Don’t you think it’s strange, how people change you?… For better or for worse some may say; typically, I take the most negative approach, because I do tend to be a pessimist, but in this regard I perceive change as a beautiful and necessary thing. I look back and everything is different now; even just a year back, all has changed. Things that mattered before, now go left unthought of, and people who you thought were meaningful now don’t matter. More importantly, people who you didn’t know or only knew of, now are a vital part of your life and constant source of inspiration. Lately I have been thinking about all around me more than ever; I am more aware of everyone’s presence for unknown reasons and I’ve been able to view it all from an outsider’s point of view. Everything changes and you can’t control a thing. All you can hope for is that those changes which you will encounter better you and the people you meet will eventually become the closest people in your life. Recently I’ve thought more and more about the people close to me whom I’ve met through menswear, and thought about the changes I’ve gone through since this whole internet thing ‘took off’ for me; I’ve also started working for a company (some of you may know more about this then others), and that has brought new thoughts and new people in my life. There are a lot of funny anecdotes that are not meant to be shared in this way, so I won”t, and most of the stories of how I met the people ‘in this circle’ are somewhat personal and I’d like to keep it that way. You see, for those of you who know me in person, I believe it’s clear to all you that I am a fairly reserved individual, and that I do keep most to myself, especially concerning important matters or topics dealing with emotions etc. I do that for many reasons which aren’t important as of now. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a good time, get silly, and be generally outgoing, but most of the time I do tend to have a dark aura surrounding me.
Anyhow, this story isn’t really about me, but rather about the people who’ve effected me and who’ve helped me through some sort of process. All I’m trying to say is that I’ve recently felt the urge to say something to these people for one reason or another; just a few words, nothing too specific, and I haven’t done that in a proper manner yet because of many reasons (my emotional shyness being one of them).
I remember the first time NiCo liked a photo I posted, that shit made my day; I can just recall idolizing the kid, and thinking of him as a real source of knowledge (I still think of him that way, but now when I see him, I try to flick him in the balls when he’s not looking or when I catch him tipsy, and call him inappropriate names. Fast forward two weeks, I get a reblog from that skinny prick, and I’m happy to the point I thank god I am comfortable enough with my sexuality, I shouldn’t worry about why I’m so excited that another man likes a photo I post on the internet. Next day I wake up, the Northern Italian Sun hitting my face, and I have a new follower: howtotalktogirlsatparties. Fuck, it’s hard for me to breathe at this point. All the hard work on the internet and on those cobble stone streets of Italy has finally paid off right?! It’s like god damn Christmas. Later Lawrence promos me in an article for a very relevant magazine, and at this point I’m worried I’ll have paparazzi outside my house and am debating wether or not it would be worth it to invest on a bodyguard… Now when I see Lawrence he usually greats me with a “Fuck You Restivo, you Italian retard.” or something along those lines. I give him the finger. Then invites me to have a smoke; I usually just nod and light up, but what I really want to do is say “I love you too Lawrence” and give him a hug.
