While I was in Miami this past December, I was able to hang out with one of my best friends, Paolo Martorano, and shoot some behind the scenes photos for his bespoke menswear company - Paolo Style. Not only is Paolo one of the very few people I would trust with anything, but he also has the most impeccable taste when it comes to men's fashion. His previous experience and client roster is unmatched for anyone his age, and his new bespoke venture is unrivaled. Congratulations on your rapid success and I wish you only the absolute best this year!
Read on to see what inspires the man behind Paolo Style.
Tell us about how you got started in the menswear business? When and where was the “ah-ha!” moment?
At a book store I saw “Dressing the Man” By Alan Flusser, which at the time was not that old of a book and I really was drawn to it. I think back then I had to spend $70 for it. I researched Alan Flusser and was very interested in his opinions about fashion. I contacted Mark Rykken, who at the time owned his bespoke shop in NYC. By June of 2010, Mark hired me to work there. I was there until October 2010 when he joined Paul Stuart. I was his right hand man for the next 6+ years. We developed a bespoke business there and did millions in sales, some years sales tripled. We had a great success together until the company’s sale took effect and I left.
What about menswear first interested you?
I realized in high school that I was very interested in formal clothing. Tailored jackets and trousers, the sportswear did not really interest me. I was drawn to the cloth and the workmanship. As boring as it may seem to people not interested in menswear, it is much more complex and interesting than casual clothing. By the time I was 17 I knew that I really liked tailored clothing and wanted to learn more about it.
You have created your own, strong, aesthetic and style – what has inspired you along the way? Any words of wisdom for men and women who are still finding their own style?
Well, my aesthetic is really as simple as it gets. Everything I wear is based on the rules of color and proportion. Wearing colors that enrich my complexion and flatter my body. Most of this I have learned from working with Alan Flusser, and seeing him demonstrate his teachings with clients. I have been able to meet many well dressed men who I often look to for inspiration. Of course I look to people like Fred Astaire for inspiration but also recent men in history like Philip B. Miller, and Edmund Moy have style that I cannot get enough of and always find photos of them informative on dressing. The big factor in learning about style is similar to painting and cooking. You need to learn about light and perspective as a painter and any chef will tell you that making a perfect omelet is a mandatory skill. When you learn about what colors and proportions are correct for you- how to wearing a dark suit, white shirt, solid tie and handkerchief, perfectly for you—you know 85% of what it means to be well dressed. The style icons for men and women knew this about themselves and it is why their style stood out. Well dressed people show consistency more than anything else.
Unlike other people in my business I am not going to say, “I don’t talk about our clients” and then list their names. All I’ll say is, it is rewarding to turn on the TV and be able to see my shirts and suits on many men. Mostly on CNBC and Bloomberg.
Any movies, books or people that have inspired you?
We certainly know all of Alan Flusser’s books are going to be important to me. Frankly, I am biased to his writing because I appreciate the luxury factor. I very well know that his writing style turn off many people because they see it as too arrogant. Maybe one day I can bring these great lessons to a wider audience. Wall Street is one of the greatest clothing movies of all time. The Band Wagon in 1953 with Fred Astaire is one of the most inspirational clothing movies. He had a few outfits that gave designers inspiration for years.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received from a mentor or colleague?
I think many who know me can agree. Everything Mark Rykken said to me. He got me into this business when I was 17 and I learned everything from him.
What’s the first thing you do every morning?
I wish I could say something inspirational, but it is checking my work email because I have a lot of emails from Europe that need to be answered ASAP.
Dream or next travel destination? Previous favorite?
London certainly changed my life. Staying in Mayfair, around the corner from Savile Row and actually getting to work there for a week (when I was with Richemont) was an experience I will cherish forever. I went to a lot of places in 2017, a lot of time in northern Italy, I would like to go to southern Italy next.
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview Paolo! Your words and views are inspirational and we can't wait to watch your business continue to grow.
If you would like to inquire about bespoke suits, you can visit Paolo Style's website at PaoloStyle.com.
PS. We definitely have some collaborations coming this year so stay tuned by following both accounts on Instagram for daily updates.
@A.M.CLUB + @paolostyleny
Happy New Year to all!