Mr. Danilo Verticelli: A Colorful View

Here is the delightful and vibrant Mr. Danilo Verticelli on a sunny crisp January day in Florence in 2016. I was introduced to him my the great photographer Danielle Tamagni, who among other things created the legendary book about Sapeurs in Brazzaville titled Gentlemen of Bacongo. Danilo drove his beautiful Jaguar up from his home in Livorno and met me, Nathaniel Adams, my We are Dandy co-author, and Kelly Bray who was filming all the while. I was stunned by the gorgeous light that day coupled with the spectacular view...and all those colors! Unfortunately this profile was one of far too many that didn't make it into We are Dandy, so I would like to share with you now. The writing that follows is by Nathaniel Adams. Enjoy!

Asked to pick a location for a photo shoot, Danilo Verticelli chose one of the highest hills surrounding Florence, overlooking the city from the South. Atop this hill is the San Miniato al Monte basilica, named for a Catholic martyr who, after being beheaded by Emperor Decius for his faith, was said to have calmly stood up, picked up his head, tucked it under his arm, and sauntered up the hill, presumably unmolested by Roman centurions too shocked or grossed out to stop him. Despite the beauty of the church and the unsurpassable sweeping view of Florence, the site’s relative remoteness makes it one of the city’s less frequently-visited tourist destinations. So when Verticelli pulls up in his Jaguar XJS 4.0 wearing a pumpkin orange suit and big round sunglasses, his curly hair falling to his shoulders, there are only a handful of visitors to gawp slack-mouthed like Roman centurions at a headless saint.

Verticelli is 53 years old, and had dressed in a formal and subdued way most of his life, in typical grays and dark browns. In 2006 something in his soul erupted. He quit his job as an engineer to focus on his art and design and, in his words, “I discovered color.”

“I don’t know why,” he confesses, speaking softly beside the purr of his idling Jaguar. “There are things inside us and sometimes they awake suddenly.”

Unable to find clothes in the bold shades of fuchsia, orange, and green that he wanted in Italy, Verticelli began to dye his old suits and suits found at thrift stores before having things made in bright, imported fabrics by a local tailor.

“The first time I wore it outside I was very worried about what [people] would think and say about me. My friends respect me very much, but people on the streets were laughing at me,” he recalls. “It is the destiny of people who are different.”

The shoot over, Verticelli gets back in his car, revs the engine, and drives down the hill, a small clutch of tourists and pilgrims taking photos and videos as he speeds away from the martyr’s shrine and resting place.

We are Dandy at Fine and Dandy Shop NYC

Thanks to my good friends Matt Fox and Enrique Crame III of Fine and Dandy Shop for hosting a fabulous book signing party for We are Dandy on Dec 1! It was a wonderful kick off to the holiday season. Among the many dashing party-goers were Nicolas Pron and Kamau Hosten, both featured in the book. We nearly sold out (yay!) but I think there are still a few signed copies left. 
This is the ONLY place to get signed copies before Christmas! 

Fine and Dandy Shop
445 West 49th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 247-4847

Thanks to Brooklyn Gin for helping us all stay warm and talkative :)

Nicolas Pron and a few of his pages from We are Dandy

Natty and I with Kamau a beautiful black cashmere suit made by Secret Empire

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Simon Cleveland

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Thomas Crowley, who was featured in I am Dandy (along with Matt and Enrique of course!)

Lovely Tara Isabella Burton and Victoria L.

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Was wonderful to meet Montgomery Frazier and Ben!

A shot of Mark Haldeman and James Aguiar from We are Dandy

Ladies love We are Dandy too! Kayla Ferguson, Victoria, Tara, and Sarah Worley

With the incredible American couture designer Maggie Norris!


With Ken Aoki and Masaichi Hasegawa of Gaziano and Girling...a photo to send to Masato Kawai and our other Japanese Dandy friends!

Thanks Brooklyn Gin - those were some delicious and festive looking gin and Hella tonics!

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We are Dandy NYC Book Launch, Part 2 at The Armoury

We are Dandy has officially LAUNCHED!
The New York City launch was a one-two punch: part 1 was "Dine with the Dandies" hosted by Modern Luxury, and part 2 was the glorious book signing party you see here
hosted by Mark Cho at his exquisite store The Armoury in Tribeca.

Thank you to everyone who celebrated with me and Natty! It was a rare moment to stop and feel proud of all the hard work. And what a great turn out! I enjoyed looking out into the crowd and seeing so many people I adore with such individual style. We had several of the dandies profiled in We are Dandy join us as honored guests, and the rest of the international roster were with us in spirit. We also had many I am Dandy book subjects with us too!

Special thanks to the great crew at The Armoury, our sponsors Modern Luxury, St Germain with Marlo Gamora, and Smooth Ambler with Lauren Barden. 

Photos by ace photographer and friend Jane Kratochvil
Full set of photos are here.

The dynamic duo...Mark Haldeman and James Aguiar  

With Mark Cho, owner of The Armoury

Jet-setting Butler was able to join us from Copenhagen for both nights!

Charming Richard Aloisio is featured in We are Dandy.

Did you wonder who was that man in the bear skin? It was Baron Ambrosia, aka Justin Fornal. His profile in We are Dandy is bound to surprise you...and not in the way you'd expect (hint: it's better than a bear skin story).

Good friend Matt Fox of Fine and Dandy Shop (and in I am Dandy) with ever sharp Kamau Hosten who is in We are Dandy.

The crew from Johannesburg was with us in spirit! Tony Maake, Ntabiso Sojane, Loux the Vintage Guru, Samkelo Boyde, and Fresh Sojane.

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You know this guy - Dandy Wellington!

Yes there were ladies! Amber Doyle (far right) and friends.

Debonaire Marlo Gamora was pouring fast and furious for St Germain.

Watch out he might cut you...Mike Haar.

Lovely ladies Sara Harper and Kayla Ferguson.

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A very dapper man I didn't get to meet (!) with Michelle Coursey.

Finally got to meet Ken Aoki, a friend of Masato Kawai. I felt closer to the Japanese Dandies because he was with us!

My buddies Mr. Burton and John John

Thomas P. Farley, aka Mr. Manners, and suave friend

Aren't they adorable? Meika and Warren Franz, owners of Another Man's Treasure vintage.

My girls Laura Kimsey and Maki Obara of Maison Murasaki

Frans Nieuwendam (middle), and Ralph Auriemma (right)

Did I say their were ladies?!? Kacie Marie, Darlene Elkanick, and Meredith Modzelewski

The Styleforum gang...Bruce Crooker, Denby Liu, and Butler

Natty and I went up to say a few words and I just had to capture the I grabbed Ken Aoki's phone and snapped my view...

My view from #WeAreDandy launch party at @thearmourynyc courtesy of Ken Aoki (thanks @masato.1958!) Thank you New York!! @nattyadams @gestalten thanks to our sponsors @stgermaindrinks @smoothambler @modernluxury WEAREDANDY_Nov2016_jkratochvil_5731_lores
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