeless brand. My dream for Fortela is this: to create garments that, once bought, you can “park” in the wardrobe but never remove. Evergreen garments, with which you are never out of fashion.

Items from the Fortela menswear collection
Items from the Fortela menswear collection.

Q: If you had to wear only a single “uniform” for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: jeans bianco e t-shirt bianca

White denim with a white t-shirt.

Q: What’s your favorite place to shop in Italy?

A: Fortela of course!

Q: What’s your favorite place to shop in (our hometown) Los Angeles?

A: Double RL and Mister Freedom.

Q: What’s one item you will always splurge on and one item you will never splurge on?

A: Sicuramente un jeans denim Levi’s Big E degli anni 50, con rivetti esposti. Non spenderei mai denaro per un capo fortemente logato.

Definitely splurge on Levi’s Big E denim jeans from the 50s, with exposed rivets (very hard to find). I would never spend money on a heavily branded items.

vintage denim, classic Italian menswear style
Vintage denim and classic Italian menswear style.

Q: What’s your trend prediction for 2020? Which styles are fading and which are beginning to gain traction?

A: Sta sparendo finalmente tutto questo cattivo gusto, proprio dello streetstyle, e stiamo tornando alle radici del ben vestire, quelle classiche. 

All this bad taste of street style is finally going to disappear and we will return to the roots of dressing well, the classical roots.

Q: What’s your style-related New Year’s resolution for 2020?

A: Essere sempre vestiti consoni in base alle situazioni.

Always be in clothes appropriate according to the situation.

Alessandro Squarzi on his style philosophy
Alessandro Squarzi on his style philosophy.

Explore the Alessandro Squarzi signature style, which embodies some of the most skilled clothing and accessories artisans and classic menswear staples:

  • FortelaItalian tailoring principles executed with fine Japanese fabrics.
  • Atlantic StarsPlayful sneakers inspired by 80s colors and nostalgia.
  • AS65Vintage, military-inspired coats and outerwear.
  • Edward GreenClassic British footwear still made in the U.K.
  • Massimo AlbaFantastic knits, soft tailoring, and natural dyes and pigments.
  • Roberto CollinaA staple Italian knitwear brand founded in the 1950s.
  • PersolIconic Italian eyewear made for racing around hairpin turns.

Look for more style icon interviews coming in 2020.

Discover other content: Insider Style Picks from italist Staff, Preppy Style for Women, and Il Bisonte, Classic Italian Leather Accessories.

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About the Author

Alex English is the Head of Content Marketing at, building on a lifelong passion for fashion and luxury. After publishing a lifestyle blog for nearly ten years and obtaining an MBA in Milan at SDA Bocconi, one of Europe’s top business schools, he joined the italist team in 2019. His work since then has focused on upper-funnel messaging, brand storytelling, establishing italist as a thought leader in the space, and enriching the customer experience on the platform. Find him on LinkedIn.