Laura De Rochas, FWO Senior Editorial Director and Menswear Editor, knows twice as much about menswear as most men. Which means she knows four times as much as our publisher.

Style Icon Fabrizio Oriani Brings Gentlemen’s Wear Daily (GWD) to New York Fashion Week: Men’s

Via Vogue France
Via Vogue France

From desk job to style icon. From a small town in northern Italy to New York. Follow the amazing journey of Fabrizio Oriani, founder of Gentlemen’s Wear Daily, aka GWD.

GWD began in Milan as blog in October 2012 and has evolved into a one of the most followed menswear websites in the world, sharing images, inspiration, and interviews by some of the globe’s top style influencers.

In only 3 years, the GWD Instagram has surpassed 110k dedicated followers, with close to 35k followers on Facebook. Fabrizio is one of the most photographed style icons on the planet today, appearing in Vogue, Esquire, and High Snobiety — to name a few. But where and how did it all begin?

Fabrizio grew up in the small town of Lecco that lies at the end of the southeastern branch of Lake Como, Italy. After his studies in 1998 he became part of the IBM Corporation, where he was employed for 17 years. During those years at IBM, while overseeing the growth of GWD, he was able to complete his MBA at Warwick University.

In 2011, he met Charley, the love of his life and amazing street photographer in her own right. Once GWD began to take off, she began working with him side-by-side. He decided to sell his property in Lecco and move to Milan.

In January of 2016, he made a major life decision: to take a break from IBM and take a two year sabbatical to dedicate 100% of his time to GWD. Now he’s on his way to expanding and growing GWD at New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

In January of 2016, he began a two year sabbatical to dedicate 100% of his time to GWD.

Q: You made the decision to expand GWD to New York Fashion Week: Men’s this season. What inspired that idea? What’s on your agenda while you’re in NYC? And what are you hoping to accomplish?

Via Esquire
Via Esquire

I believe NYC is the place to be, and certainly NYFW puts this incredible city under even an more special spotlight. I will actually attend some shows and presentations; moreover, I want to meet my virtual U.S.-based contacts and share the GWD story.

I believe US is a major greenfield for GWD in terms of services we are currently providing to our clients.

Q: GWD has 110k followers on IG and 31k followers on FB and growing. Fabrizio, when you look at how GWD has grown since 2012, how does that make you feel? What were the pros and cons associated with its development?

Sometimes I can still hardly believe it, and it feels great, even though I think we haven’t done much so far. There’s a lot more to do.

Truly speaking, I can’t see any cons. I’m living my dream, putting all my passion and motivation to inspire the entire GWD family, and bringing to them a lot of exclusive content and inspiration.

I’m living my dream, putting all my passion and motivation to inspire the entire GWD family.

Q: You recently added the GWD e-shop, where you have accessories ready to buy. How do you pick and choose what brands you want to display on the website? And who are some of those brands? Is this something that will be accessible to the American market in the future?

Via High Snobiety
Via High Snobiety

The GWD philosophy is very simple: we only do things we like. Thus the brand / product selection adheres strictly to this point.

In addition, we want to continue to reach the global niche of many connoisseurs who want to have exclusive and unique clothing and accessories.

We have for instance Progetto Fede, an incredible artisan project of uniquely handmade rings / bracelets / chains / bags which can put a twist on your wardrobe.

Actually we sell worldwide and we have a lot of happy American customers.

We reach connoisseurs who want to have exclusive and unique clothing and accessories.

Q: I had the pleasure of interviewing Charley, your fiancée, who is also the photographer at GWD. She is a beautiful and intelligent woman. What is the key to keeping your love strong for each other, and still working together in the professional world? What advice can you give other couples in this industry who work together?

Someone once said “money and blood don’t mix,” but I totally feel the opposite.

Our great love is a great source of motivation, inspiration, and it gives us the strength and perseverance to keep on doing what we do every day.

Our great love is a great source of motivation and inspiration.

