Gianni Agnelli

Born: Turin, Italy, 1921
Died: Turin, Italy, 2003

Being one of the few style icons of the 1950’s who wasn’t an actor, Italian Fiat owner Gianni Agnelli had two passions in life: Fiat and fashion. Labelled by Esquire Magazine as one of the five best dressed men in the history of the world, Agnelli has undoubtedly left his footprint on fashion and continues to influence trends today.

Agnelli’s sensible and practical approach to fashion portrayed him as having an eccentric and different sense of style, one that no one had ever seen before. His personal style was of a very classic taste, he had a vast collection of bespoke Caraceni suits which were of very high quality, handmade especially for him. Today his grandson Lapo Elkann has inherited these, and can wear them due to the care and attention Agnelli paid to them. Yet is was the accessories which made him stand out, he would often wear brown hiking boots under his trousers, would wear his watches over his jacket sleeve and his tie pulled to one side in a loose knot causing him to stand out from the crowd, even in the forward thinking fashion country of Italy. All these final touches were to convey ‘sprezzatura’ – the Italian art of portraying the difficult as easy.

Agnelli’s fashion choices resonated beyond his personal wardrobe. His elegant and polished aesthetic became synonymous with Italian style, influencing trends and inspiring fashion enthusiasts worldwide. His ability to effortlessly combine timeless elegance with a modern edge made him a true icon of men’s fashion.

Although Gianni Agnelli passed away in 2003, his legacy as a fashion icon continues to inspire. His unique style and unwavering commitment to quality and craftsmanship serve as a timeless reference for those seeking refined and sophisticated fashion inspiration.

Gianni Agnelli’s impeccable taste and distinctive fashion sensibility have cemented his status as a legendary figure in both the industrial and fashion realms, dressed classically whilst discarding the traditional rules of men’s fashion. He liked to add elements to an outfit that would seem to clash, yet would actually enhance it in his own personal way.

Gianni Agnelli Biography

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Written by Sabina Rouse

Sabina Rouse, current English Literature student at the University of Reading in her second year. She enjoys writing for the Fashion and Beauty sections of the University Newspaper Spark* in addition to contributing to the online magazine Lust and Found. Sabina writes for the Biographies section of Catwalk Yourself.

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