Classic Style Icons
SARTOISM is a new digital platform connecting brands & stores to customers and offering curated products and knowledge about men's style. Our desire is to introduce meaningful products and activities that will create space for both new brands to be founded and established brands to thrive. This desire is inspired by the elegance in a bespoke suit, handmade shoes, and accessories worn by the giants of the music, cinema, and fashion world.
We'd like to believe that the most memorable aesthetics remain relevant for decades to come, imbuing future generations with a desire to recreate that seemingly effortless quality time after time. When we started, we asked ourselves which style icons possessed above quality. There are many names we could add to this list, but here are few that inspired us over the years.
Vittorio De Sica
The Oscar-winning Italian director may have been known for his double life and fiery dual personality, but that didn’t stop Vittorio De Sica from being heralded as one of the greatest Italian style icons of all time.
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Actor, producer, and a decorated naval officer of World War II, he was the sartorial style icon of the Twentieth Century. Even well into his fifties, he still reigned as one of Hollywood's true originators, and he certainly looked the part.
1951 was the year that made Marlon Brando an icon. Brando had a rare gift in that he could turn even a basic line of dialogue, into an unforgettable moment. While he will be forever known for that perfect white t-shirt, he was equally at home wearing tuxedos, military uniforms, and even silk scarves mixed with raw denim.
His name will forever be synonymous with a well-dressed man. Cary Grant once said, “Simplicity, to me, has always been the essence of good taste.” He believed men's clothes—like women's—should attract attention to the best lines of a man's figure and distract from the worst. We couldn't agree more.
Hailing from the Bronx and the son of a house painter, Ralph Lauren didn’t come from the glossy world of his label’s own lifestyle but he always had a very specific vision of where he was going. In Lauren’s own words, “Everything I’ve done in my career has been personal.” Now, that's taste.
Armani liberated men and women from the stiff jacket of traditional tailoring and introduced them to the pleasures of casual chic. He achieved this more relaxed silhouette by knocking the stuffing out, removing the padding, and dispensing with the lining. Armani created an aesthetic of luxurious, soft, understated elegance.
Where Astaire and Sinatra wore tailored three-pieces and starched-collar Oxford shirts, Gene Kelly’s self-styled wardrobe, on-screen and off, took a far more relaxed approach. His collars were unfused, long and pointed, and worn beneath soft cashmere sweaters and vests. His preference towards penny loafers pre-empted the mid-century trend towards the preppy shoes.
When it comes to sartorial icons such as Paul Newman, there is almost something intangible to them. They seem to have an inherent eye for clothing, one that’s impossible to imitate. Iconic and seemingly effortless tuxedo or a dirty prison uniform, Newman could wear just about anything.