The one piece of clothing that every man should own
"A hooded sweatshirt. In general, men do jobs that are very serious. Everything goes on their shoulders. The sweatshirt is the way to relax yourself. It works without a shirt under, with a shirt, with a peacoat on top. It's always sexy. It's always masculine."

Four items worth spending more on
"A baby-blue shirt, an oxford. Nice underwear. Non-ugly socks—socks should be classic. And I think you understand the personality, the elegance of a man through his watch."

Pick a single statement accessory
"I like when a man has one strong accessory. If it's a watch, it has to be major. If you have strong shoes, it should just be the shoes. I don't like when a man is overdone—that's just bad taste. Coco Chanel was always saying you have to watch yourself in the mirror, put on a lot of things, and then take them off. I think it should be that way for men as well."

Be loyal
"Men are much more faithful than women. Not in a sexual way, but in a stylistic way. If men fall in love with the cut and the fabric and, you know, a certain designer, they're faithful for many, many years. I can tell you, it's 25 years I'm wearing white trainers. I'm very faithful to my shoe."

Mix things up
"I don't agree with a total designer look. I like when I see Givenchy mixed with other stuff. It means that the person mixed it. I hate people being repetitious. In my collection, it's not all the classic or the street, it's a mix of everything. The men's-fashion business really closes itself in a cage. It should be much more open."

Forget what you think menswear is supposed to be
"I think it was quite a statement, what we've done with Kanye West and the black leather kilt, because, I don't know how you say it in English, but in Italy you say, 'It's not what the monarch wears that makes a good monarch. . . .' It's the man that makes the clothes, not the clothes that make the man. Who says that a man shouldn't wear a skirt? It's all about breaking the rules and the confidence to pull it off. Kanye made me so proud. He's so punk."

For Men, great style can be empowering
"I'm very happy that in the last two decades women got more power in society. So men swap around the other way. A man is not ashamed to look at himself. Like men going to a manicurist or going to do Botox or wearing clothes that are not the classic clichés. You don't have to be gay to be super-stylish. You can be stylish and be straight, which is, I think, all due to society."

Lighten up—go dark
"I'm a dark designer—a very happy dark designer. People think darkness comes from a fucked-up place. No. Darkness is all about serenity. It is all about being happy, all about love. Darkness means night. In the night, you sleep, you make love. Night is when you meet your family and have that sharing moment. So for me, darkness means something very beautiful."

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