Moncler chief Remo Ruffini talks taste
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My personal style signifier is navy, navy and more navy clothing, though with different fabrics, fitting and stitching depending on whether I’m at the office or it’s the weekend. My bespoke double-breasted jackets by Umit Benan hide those extra kilos and never need to be ironed. I am also a fan of long-sleeved James Perse T-shirts.
The last thing I bought and loved was a Specialized Turbo Levo e-bike. I love mountain biking – and particularly downhill – but this e-bike makes the uphill a little easier. I’ve used it in Chamonix, St Moritz, Sardinia and Ibiza, though I am always very careful because you can get up to really fast speeds.
The place that means a lot to me is St Moritz. I’ve been going since childhood, and I love to spend time there in any season. I used to come only in winter for skiing, but now I come for the hiking and biking too. It’s where I can get out of the office and be creative. In fact, the trees there were the inspiration for the Human Forest show we created for New York Fashion Week in 2013.
I never travel without navy-blue New Balance sneakers that I can walk around in for an hour before heading to a dinner. Also, I always have a blue blazer that doesn’t wrinkle, and charging cables for my devices. I carry it all in an assortment of Valextra bags.
In my fridge you’ll always find the makings of a Virgin Mary – tomato juice, spicy Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. You’ll also find specialty ventresca tuna – or red tuna belly – from Sardinia. I like to have very cold sake and Kurni, a red wine from the Marche region. And, of course, my favourite: Gorgonzola cheese.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is a biography of Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder and former chairman of Luxottica, the great Italian eyewear brand. He recently passed away, and his life story and the global brand he built are both so inspiring.
The podcast I’m listening to is How I Built This with the co-founder of WeWork, Miguel McKelvey. It’s an incredible story, especially when it covers how they grew too fast. I always learn something new with this podcast that’s focused on entrepreneurs and innovators.
My style icons are two opposites: Gianni Agnelli for his bespoke tailoring and inherent sense of style, and Julian Schnabel for a sort of casual extravagance. Gianni Agnelli was known for his elegant attire – white shirts, his watch worn over the cuff, a gold bracelet – while I will never forget seeing Julian Schnabel at the Place Vendôme in his pyjamas.
The best gift I’ve received is a dried four-leaf clover that I found in a book that was given to me by a dear friend. As it turned out, the clover was the real gift – and it was my first.
The last music I downloaded was Satie’s “Gnossienne No 1”, performed by Kid Francescoli. My favourite piece ever, though, is Michael Nyman’s “Time Lapse” – a sort of a theme tune for me. I played it the day Moncler was listed on the Italian stock exchange, in Milan. It’s always the soundtrack to the most important moments of the company.
I have a collection of black, brutalist-inspired Japanese pottery at my mountain home. I love Japan – the people, the style, the energy and the serenity – and these pieces remind me of it.
The best souvenir I’ve brought home is ricotta salata cheese from Porto Bello restaurant in Salina. They make a fantastic spaghetti al fuoco with cherry tomatoes, garlic, chilli pepper and their wonderful baked ricotta. Their dish is unique, and while I’ve tried to copy it at home, I don’t seem to have much luck.
The grooming staple I’m never without is Biologique Recherche skin creams, and also my electric trimmer. I’ve cut my own hair and my beard for the past 30 years.
I’ve recently rediscovered off-road Enduro bike racing. One of my sons pushed me back to the sport – one that’s not the easiest because it’s so physically demanding. I now have a Husqvarna 300 Two-Stroke bike that I’ve taken to Enduro Republic, a special club where they tune the bikes, in Douro, near Piacenza. I’ve also done motocross in Sardinia, but the sport isn’t allowed in so many places.
The thing I couldn’t do without is my many pairs of glasses from Maison Bonnet. The frames are black matte, and they’re custom-fitted and designed for me. I have regular prescription pairs and sunglasses. They always get the fit just right.
An indulgence I would never forgo is pizza, especially from Concettina ai Tre Santi in Naples. The young owner, Ciro Oliva, is highly creative. He does a 12-course tasting menu, which he serves you himself.
The place I am excited to go to next is Bhutan. I want to do a hiking tour, but I have to do it when I have 10 to 14 days free, which isn’t very often.
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a navy cashmere sweatshirt that is actually a Moncler prototype. It is incredibly soft and fits perfectly. I was hoping we could produce these quickly, but this type of cashmere yarn is quite rare.
My favourite building is Milan’s Velasca Tower by Studio BBPR, which was built in the ’50s. It’s a brutalist skyscraper that’s not overdesigned and was very important at the time it was built.
The objects I would never part with are my little red coral horns called cornicelli, which my wife gave me 25 years ago. They are my good luck charm and are always in my pocket.
The artists whose work I would collect if I could include Louise Bourgeois, Pablo Picasso – particularly his black-and-white paintings – and Lucio Fontana. I like postwar Italian art, where you can see the progression towards minimalism.
My favourite room in my house is my bedroom in Milan. I can be myself here, in solitude, away from the rest of the world. This room is a very dark brown with oak fumé and a modern brass and glass wall that separates the bedroom from the dressing area. In the mountains, my favourite room is my living room for the beautiful views.
My wellbeing guru is Mirko Lundi, a Pilates guru who is helping me to avoid back surgery. He has taught me how to use the Reformer and works on strengthening my back muscles and improving my posture. As I mentioned, I love pizza and Gorgonzola, so no nutritionist will take me on.
The works of art that changed everything for me were by the Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga, who transformed “classical” painting in the ’50s. He created large-scale works with his feet by swinging on a rope suspended from the ceiling.
In another life, I would have been an interior designer or an architect. I am passionate about this world and have worked with the designers Gilles & Boissier on over 200 projects for our business. We try to figure out different experiences for different cities – a local approach, but with a global vision for the brand.
The best bit of advice I ever received was when we went public: “Take care of the brand – don’t follow the sales and revenues.”