Introducing the first ever fashion spotlight from the Gonzaga in Florence program: Professor Alessandro Pazzaglia, who currently teaches Operations Management and serves on the faculty as Business Manager. Raised in Cortona, a small town famous for the filming of Under the Tuscan Sun, Alessandro began teaching at GIF as an Adjunct Instructor of Business in January of 2002 after graduating with multiple degrees in Business Economics from Bocconi University in Milan. This Tuscany native is known and loved by his students for suiting up (every day, without fail) to school, his fearlessness to bluntly call on (and call out) students in class, his persistence in helping confused students obtain their Permesso di Soggiorno (Permission to Stay), and his Italian expressions. Justo. His care for students is always apparent, but exceedingly shines through in his daily “work outfits”. Va bene!
SO: Can you describe your usual everyday style/look?
AP: My style or look is totally different according to what I am supposed to be doing during the week. I have two different styles: “Work outfits” and “Casual outfits.” During the week, and when I come to work, I usually wear a suit with a dress shirt and tie. On weekends and when I go out at night (not that much anymore) I always wear comfortable and casual clothes.
SO: What is your fashion philosophy?
AP: I do not know if fashion and philosophy get along that much. If for philosophy you mean, my point of view on fashion, I must say that fashion changes with society. It usually reflects what values that a society has at a specific point in history. The way people dress and look is what they think and what want to be expressed. In my particular opinion, fashion is my way to respect others. I usually wear a suit to come to work not for the purpose of “intimidating” students, but to respect them. Showing a certain classic style is not to create a distance from students, but instead a way to make them feel that they are in a professional environment. The bottom line is that if you show order and professionalism in an institution like Gonzaga-in-Florence, students perceive this as a professional workplace. In Italy we say that “l’abito non fa il Monaco” “The gown does not make the friar” or “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but in my opinion it DOES!
SO: Have you ever heard the term, “suit up” from the famous American sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother”?
AP: No, I don’t know what the h… you are talking about…
SO: What key piece could you never live without?
AP: Eye glasses or contact lenses, because without them I could mistake a cow for a car… (Does this make sense? Whatever….)
SO: Walk me through the outfit you are wearing now.
AP: Today I am wearing: black shoes, blue socks, navy blue suit, black belt, light blue shirt and a blue tie with polka dots.
SO: How often do you go shopping, and where is your favorite place to shop in Italy?
AP: I usually shop during sales, since I do not think that it is needed to spend a lot of money on clothes, when it is possible to pay less during certain times of the year (sales in Italy are in January and February for winter clothes and July for summer clothes).
SO: What is your go to color?
AP: As you can tell from above, my preferred color is blue, especially blue navy. Colors have a visual impact and scientifically they have a psychological effect on a person. The color blue transmits tranquility and peace of mind and this is something that I like to transmit… or not? Can’t you tell? (Am I lying?).
SO: What’s the biggest difference you notice between American and European fashion? (…between Italian students fashion and American students fashion?)
AP: Italians put a lot of attention to details, and they also wear certain clothes to “show off” the body and forms. Italians conform more with what the fashion “dictates.” To me it seems that Americans are more relaxed and they do not care if something does not match with the other pieces they are wearing.
SO: Have you noticed any emerging fashion trends in Italy that us Americans should be aware of?
AP: Somehow, it is all the way around…but with some “Italian taste.”
SO: What or who is your fashion inspiration/idol?
AP: Do not have one…
SO: What is your favorite student winter style you are seeing on campus this semester?
AP: Anybody who shows a particular personality. There are many students that show their own personality. What I usually like is not only what is worn by a person (a student in this case), but how it is worn. The “talking outfit” is the best way to be fashion(ist)!!!
SO: Not fashion related, but what’s your favorite part about teaching GIF students?
AP: Serving as the administrator of such an Institution and being a teacher gives me the possibility of being around young adults, which are “full of life”. The best part of being around students in fact, keeps you mentally young, always up-to-date with new things and with new life styles; it is at times very challenging, because with good things also bad things are “around the corner”, but this is marginal compared with the personal growth that new generations are able to bring. Being around students of the age of 20 years or so make me feel young and being at GIF makes me feel a sense of community that does not end when students return to the US.
Grazie mille for taking your time to talk with GU Style Spotlight, Professor Alessandro! If you are a fashionista on campus…trend-setter… trend-follower…anyone who takes a liking to what they put on when they wake up in the morning…or know of anyone who would be interested in talking fashion with us, we invite you to reach out to the GUBB staff and we would love to sit down with you!