Fast forward till February of last year; I still don’t personally know anyone in the menswear scene, but I am confident enough I can sneak into a show, so I put on my Isaia sportcoat and head to the Michael Bastian presentation. I arrive, I see all the kids whom I look up to, some a cigarette, don’t say a word, and miraculously get in (shout out to the girl who let me sneak in without an invite; thank you mom and dad for my somewhat good looks?). Show ends, smoke another cigarette outside of the venue; I am greeted by a smiling Austin Wong “hey man, you do qualityxsprezzy right?” “Uhm… (in my head: I can’t even speak, dude you’re like my hero, I want to be bffs with you because you like Thom Browne too!) yeah man… I’m a big fan of yours by the way…” We talk, we smoke together, we talk more about shit only TB lovers would talk about etc. Now Austin is one of my favorite people, for many reasons, but his calm and thoughtful nature is the most important for me. He was the first I started to hang out with, and it was evident we had similar interest. Still, I have yet to find a person in that scene whom is more laid back and kind as he is (Jake M.-you are up there too buddy and I love you for drinking, smoking, watching soccer, laughing, dancing and talking about philosophy with me). And then Austin introduces me to Justin Chung. As he’s shooting outside MB, he smiles: “Hey man, are we neighbors?! I saw you in my hood the other day, you were eating a sandwich and you had ‘Cuc’ cargos on… does that ring a bell?!” The next morning I meet with him for coffee, he asks me questions; I ask him questions; I listen, he listens. He listens very attentively. I sense he could become an older brother figure in my life. He has become quite exactly that. Now, my relationship with him is very special and I treasure every moment. Perhaps with him only I’ve had the courage to thank him for all he’s done and tell him how I feel. (By the way Justin, sorry for always eating all the food in your apartment and drinking all your beer. I owe you big time!) Justin introduces me to Marcus Allen. I am inspired immediately. We all three go out for lunch, he wears neon colors and I am freaked out. After paying the check, we walk out, he grabs my hand and throws me into a woman who was walking toward me. I laugh, she stares. I tell Marcus he’s a dick, and we have been laughing about similar occurrences ever since. I love the dude as if he were my father. Justin also introduces me to another person who has become a steady presence in my daily thoughts and inspirations, an incredible friend even though I met him just over 8 months ago, and a man who has taken me under his wing (for reasons still not so clear to me-read as: he’s crazy): Agyesh Madan. Now, he probably can tell I admire the hell out of him, given my ‘you are my idol’ stare every time I look at him, but I just haven’t been able to tell the dude how much I appreciate his company and how much I look forward to learning from him in the years to come. Instead, he continues to bust my balls about my jackets being too short, my pants being too tight, and my punctuality in the morning; I call him out on mispronounced words when he speaks italian, his jackets being too long, his pants being too wide etc. he usually just burns me instantly with a one liner, because he is far smarter than me (certified genius much, Agyesh?) and I tend to stutter given a combination of my language barrier and intimidation; but in reality I want to say “You are at once a brother and a father away from home, and when I grow up I want to fucking be like you”. I know he’s right about most things and I can only aspire to be a quarter of the human being he is; I know this much, I’ll spend the rest of my days trying to, that is for damn sure. He is also my partner in crime when it comes to espresso and San Pellegrino in the office, a burger and milkshake, and a good looking girl on the street. (Speaking of good looking women, Nick aka ‘The Lobster’ and Brian C. aka ‘Il Cuoco’ are the other partners in crime at the office, and are two fellas who have the same taste in women as myself; you can’t imagine the conversations we have in the back while sipping some espressos. They have been a warm and kind presence through the tough experiences that a first job comes with. They still fuck with me plenty, but I know deep down when they shake my hand they’re thinking they somewhat like me. I’ll be waiting for a confirmation from either of them to let me know though…) Agyesh, we still need to try those two pizzerias in one day to decide which one is better; I haven’t forgotten about that challenge.
At this point, I know what Lawrence is thinking: “Restivo, that was gay as fuck! I can’t believe I just read this… Alright, I’m going out for a smoke”
Actually Lawrence probably won’t even read this shit.
Cheers folks, enjoy my little heart out on display with this story.
All I wanted to do was say thanks to the people surrounding me, and that I appreciate all those who have taken on some sort of role model figure in my life.
Love you all, and I do love menswear, despite sometimes I say I don’t.
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- blog-fashiondiplomacy said: Yeah and that moment, when you followed me, I totally freaked out. You’re totally awesome, Alex!
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- enriquedlcm said: down to earth restivo
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- sartorialdoctrine said: You are a passionate guy, too bad you are in NYC or I’d Buy you Swedish beer! :)
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- natebui said: Cute but you still can’t dance. HAHA
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- sirfenimore said: So real, man.
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- jhilla said: The internets is crazy, right?