Ilaria Urbinati is the mind behind some of Hollywood’s best-dressed men. The high-profile individuals and public figures that she works with – including actors Chris Evans, Rami Malek and Armie Hammer – are frequently seen wearing the latest London Sock Company styles. Ilaria’s approach to style, which can be bold, playful and timeless all at once, led to a collaboration and design of 12 exclusive new socks, The Hollywood Collection. We sat down with Ilaria to discuss her work, the collection and how she would style these bold new designs.
Which client is the most open-minded when it comes to your styling suggestions?
They are all pretty great and collaborative. I always joke that the ones who trust me the most end up looking the best. As they say, “Hire someone you trust, then get out of their way.” But it does need to be a team effort, as, at the end of the day, they are the ones who have to wear it.
How do you think men’s style has evolved since you started working in this realm?
It’s incredible how men’s fashion has changed. Men are a thousand times more adventurous now, and looking to evolve their style more than ever [but] it needs to feel authentic. Men can be competitive, so if they see another guy trying something new, they want to push the envelope themselves.
How can socks transform a look?
I’ve been big into the sock game for a long time. That’s why working with London Sock Company is such a natural collaboration. I keep hundreds of socks in stock at my studio and every single outfit gets a special pair. I love nothing more than a good sock shot in a photo.
Where do you get inspiration for your looks?
Magazines, I look at all of the GQs from various countries, at old vintage photos and musicians. Also, movies. I was watching Rain Man the other day and I just love how Tom Cruise’s character wears a ring on both his pinky and his ring finger – it draws the eye to the hand.
How would you describe your London Sock Company collection?
There were certain things that as a stylist that I either needed or wanted that I haven’t been able to get my hands on easily, which I have been able to create with London Sock Company, such as The Tuxedo Collection. [I wanted] a black dress sock, but with just a little bit of interest to it. Similarly, with The Fall Collection, you don’t see too many brown socks around but I’m really into 70s’ style and felt that it was time for some cool brown socks. They’re great with greens, maroons, blues, and autumnal colours and perfect with winter fabrics like tweed or herringbone.
How would you style the florals?
The florals are the brightest designs and the most spring-friendly ones. These would be great with all shades of blues, all those guys rocking the desert pinks and purples and greys. And any kind of linen or cotton. Then again, I do like the idea of the contrast with a wintery fabric and the florals.
And the vintage-inspired motifs?
The 70s Vintage Collection is really for your guy who is into patterns that aren’t the usual argyles or stripes… I love these because they pop, but the colours are still muted so they’re not obnoxious. These styles are for an adventurous sock guy, but still quite wearable and can go with anything.
How do you use London Sock Company socks as an element in constructing your looks?
The socks are the last thing I choose. I pick them carefully around the colour and vibe of the outfit and the setting of the event my client is going to, be it sitting down on a talk show or a walking shot on a red carpet.
Why are stylish socks like these an important detail?
There is just something about that little pop of colour. That great walking shot with a little blast of pattern or a shock of colour that makes the outfit that much cooler. Or when you see a guy sit down and suddenly you see he’s got cool socks on – especially well made chic socks like London Sock Company socks – you automatically feel like this is a guy who knows what’s up in the men’s style game.
Discover the full London Sock Company x Ilaria Urbinati here.