Gianni Agnelli was an Italian Industrialist, socialite and fashion icon. He earned the title of richest man in modern Italy from his role as Head of Fiat during which he was Fiats largest shareholder. As Head of Fiat, he controlled 4.4% of Italy's GDP, 3.1% of Italy's Industrial Workforce and controlled 16.5% of Italy's Industrial Research and Development. These are some truly impressive figures for a modern economy.
Gianni has become an international style icon and a case study of an elegant life. Esquire Magazine named Agnelli as one of the five best-dressed men in the history of the World. As the 'Rake of the Riviera' (this nickname inspired the menswear magazine The Rake) Agnelli mastered Sprezzatura - the Italian art of making the difficult look easy.
Agnelli's style was a combination of beautifully tailored and classic suits combined with eye catching personal style tricks. While any man can wear the same suits Gianni did, how Gianni wore them and his signature style tricks made his appearance.
Always a fan of an idiosyncratic style effort, Agnelli's style has been described as accidental elegance. Mistakes like skewed ties, watches worn over cuffs and hiking boots or loafers worn with suits were all meant to appear as errors yet were scrupulously chosen. Anecdotes have arisen explaining these style facets - the watch over the cuff was for a clearer view of the time, his move to wearing hiking boots were health related and skewed ties? He might have been guilty of what every school boy in the country is - never actually undoing his ties.
Whether his style was planned or accidental, this man has left an amazing figure within the business and style worlds.