Simone Says: Frasi’s Simone Righi

Simone Righi's store is like a cross between a walk-in wardrobe and an exhibition of Florence's finest craftsmanship. The Rake gets a close-up of the man in charge.
Simone Says: Frasi’s Simone Righi
When he was growing up, Simone Righi’s mother spent her time making dresses for Florentine socialites and aristocrats, so it’s no surprise that he is cut from similar cloth. He is a gentleman of elegant taste and easy-going style; his approach is laidback yet considered, with sprezzatura in abundance and a natural sophistication that arguably can’t be taught. In his Florentine store Frasi, Mr Righi talks us through the ways he brings his own unique perspective and unmistakable sense of panache to everything he wears.
“I always keep the features of traditional Florentine tailoring, and my suits are often the product of ideas that have developed over the years.” Keeping it classic is important to Mr Righi, as his identity is so central to the concept of his store. Clients that visit rely heavily on his taste and he is often praised for providing a particularly personal service.
“I love the femininity of Betty Boop, I think she’s absolutely lovely!” Righi has a refreshing sense of playfulness – he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and had Betty embroidered by a local craftswoman – a cheeky nod to his appreciation of the female form.
In keeping with Righi’s penchant for soft textures, he wears one of his own seven-fold ties in a wool/cashmere blend, the Settepieghe Model. “I love this style of tie – it’s comfortable and unique.”
“I have so many pairs of glasses – they are functional, but I love them. These in particular are from Retrospecs & Co. from Los Angeles. They have an amazing selection and their models are very practical.” Given his usual preference for a rounded frame, Righi’s squared-off choice is intriguing and suits his strong features.
“I like the Cheaney Shoes from London. They have a great selection and I chose a few models for the shop – and of course for me! They are so, so comfortable. My socks are from Sozzi or Palatino and I like them to contrast a little with what I wear.”
Many of the style choices he makes parallel the products he chooses for his shop – what he wears reflects his personality and his clients’. “We stock these shirts, and I chose two models with two different collars – one more classic and one more casual. They are washed post-production so that they are more comfortable and have a more unstructured look.”
“All the elements that are part of my style – the blazer, shirt, tie, scarf, accessories – have to achieve a balance and not become too ‘done’. I like to wear what I wear with spontaneity and simplicity.” The ring Simone wears is a symbol of his friendship with Luca Lanzoni, the creator of Progetto Fede (where the ring is from). “They make very good quality products like jewellery and bags, and I like this style a lot”, he says.
“The scarf is one of our products too, it’s a prototype that I made just for me. I print my paintings on lightweight cashmere and silk.” An artist as well as a tastemaker, the scarf injects a welcome boost of colour and character into his Prussian blue single-breasted suit.
“My wife handmade this for me from one of our bunches, so it’s got that personal touch.” In place of a pocket square, Righi’s glasses holder rather sweetly blends function with flair by way of his wife’s sewing skills.