Luxury living is a term that can’t be used loosely—it is sacred and attributed to only the uber-rich who can drop $5,000 on a pair of Stefano Ricci crocodile sneakers or $2,000 on matte crocodile sunglasses. A family-owned business, Stefano Ricci has outfitted oligarchs, oil scions in the Middle East, Hollywood celebs like Tom Cruise, and world leaders like Nelson Mandela. The 100% “Made In Italy” luxury menswear brand prides itself on its Florentine heritage and its old-world business ethos. The family business was founded by Stefano Ricci and his wife Claudia. Today, their sons are part of this successful luxury brand, with Niccolo Ricci as the CEO and Filippo Ricci as the creative director. In an exclusive interview with Guardian 20, Filippo Ricci speaks about the brand, why it appeals to the 0.01% and their plans for India.

Q. What is the USP of the Stefano Ricci brand?

A. We manufacture authentic 100% made-in-Italy products, with an absolute quality and without making any compromises. They express the value of craftsmanship and are never discounted or placed in an outlet. They can be described in a word: unique.

Q. Fashion is constantly evolving. How does Stefano Ricci create new fashion trends in luxury menswear?

A. My family does not produce fast fashion, but real luxury products. As I have always said, our secret recipe consists of innovation respecting tradition, a time-honoured knowledge. We do not, therefore, create trends, but we consolidate the perception of elegance at its highest level. Obviously, in every collection, there are elements of novelty, starting with a fresher line, where comfort, however, commands the shape.

Stefano Ricci SS menswear collection.

Q. Are Indian fabrics influencing the Stefano Ricci menswear collection?

A. Cotton and silk have always been our reference points, even if, as I have already mentioned, our production is 100% made in Italy. Yet, we do carefully follow the best Indian productions. What influences us, from this extraordinary country, is the attitude towards beauty, the balance of extremes when using colours and the design.

Q. With the uber rich among your clients, how easy or difficult is it to cater to their fashion needs?

A. We establish a direct relationship with our client, which of course accommodates to his needs, but which also allows us to make suggestions that will enhance his image. The Stefano Ricci client is the master of himself in every moment of the day, from official work meetings to leisure time, from formal occasions to exclusive evenings.

Q. Why was the Stefano Ricci Home division created?

A. To respond to the requests of some top clients. We were increasingly asked to customise their homes, yachts and private aircraft. Born as a tableware line, SR HOME today is the natural extension of the lifestyle concept.

SR HOME Classic Line Crown.

Q. Tell us about the yacht interiors and Stefano Ricci.

A. This is one of the most exciting chapters of this period. In fact, for five years we have been involved in the preparation of superyacht projects. We began with a pilot project, entrusting ourselves to a Florentine designer, Luca Dini, from which the collaborations evolved. A significant quantity of Stefano Ricci clients requires that the interiors of their yachts are chosen with the same care that is reserved for the type of engine, or the aesthetics of the boat. Along with the client, we are able to define the type of wood, our Californian briar-root wood, the details in travertine or pietra serena stone, the furnishing fabrics and personalised elements. This differentiates a superyacht from the products that are currently found on the market.

Q. What are your plans for India in 2018?

A. After opening in Mumbai and considering the support of our Indian clientele who travel across international capitals, we have decided to double our presence in the country with an upcoming inauguration in New Delhi. These are investments that attest to an increasingly important relationship with these customers who appreciate the real meaning of luxury and elegance.