Q: I have been following you for a couple years now on IG and FB, and have seen the growth of GWD myself. It’s impressive. You are also global style icon, a staple in the menswear arena, photographed by some of the top style photographers everywhere you go. You wear some of the top menswear brands in Italy, pushing the envelope with vibrant colors and bold patterns. How does it feel to be this global style icon? And how do you decide what to wear? Are there any pieces that you won’t leave the home without? Does Charley give you any input?

I truly don’t feel like a global style icon. I’m just a young man who is on his journey to “build his own style.” I’m very creative and I like to mix different pieces, different materials, with different brands.

I just want to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing. Hats and rings are always with me. Charley sometimes challenges me to try something new, to experiment, and she’s really helpful in my journey.

I just want to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing.

Q: Which brands have you collaborated with?
 

Since we started, we’ve collaborated with some of the coolest menswear brands around; we’ve enjoyed working with Lardini, LBM, Tagliatore, The Gigi, Borsalino, Preventi, Pollini … to name just a few.

Q: You and your team at GWD recently directed and produced a fashion film for Briston Watches with the collaboration of your good friend Gianni Fontana, aka The Style Buff. I’ve seen the video and it’s so well done: it’s classy, elegant, and to the point. How long did it take to put this short fashion film together with your team of 3-4 people? How did you up come up with the concept? Will you be doing more short films for other brands?

Thanks, Laura, we are delighted you appreciated it.

It took one day of shooting and about a week of post production.

The concept is about telling a cozy story of inspiration, using the incredibly beautiful place where we live. We wanted to be true; we want to do something people can identify themselves with. The concept is about enjoying life with people you love: the verbal nail is “Never mind the weather, good time together.” (If you notice that day was a rainy one, but despite the unlucky conditions, we had great time.)

I definitely believe videos will increasingly be the media used on social media networks.

The concept is about enjoying life with people you love.

Q: When we met in Milan, you expressed your passion for music and DJing. You were a DJ at some of the top clubs in Milano. Are you hoping to get back into spinning records at major clubs again?

Via Esquire
Via Esquire

Yes, music is my greatest passion and a deep source of inspiration for me. I’ve played as a DJ in Milano in places like Soul2Soul, The Black, and Santa Tecla Café.

Now that I’m more free to do what I love, I will definitely go back to DJing.

Now that I’m more free to do what I love, I will definitely go back to DJing.

Q: If you had one wish to meet your favorite musician / DJ who would that be? And why?

Jay Z; he’s my favorite living artist.

Jay Z is my favorite living artist.

Q: Tell me about your signature phrase, “Build your own style.”

#BuildYourOwnStyle is the essence of GWD.

We hope people following us will be inspired to create their own style, in this long and winding path, with an unknown destination.

#BuildYourOwnStyle is the essence of GWD.

Q: What style icons have influenced you over the years … and how?

The list is too long, and I don’t wont to miss anyone. I’m not only inspired by style icons, I’m inspired everyday, in the streets, having a coffee or just jumping on a metro.

Q: In the next 5 years, where do you see yourself and GWD? Maybe a magazine in the future?

Tough question. My vision is to create a cozy place for people to visit on the Internet. For sure, a printed magazine could be a great idea, as we have so many cool pictures to put in.

My vision is to create a cozy place for people to visit on the Internet.

Q: You’ve inspired many people around the world — including myself — and that must be a huge personal accomplishment. What advice can you give men out there who want to follow in your footsteps in developing their own style?

Be yourself, every day, and don’t be afraid to experiment; to invent.

Don’t be afraid to experiment; to invent.

Travel, listen to the music you like, read a lot, find someone like you, and together live your dream.

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Thank you for sharing your story with us Fabrizio, and we wish you the best in your adventure in NYC!

 
Learn More

Web: gentlemensweardaily.com
Facebook: @GWD
Twitter: #GmenWearDaily
IG: @gentlemen_wear_daily

With love,

FWO

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