Designer Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani on Japanese stationery, driving shoes and apricot tart
My personal style signifier is a beaded coral fortunello charm that I wear for luck and was given to me by the Liverino family – an important coral supplier based in Naples’ Torre del Greco district. It’s topped with an elephant and I wear it every day on the underside of my suit lapel.
The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of P8478 Porsche Design titanium sunglasses. They’re refined and well made, with a simple shape. Originally produced 40 years ago, they were the first glasses with interchangeable lenses – a piece of design history. €380, porsche-design.com
And the thing I’m eyeing next is an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale, made by Franco Scaglione when he was chief designer at Carrozzeria Bertone. Scaglione was a great visionary, while Alfa Romeo has strong links to my Italian DNA. When I saw this car, I fell in love. It brilliantly represents Italian design of a certain period; I’m constantly making sketches of it.
The best souvenirs I’ve brought home are magnificent owl-shaped cannata jugs that I found in the Catanian town of Caltagirone and which are typical of the region. From €280; Maioliche Riccardo Varsallona, 33 Via Cristoforo Colombo, 95041 Caltagirone (maiolichevarsallona.com)
The last meal that truly impressed me was at PST [Pizza Studio Tamaki], a tiny, busy pizza place in Tokyo. It was recommended to me and I have to say I was sceptical, but the dough was amazingly light, full of air and topped with perfectly cooked ingredients: only mozzarella, basil and tomato. I was shocked at how good it was and immediately ordered a second. 1 Chome-24-6 Higashiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0044 (pst-tk2-ad.com)
The last music I downloaded was Invitation by Ahmad Jamal. I was introduced to his music through a friend of my father, who was a singer and played guitar. The song has drums, bass and piano, which Jamal plays like so few people in this world. I often sketch to his music on long plane and car trips.
A recent “find” is Ciccio Shoes, which I discovered during the Targa Florio vintage car rally in Cefalù, in Sicily. The style is unusual – you’re meant to wear them when driving vintage cars. They were made for Niki Lauda in the 1970s, and the design is still exactly the same. From €1,500; 21 Lungomare Giuseppe Giardina, 90015 Cefalù (ciccioshoes.it)
In my fridge you’ll always find still water and Parmigiano Reggiano Vacche Rosse, aged for 36 months. Since I live in Switzerland, I always have this Italian staple in my fridge, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables exclusively from Swiss farms. If I wake in the night, I like to open the fridge and enjoy a cold apple.
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a double-breasted denim suit by one of my tailors, Giuseppe Carbone. I like the contrast of the sporty fabric and formal cut, as well as the richness of detail in the double-patched pockets and blue mother-of-pearl buttons. From €1,600; sartoriacarbone.it
Objects I would never part with are my pens: a Lamy Dialog 1, Lamy Pico pocket pen and a Bulgari Eccentrica [since discontinued]. They’re mostly triangular-shaped, which I believe is the most ergonomic. When I travel, I always have three or four pens in my pocket. From €34; lamy.com
The grooming staple I’m never without is Diptyque’s L’Ombre dans l’Eau. I love dry scents and this one has been part of my daily routine for so long that it now feels a part of me. £70 for 50ml EDT, diptyqueparis.co.uk
My favourite websites and apps are Spotify in the office, as music helps me focus when I sketch; and Petrolicious.com for classic cars like Alfa Romeo.
My style icon is Marcello Mastroianni, particularly in the film Ieri, Oggi, Domani [Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow]. I love his extreme but elegant beige suit, tie and Persol sunglasses. There were many stylish actors during his time, but Mastroianni was more casual and Italian in both his acting and dress sense.
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Caltagirone in Sicily. The village is fantastic, with its famous baroque staircase, Santa Maria del Monte. It was constructed using blue and yellow ceramic that’s local to the area and is full of decorative elements.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is a book of illustrations by JC Leyendecker, which was a gift. Leyendecker was born in Germany but moved to New York and I love how his work is sweet and cute but formal and elegant at the same time.
