It´s clear that this man lives and breathes for his job. Especially when he runs one of Oslo’s most Italian-inspired clothing store for men. Morten Rasmussen, one of the Co-founders behind the clothing store Ragazzi, located in Vika, Oslo.
How would you define your personal style?
My personal style is both classic and assembled with Italy as my inspiration. I love how Italians put together unconstructed blazers, with for example jeans or cotton trousers. How they play with colors on details such as pochette, ties, bows-ties, socks etc and gives an exciting look.
Do you have any favorite designers?
I really don’t have any favorite designers, I´m more focused on how the fit and the appearance of the garment is.
One of my favorite brands I must say, is the Italian Caruso. How their suits and blazers are tailored provides you with a unique expression! I recommend everyone to try them.
What are your favorite places to shop?
I must say the store that my co-worker André and I work in, Ragazzi at Vika.
Here we have managed to gather many fine Italian brands, and other brands that I believe does not exist elsewhere in Norway. Many of our brands have a special story behind them, which adds a personal touch and gives them a wonderful expression.
An example is the clothing brand Raffaele Caruso (RC), who has it´s very own hallmark on the shoulder, an incredibly cut and is of course made in “full canvas” (which means that every stitch is handmade). RC are one of the few clothing brands still manufactured in Italy, and they produce their clothes in the same factory as Ralph Lauren, which I would say is a quality stamp.
We also sell ties from the Norwegian brand Berg & Berg, as the only shop in Norway. The owner, Mathias Berg, has an incredible passion for ties, and to be the only shop in Norway to sell these Italian made ties, is an honor.
I must point out and say that it is kind of hilarious to see a Norwegian brand succeed so well in Sweden, and to get so much publicity as it has gotten.
As the only shop in Norway, we are proud to have the giant clothing brand Palzileri. This brand has been absent from the Norwegian market for a few years, and we decided to do something about that. Palzileri have several lines and we have two of them in our store; the suit line and the sartorial line. The suit line from Palzileri is suited for work, social gatherings or as an everyday clothing. The Sartorial line is mainly blazers that are completely unstructured. This gives a more casual expression but the quality of the fabrics is still exclusive. These are jackets that can easily be used instead of a sweater.
What is your favorite hobby?
Fashion is my biggest hobby, this is because of my job – which is a lifestyle that I have chosen for myself.
Who are your style icons / Whose style do you admire?
Nicolas Ricci, Lino Ieluzzi, Roger Åkesson, Luca Rubinacci, Andrea Luparelli are all examples of people that gives me a lot of inspiration, and that I really admire.
I could have mentioned many others too, but these are great examples in my opinion.
The thing that reflects all of these, is that they have a connection to Italy. Either they are Italian, or they are inspired by Italy. That may be the reason why I look up to Italy so much. The way they put together colors that may not really fit together, but they make it fit excellent. I´m impressed about the way they use different fabrics, how they bring out the various expressions that the different fabrics have, how they use multiple layers of clothing where each layer of clothing they use, brings out the other garments they are wearing. They are good at mixing classic and casual wear.
I love their attitude, by that I mean the way they wear their clothes on the street, the way they stand, the way they talk about clothes, and perhaps most important, how they love and treat their clothes. EVERYTHING is inspiring with these gentlemen!
Just pay attention to how Mr. Andrea Luparelli wears his clothes. Look at the colors, patterns and quality fabrics of Mr. Luca Rubinacci. Look at the lapels, patterns, and not least the “puffer” shoulder to Sciamat, Mr. Nicola Ricci. The double-breasted blazer, gray pants, jeans, Belstaff leather jackets, not to mention “chains” on Mr. Ieluzzi outfits.
Observe the Morris Heritage collection every year as Mr. Roger Åkesson (the designer) choses his fabrics etc. The one thing that reflects all these gentlemen is that they all breathe and live for clothes. It’s their lifestyle.
Are there any key pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
My blazers and ties are used every day, and often in a combination with a double breasted blazer.
What is your most recent purchase?
Jacob Cohen jeans from a shop
Do you have any stories about amazing deals you’ve gotten on awesome pieces?
I found some amazing nice ties in Rome a couple of years ago.
Can you give us smart shopping advice?
I think one of the core set are to find their own style, this avoids many mistakes when shopping. If you are insecure, you should ask one of the staff members in the store. There are an incredible number of talented fashion sales consultants out there. I’d also looked for quality clothes. That will make sure you have clothes / shoes for a long period of time, and of course, one must know how to take care of their wardrobe.
What’s the best thing about your job?
All the wonderful customers you meet, the various type of quality fabrics, the nice colleagues around the world and in Norway.
Which men’s apparel products do you recommend?
Well, it depends on your style, but a piece that every guy should have in his wardrobe is a quality navy suit, which has a proper fit, and some nice shoes in both black and brown.
Is there a periodic time in history you wish you could have lived in?
No, not really, but it would have been funny to go back in time where people were dressed in suit and tie every day. I think the time that we live in now is a very exciting time. More and more are getting interested in style and clothes, and are applying more knowledge about it. The man on the street is getting more concerned about what he is wearing, where it is made and how it is made. This makes my job even more interesting.
5 things you cannot live without.
Family and friends
My store, Ragazzi
Food & Wine