A Quick Q&A with Federico Poletti

By: Jessica Michault

If you have ever attended a Men’s fashion week they you have probably spotted Federico Poletti making the rounds. He is the founder and editorial director of MANINTOWN.com and his striking red hair, long and lean frame and wide smile are hard to miss. His site, as the name suggests, explores the evolving style of men in metropolitans around the world. Its a universe that is also distilled via a paper edition that comes out twice a year during the Men’s Fashion Week in Milan

Here Poletti opens up about the discipline of fashion, his book The Fashion Set: The Art of the Fashion Show and his love of animals.

The  Manintown  homepage.

The Manintown homepage.

How did you first get interested in fashion?

I studied history of art and after my degree and PHD in arts I came to Milan to follow a specialization course in fashion communication powered by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana. At that time I remembered the great art&fashion exhibitions curated by  Maria Luisa Frisa, Stefano Tonchi and Francesco Bonami for Pitti Immagine. So I tried to combine my art background with a more cultural approach to fashion. That’s why I started to study fashion. For me it represented the perfect mirror of our times, a discipline where many creative expressions and social issues are distilled together.

What made you finally decide to launch out on your own and create your own website?

Talking to many insiders during Pitti Uomo, everybody was complaining that in Italy we lacked menswear publications especially compared to other countries. So I started seriously thinking about it and I put together a small group of friends among journalists, fashion editors, stylists, photographers. And in 2015 I launched the beta version of the manintown.com website during Pitti Uomo.

The Fashion Set: The Art of the Fashion Show published by Roads.

The Fashion Set: The Art of the Fashion Show published by Roads.

What was your big break?

I had the chance to work with truly inspirational people, like Federico Marchetti founder of Yoox, Carla Sozzani from 10 Corso Como and Franca Sozzani. From their voices I really learned a lot and had incredible breaks. Recently I received an email from Colin Mc Dowell, who wrote me an enthusiastic comment about my last book The Fashion Set: The Art of the Fashion Show published by Roads. This has been the best reward for all the work and research done for this book curated with Giorgia Cantarini, a close friend and talented journalist.

Who inspires you?

Traveling is the best part of my job as a journalist and talent scouter. From my travels in remote countries of the world I got great insights also from people I met who sheared their vision and experience.

Who living or dead would you love to be able to have dinner with?

Among the dead, I would have loved to meet and have dinner with Sonia Delaunay who has been such an unconventional person for her times,  achieving to merge art and fashion in her works and performances. Exactly what I’m trying to do nowadays.

Bathing suits designed by Delaunay in the 1920s

Bathing suits designed by Delaunay in the 1920s

What is your favorite trip?

I went to Thailand for holidays and I loved the nature and the spirituality of this nation. To stay on some remote islands between forest and sea recharged me so much.

When are you happiest?

When I have time for myself and for the people I love, sharing simple things like a dinner together, reading a book during a lazy Sunday, playing with my three cats and the dog I co-adopted with my friend Giorgia. We are both committed in rescuing and supporting animals in danger.

What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?

To strengthen my magazine which is slowly growing thanks to the partnership with La Repubblica and the team of passionate people I put together. Thanks to them I also developed an on paper edition (twice a year during the men’s fashion week) that takes so much efforts and energies.

What is your secret talent ?

Connecting topics and people that you will never expect that work together. I managed to involve many people in my projects because they can feel my passion and good vibes in what I do.

A recent post on the  manintown.com  Instagram feed.

A recent post on the manintown.com Instagram feed.

What is your motto or the best piece of advice you ever got?

The best advice I received is “stay focused on your goals and believe in your ideas”. It’s something I repeat to myself and to other people even if sometimes it can be difficult. I’m a naturally born multitasker, that can be a limit.

What emoji do you use the most?

Cats with heart eyes 🙂  I’m a big cats lover!

What is the latest Instagram feed you decided to follow?

Lately I’m following some tattoo artists, from old school to more arty ones. Trying to find out which one could fit for me.