The best gift I’ve given recently was a drawing of an Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva, which was designed by Franco Scaglione for Carrozzeria Bertone. I drew it for a great friend and Alfa Romeo collector.
And the best one I’ve received recently was a set of beautiful lacquered Blackwing pencils, made from Japanese graphite and cedarwood. They’re excellent quality and also legendary – Walt Disney and Leonard Bernstein used them – but most of all, I like that the eraser can be replaced once used. From €21, Fratelli Bonvini Milano, 1 Via Tagliamento, 20139 Milan (bonvini1909.com)
An indulgence I would never forgo is a slice of apricot tart, made lovingly by my wife every two days.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Luciano Ventrone. My favourites are the pomegranate or watermelon still-life paintings, which look like photographs but are, in fact, oil on canvas. I spend hours in front of these works. I appreciate Ventrone’s obsession with perfection.
My favourite room in my house is my living room, which has a lot of windows so is very bright. It also houses my library, which is nearly full of books on design, cars and art.
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose London’s Mayfair and Covent Garden. I like going to Gieves & Hawkes to see the old military uniforms with detailed trimmings and buttons. Tricker’s on Jermyn Street makes my favourite shoes – the Ilkley Country [from £395] – which I wear in Switzerland, rain or snow; they’re indestructible and iconic. I like Burlington Arcade’s interesting vintage watch shops and mix of people. The Pullman Gallery is full of beautiful sculptures of boats, cars and planes; I once saw a stunning model there of a Bugatti Atlantic made entirely by hand in aluminium. I really admire the self-portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and how the artist can communicate character and spirit in just a few strokes. I’ll drop into The Connaught bar for the best martini cocktails. They’re prepared by a true master, Agostino Perrone, who arrives with a trolley full of different spirits and custom-makes the drink to your requirements. And if I’m in the mood for cars, St Martins Models is a favourite. Burlington Arcade, 51 Piccadilly, W1 (burlingtonarcade.com). The Connaught, Carlos Pl, W1 (the-connaught.co.uk). Gieves & Hawkes, 1 Savile Row, W1 (gievesandhawkes.com). National Portrait Gallery, St Martins Pl, WC2 (npg.org.uk). Pullman Gallery, 14 King St, SW1 (pullmangallery.com). St Martins Models, 15 Cecil Court, WC2 (stmartinsmodels.co.uk). Tricker’s, 67 Jermyn Street, SW1 (trickers.com).
The place I rely on for personal grooming is La Ferruccio, my go-to barber in Rome. It’s a small shop and nothing special, but I trust them completely and it’s also typically Roman: sarcastic and fun. 36A Via della Panetteria, 00187 Rome (+3906-678 4994)
If I didn’t live in Neuchâtel, the city I would live in is Tokyo. I deeply admire the Japanese aesthetic, with its focus on limited elements and rituals. As a designer, ritual is especially important when you have a relationship with products. Tokyo feels like many cities in one, with each prefecture having its own identity, such as Akihabara’s electronics and comics stores. In Ginza, I like the multibrand store Wako; it was one of the few buildings in Ginza not destroyed in the second world war. I also go to the Lion bar for local beers, while Itoya is my favourite stationery store in the world, where you can find handmade Japanese paper, inks and pens. I’m also fascinated by the Edo-Tokyo history museum and like learning about samurai life and Japan under the rule of emperors. Edo-Toyko Museum, 1 Chome-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida, 130-0015 (edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp). Ginza Lion, 7 Chome-9-20 Ginza, Chuo-ku, 104-0051 (+8150-5788 0502). Itoya, 2 Chome-7-15, Chuo-ku, 104-0061 (+813-3561 8311). Wako, 4 Chome-5-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku, 104-8105 (wako.co.jp)
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a piano player. I like the dual soul of a piano: it’s a large object but can have a very light sound. I would have loved to learn how to play.