In the now crowded social media vortex that many fashion bloggers and influencers find themselves, it takes a special individual to stand out amongst the masses; a multifaceted maven who is more than the sum of his parts and more than the thousands of ‘likes’ gained on an Instagram posting. In short, it’s a Renaissance man that will ultimately ‘make it’ in the burgeoning men’s fashion blogging world. Enter Vincenzo Langella.
Vincenzo Langella is a man who can certainly lay claim to the ‘polymath’ label; He’s the fashion addicted, champagne loving, horological aficionado who is not only one of Italy’s top men’s fashion influencers, but as a policeman, also has a mandate to protect and serve the good people of Florence.
Philippe Perzi Vienna admires Vincenzo Langella, who has a penchant for wearing tailored pieces made from patterned, unconventional fabrics with all the sartorial aplomb for which the Italians are renowned.
Even though we found it difficult not to mute the Cops theme song [Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you…”] running through our heads when we saw him, as one of the players to watch on the men’s fashion circuit, we managed to get an interview with Vincenzo, to find out what makes him tick;
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: Tell us a bit about yourself? How did your career in fashion begin and how did you become a fashion influencer?
Vincenzo Langella: I just started posting photos on Instagram of my life, of the things that really interested me, for example, my watch collection and the kind of Champagne I enjoy. After a while, I started to realise that what I was publishing aroused interest and I managed to amass a bit of a following. That kind of recognition encouraged me to expand on what I was publishing, so I wore different outfits and posted from different events that I would go to. In a relatively short space of time, my followers increased both in number and variety, from all age groups and different tastes in fashion. From there, many brands approached me to collaborate with them and the rest is history. I really take a great deal of pleasure in being the source of inspiration for so many people
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: Do you have a life motto that you live by or that sums up your life or approach to fashion?
Vincenzo Langella: I don’t really have a motto for myself, but in regards to the world of fashion, “Good humor is one of the best articles of dress one can wear in society.” William Makepeace Thackeray.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: Fashion, champagne and watches… they’re listed as your loves. As a connoisseur, what are your favourite brands?
Vincenzo Langella: I don’t really have any one favourite brand to wear or sip; the only thing that guides my choices is whether it suits my personal taste of being elegant and original.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: How did you get your start with the Italian Police? Do your colleagues know about your passion for fashion and do some of them share it?
Vincenzo Langella: Just after I finished my studies, I signed up to the Italian Army. After a few years, I was selected to join the police force where I am currently serving. Actually, quite a lot of my co-workers “follow me” on Instagram and they do ask me for suggestions from time to time. It might be surprising, but many of them are quite fashionable when they’re not in uniform.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: Do you have any big game plans regarding your career in fashion that you would like to share with us? Or is just a part time hobby for you?
Vincenzo Langella: At the moment, fashion is my passion. I dedicate a lot of time to it because I consider it an important part of my life, reflective of my choices, style and tastes. I want to continue to be a source of inspiration and continually come up with more original and refined ideas.
“I think the essence of elegance is to shy away from homogenisation and from the trends of the moment. It’s more important to be original and unique.”
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: Where did the alias “Draghetto” come from?
Vincenzo Langella: It’s a nickname I have had since my childhood. It means little dragon with wings.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: You’re one of the best-dressed gents at the Pitti fair and one of the darlings of photographers. How do you decide what to wear when you attend an event with lots of press and media?
Vincenzo Langella: I don’t pre-plan what to wear for an event. I choose outfits depending on my mood at the time. I think the essence of elegance is to shy away from homogenisation and from the trends of the moment. It’s more important to be original and unique.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: In addition to Pitti, at what other fairs or events might we spot Vincenzo Langella?
Vincenzo Langella: Beyond the Pitti Fair, I also go to Milan Fashion Week and many other showings and events from private brands and soirees.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: From looking at your photos, you seem to love mixing patterns, colours and different textures. How would you describe your style?
Vincenzo Langella: I have a classic style, but I try to mix things up by adding colour or by coordinating my outfit with more sporty accessories, which give me a more original result. I love to mix accessories, woven materials and colours as long as it gives an overall harmonious result and is in line with my personality.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: What would be your best advice to men wanting to inject some flair into their outfits?
Vincenzo Langella: Don’t overdo things for the sake of simply ‘standing out’ from the crowd. Only add accessories or embrace colour if it integrates well into your outfit.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: Any advice you would like to give about being a Gentleman?
Vincenzo Langella: Respect others and take care of yourself; I believe a real gentleman must respect everyone and be kind to everyone. And if you take care of your physique, you’ll never be embarrassed amongst people.
“Don’t overdo things for the sake of simply ‘standing out’ from the crowd. Only add accessories or embrace colour if it integrates well into your outfit.”
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: Which style icons (living or dead) inspire you?
Vincenzo Langella: I don’t know if there are icons that inspire but I do often glance at (men’s fashion influencer) Mariano Di Vaio’s profile, since he knows how to wear clothes with style better than most.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: In your opinion, where do you find the most elegantly dressed men? What is it that you like about their style?
Vincenzo Langella: Of course, Italy. Mr Mararo manages to combine design and fashion flawlessly. His clothing is really wearable artwork.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: Do you ever buy clothes ‘off the rack’ or do you have your clothes tailored?
Vincenzo Langella: As mentioned previously, I buy what I like, so if that happens to be off the rack then that’s what I will wear. I am not a stickler for having clothes tailored.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: What is your advice for men putting together an outfit?
Vincenzo Langella: The first thing that a man should do is choose shoes that are appropriate for his outfit. I invest so much in shoes. Then the next choice is to choose the correct watch. Whatever your event, the watch design should combine well with the rest of your outfit.
“The first thing that a man should do is choose shoes that are appropriate for his outfit. I invest so much in shoes.”
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: What do you think are the biggest fashion mistakes men make?
Vincenzo Langella: I think lack of personality is the biggest mistake, trying to conform and dressing in a banal style. But equally a fashion faux pas is to dress in a way that is exaggerated and unharmonious, as you risk looking like a fashion victim, yearning to “be seen” to the detriment of taste. You should remember, elegance is the right mix of classics and showing your individuality.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: What do you see as the key trends for menswear coming into the next season?
Vincenzo Langella: Colour, colour and more colour. Menswear sales are at historical highs and colour is the element that is working its way more and more into men’s fashion.
PHILIPPE PERZI VIENNA: When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Vincenzo Langella: I make sure my spare time is dedicated to doing what I love. So, after a long shift, there’s noting better than taking time to catch up with friends for an aperitif or for dinner. It’s so important to be comfortable in yourself and with others; it is the first step to living harmoniously, which will be reflected in the way you dress.