The Garmsman Dozen #15: Mirko from Italy

Welcome to the 15th instalment of the “Garmsman Dozen” question and answer session. The response so far has been tremendous. Did you miss earlier ones? There are links at the end of the page.

This week we welcome to the Garmsman Dozen Mirko from Italy!

Who are you, where do you live and what interests you?

Hi there, my name is Mirko aka “the  Dude”, I’m 43 years old and I’m from Rome – Italy. I’m managing two IG feeds, one is @ruggedstyledude and it is a kind of “Rugged Style” manifesto, the other is @the_navyism, focused on vintage USN & USMC garments.

I’m a policeman, working in an anti-counterfeit squad. But my lifetime passions are vintage American clothes and custom English motorcycles

Thinking back to your childhood, what were your most memorable or favourite clothes?

As a child (in the early 80s) every Sunday my granddad “nonno Gino” bring me to his stall in the huge Roman portaportese fleamarket where he sold his paints. Near his stall, there was a used American clothes seller (at that time the term Vintage were not so common). On Sunday morning I found a Vietnam War og107 shirt with a cool patch. That garment was probably the very first vintage item I owned, gifted by my nonno. My granddad passed away some years ago, but I still have the shirt…

How would you describe your style today, and what are your influences?

As my feed name says my style is definitely rugged. I often try to find a definition. Rugged, in my humble opinion, is a mix of styles – military, Workwear, athletic biker with the fil rouge of the great American heritage.

My influences are various and start in the 80s from TV series & movies (above all “Starsky & Hutch” “Magnum P.I.” & “Rocky”). But above all Steve McQueen is my greatest (I know I’m not the only one who takes inspiration from). Then in the 90s, I discovered the Japanese magazine “Free & Easy” that was a kind of Style Bible

How do you think others would describe your style and garments, do you get any reaction from friends and random strangers?

As a policeman my “rugged style” matched with my 70s hairdo & beard makes my colleagues describe me as “Serpico” and to be true I love it. My mom, that was a 60s girl find my style very close to a clochard, and I love it too. Basically, people think that I’m an anticonformist and a bit eccentric. And this is the thing I love the most.

Most garmsmen will have a few “grail items” in their collection. Not to out you, but if your house is burning, which garments do you grab?

Probably I will burn with my wardrobe…

Having a large collection of clothes can lead to changing outfit on a daily basis, but if you were going to wear a single outfit the next two weeks, what would it be?

This is a hard question… but I got it:

Starting from the top, a USN wool watch cap, a chambray shirt with a plain white tee under, a selvedge raw denim (faded by me) my nose art handpainted USAAF A2 flight jacket and Redwing “USMC” roughout boondocker boots. Some Native American jewellery and finally my RayBan aviator sunglasses.

Do you make any of your own clothes?

In 2008 I launched my own brand “Sportswear Reg”. It was an amazing adventure ended in 2013. In few months from my garage, we rented a big office and start selling goodies from Germany to Japan. I did many Clothing fairs but the best one was the 2012 Inspiration LA in Long Beach aboard the luxurious Queen Mary boat.

If your clothes need repairs or alterations, do you do it yourself?

As a vintage collector, many of my garments need tons of repairs. For simple ones my mom is great. For complex ones, I have my a kind of tailors staff. But for boots & leather jacket I love to take care personally. It is a kind of relax for me

When looking for clothes, what factors play into your selections?

If I had to choose clothes as needed I guess I don’t need garments until I die. But my approach is completely emotional. Chambrays, selvedge denim and US WW2 jackets are never enough… I hate chain stores and massified productions and I hate what is defined “seasonal fashionable”

Are you budget-conscious or spendthrift?

I’m definitely a spendthrift! But I can I do to not buy on eBay a 40s handpainted flight jacket of my exact size?!?! Buying clothes for thirty years, my targets actually are a single maybe expensive garment. Most of them are vintage, that is also eco-friendly

What would you never wear?

I’m from Italy, and my country is worldwide famous for the fashion industry. But, as a rugged style lover, I’m a stranger in my house. There are so many “very Italian garments” that I really dislike as Hogan shoes or Jeckerson pants. But above all, I really hate the man-purse. It’s my Kryptonite

Do you have a dream garment you’d love to own?

To be true there are many “dream garments” on my wish list. On the top the USN “NAF” crew deck jacket in khaki colour and a 50s Buco Horsehide “Dpocket” motorcycle jacket. But it is only a matter of time

Does your interest in clothes influence other aspects of your life?

Clothes are for me a 360 degrees experience. Also, my motorcycle is a kind of clothing accessory. My passion for clothes pushes me to make always new projects. So after the brand and the Instagram feed I’m working on an editorial project; a photographic book focused on WW2 US jackets (from mine and my friend @onanysunday40 collections). First part is a kind of “Japanese mook” catalogue and the second part is made by glamour shots of rugged guys rockin’ these jackets with cool outfits with all the locations here in Rome.
And also soon will be ready @the_navyism first “limited edition tee” for the crew…
Thank you, Mirko!
You can find Mirko’s Instagram at @ruggedstyledude

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