He is one of the founders of the Letasca brand, an international success, which in just a few seasons has managed to enter the most important multi-brand stores in the world. Elbio Bonsaglio is, however, also one of the best-known Italian models, which has been shown for the most important brands and shot with famous names in photography. Followed on social networks, he tells us more about his world between Instagram and travel.
How did you come to the model profession?
In reality, it was a rather unusual journey. I studied at Bocconi, Business Administration, I graduated and started working in a communication studio as an account and in six months, the time of an internship, I realized that I would not have endured living my life behind a computer and that I wanted to travel. During a fashion week, just towards the end of this work, I was stopped several times by people asking me if I wanted to be a model, for the third time, frustrated by my work situation, I agreed to go for an interview and from there it all started.
Now no longer a model, but an influencer thanks to social media, and other activities. How did this step happen and when did you also become a designer?
The change to an influencer was unconscious. I have never had a blog and I never thought that I could influence someone, I always tried to be myself on social media, posting on Instagram what I was doing, my passions, such as boxing, or my travels. Perhaps, because I was a model first and now I also have my brand, people became curious and started following me. Then, I want to clarify that of Letasca I am not the designer, that part is followed by my partner, I deal with public relations, sales, relations with stakeholders, aspects that I feel most mine and are closer to my studies. Even the adventure of the brand began a bit for fun, I approached the thirty, and the role of the only model was a bit tight, my partner had just finished his studies in architecture, we had an idea, we carried on with enthusiasm, but I did not expect Letasca to end up at Harrods, Selfridges and Saks in a short time.
Speaking of your world on social media, how many of your suggestions and images are sincere and not sponsored?
My Instagram tells a lot about me, even through stories. There is so much of what my humor is, my way of joking, what I do every day. The sponsorships are not many, most of my time and my attention are dedicated to Letasca, but even in this case, I am always very sincere. How do you see the evolution of the social world and the role of the influencer? What do you think is the social network of the future? Does the influencer profession have an expiration date? Consider that many of the contemporary brands, which you now find in a large department store, would not exist, or would not have had the great success they had if there had been no Instagram. And thanks to this social, in a very democratic way, anyone could become an influencer. This is positive, but also negative, because those who have become qualitatively influencers are not always at high levels. Once you had to do a certain path to become a fashion guru, have studies behind you, a certain kind of taste. Now no more and this is the reason why many criticize the apps and the world they helped to form. The future is difficult to predict, the present of fashion is certainly in the hands of those who manage to create interest around a brand. At the moment I don’t see the expiry date as an influencer.
The negative side of your profession, if there is one.
It’s a profession for a long time. We are very pampered, we are considered cool, we sometimes do things that others would pay to do. In all this, there is a negative side, that is, that you completely greet your privacy. Sometimes I envy those who can stay a whole week on vacation without ever touching the phone.
Do you have a style tip to share with our readers?
Always expressing their facets and tastes. Try not to be approved, but to show what characterizes you. Here too, social media are democratic, because you can stand out and be honest. I think the best way to show off is not to be obsessed with the desire for pleasure, but to be lighter and not built.
Which city has remained in your heart? Do you have a favorite place that advises us?
I travel a lot for work, so there are so many places I love, like New York, which has a unique energy, and Ibiza. The latter because I love electronic music, of which Ibiza is a bit of a nerve center. And it is also a great compromise for me because there are also fantastic restaurants, if you go out on the boat you can easily reach Formentera and beautiful beaches. Then I remember being very well in Sydney, perhaps because it is a type of city that I was not used to, with its beaches and the heat all year round.
Milan: where to eat, where to have an aperitif, the place you like best?
Milan is my city, the one where I was born and raised, so it is not the place where I exceed or do any madness, I know it too well and I lived it so much in the past, I see it with a different eye than those who arrives to study or attracted by the many possibilities. I no longer have the spirit to live the nightlife, which I can do when I’m on vacation. I love the aperitif time, a winter red wine and a summer beer, but even more so to eat. And there are some typical Milanese places that I recommend, like Al Matarel, where they make the best hole in the world. One of the places I frequent is the Volt, where I go to greet my friend Claudio Antonioli, who is one of the founders.
Who are you beyond your profession, what other loves do you have?
I have already told you about my love for electronic music and then when I can, I try to see contemporary art exhibitions, I recently loved Basquiat’s. The fact that a part of Letasca is particularly linked to travel is because I love traveling a lot, I love the idea of adventure and discovery that travel takes with it. Comparing oneself with different cultures is very stimulating. I like everything about boxing, the training, the confrontation with the adversary, the fact that it is a tough sport for men. If done respecting the rules and the opponent is a wonderful sport discipline.
Photo: Ryan Simo
Grooming: Susanna Mazzola
Photo assistant: Alessandro Chiorri
Stylist assistants: Verena Kohl, Paula Anuska, Cristina Florence Galati
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