Sensible Design
 
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At 7408 Beverly Boulevard, there is the only Los Angeles destination that anyone with a penchant for mid-century Italian furniture and design needs to know about. Founded and curated by Maurizio Almanza, MA+39 offers a fresh and eclectic spin on the Italian mid century masters while integrating Almanza's custom pieces and "oggetti" from current and relevant talent.

Since the esthetic that Maurizio curates in his store coincides perfectly in that which is represented through Denis Frison clothing and styling, it didn’t take long for a synergy to develop between the two businesses and for a friendship to flourish between Denis and Maurizio.

Today, we sat down with Maurizio to hear more about his story and his unwaveringly refined taste.

 
 
Tell us about Maurizio Almanza – who is he? Where is he from? How did he end up in LA?

I was born and raised in Rome, which was my home until 1999 when I met my ex-wife who was from Los Angeles.  After two years of marriage, my wife, our daughter and I were tired of our usual routine and decided to try out a new adventure.  We moved to the US, where we gave ourselves a year to pursue our passion for Italian interior design.  After learning a new language and a new culture, and overcoming a few obstacles, I managed to create my dream store, originally called “eccola,” and later renamed to the current “ma+39”. 

 The store’s focus is centered on the most important Italian designers from the 1950s – 1980s like Ponti, Fontana and many others. When I perceive a common denominator between pieces, it’s not uncommon for me to match these mid-century designs to antique or even contemporary pieces!

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Your store is a true landmark in Los Angeles for those who are passionate about interior design. You have an amazing ability to mix a mid-century Italian esthetic with both ancient and contemporary elements. What is it that informs your sense of good taste? What common elements to you find in the Denis Frison brand?

The relationship between simplicity and detail is the greatest influence in my sensibility for design.  I search for clean lines that at the same time have soul and transmit emotion. This balance is what, for me, makes things timeless.

I actually find these characteristics reflected in the Denis Frison brand: simple silhouettes, but special attention dedicated to important details like the selection of fabrics and in the study of seemingly minimal details that make each suit a distinctive piece representative of a brand.

 
How would you describe Denis?

A way to describe Denis?... Pretty hard to sum it up with just one word.  He is certainly an extraordinarily creative person; he is reserved and modest, despite the fact that he dressed many big names from cinema and public personalities.

Denis is certainly someone who I’d trust my image with.


 
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What he’s wearing

A two button blazer made of a mid-grey worsted wool herringbone fabric. Maurizio chose to style this blazer with classic details, such as a notch lapel, dark horn buttons and two flap pockets with a “barchetta” chest pocket.

 
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Modern Day Dandy
 
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Building the “Denis Frison” brand is an experience that has brought me to meet countless people in the farthest reaches of the world. No matter where I am, whether in Monte Carlo, Los Angeles, Japan, New York or, my hometown, Milan, I meet people who are in search of expressing the essence of themselves through their wardrobe. It’s my role as the designer to mediate this process.

Sometimes, though, you meet people like LA-based artist, Andy Dixon - people who have such a deep understanding of their sense of self, and a profound awareness of esthetic, color and form. When this happens, and you get us together in a room, the possibilities are truly boundless.

I recently visited Andy in his LA studio to chat about his point of view as a quickly rising star in the LA art scene… I hope you enjoy!

 
 
Who is Andy Dixon?
 

I'm an artist based out of Los Angeles who is interested in exploring the taboo relationship between art and luxury.

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Our passion for art is one of the first things we connected over. Tell us about your story and why you decided to move to LA.
 
 

I actually spent my teens and twenties making music more than visual art but was always painting as a hobby. Eventually I decided that making visual art is what fulfilled me most and made the switch, moving to New York for a brief time from Vancouver, Canada, where I was born and raised. Once my work visa expired and I had to return to Canada to renew it, I started thinking about living in LA as opposed to returning to New York. Los Angeles is closer to my family, a little more affordable, the weather is better, and it just felt like something really special was happening there in the arts. I'm happy with my choice to do so and am really falling in love with Los Angeles.

 
 
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tell us about how you view denis Frison as a brand.
 

I really connect to Denis Frison and his brand - I think we share similar tastes in Italian tailoring and I love that it's both referential to classic tailoring but also uniquely modern in the details and fabric choices. This juxtaposition of old and new is similar to what I do in my own work.

 
 
 
 
What about your style?.... Your passion for Italian tailoring and the idea to wear a colorful suits?

I've always been interested in colour. From a very young age, I remember playing with colour blocking - mismatching the lids to my felt pens, combining certain coloured lego blocks, etc. In the same way that a chef would say two spices become greater than the sum of their individual parts, I see the same thing with colour combinations. The dream is to wear the same silhouette every day allowing me to play with colour.

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Back in the day artists used to wear tailored clothing, today the relationship between art and elegance is changed, tell us about your idea of incorporating tailored silhouettes in a contemporary style.

I think my style references the past you're talking about, when garments weren't just bought off the rack and things were made specifically for an individual to capture their personal spirit. But my style also pushes contemporary ideas of masculine and feminine and what colours are considered appropriate by societal standards. I supposed it's a kind of modern day dandyism.

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who’s denis for you as a person behind the brand?

Denis is a uniquely creative person. He is not only an exceptional tailor but also a true artist himself.


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What he’s wearing

A vintage cotton/linen denim suit featuring a classic Denis Frison detail configuration: two covered buttons with peak lapels on the jacket, and trousers with a single pleat, a 14cm extended waistband and 4cm cuffs.

 
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The Man at "Downtown"
 
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In New York, when it comes time to decide where to eat, you really have just two choices: any restaurant, or Cipriani Downtown. At Denis Frison, we tend to choose Cipriani.

We recently met with Federico Contu, Manager of Cipriani Downtown, for an espresso and chatted about his outlook on life in New York, his career and his view on luxury.

 
 
 
Who is Federico Contu?

Federico Contu is a person who made it on his own. He is a chameleon who is capable of adapting to any country or situation, as needed.

The success I have had in my career is due to my disciplined approach and my ability to understand people.

I’ve never been much of a talker, I prefer to “do”… and that is what makes me a manager.

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What is does luxury mean to you?
 

To me, luxury represents a devotion to first class quality in every detail. Luxury is forever; it’s that x-factory that allows someone or something reach great heights. Most of all, Luxury is not necessarily tied to a brand - it’s a way of living, a way of understanding.

Tell us... what does New York mean to you?

It’s not easy for me to describe… New York is “all against all,” but… all together.

 
 
Who is Denis for you? As a Designer and as the man behind the brand?

The Denis Frison brand represents the iconic Italian class of days gone by; the creation of unique products with fantastic cuts that flatter a man’s build in every way. I will always dress Denis Frison!

Denis himself is a gentleman. He is a clothier, but most of all, he is a man with very clear ideas. He is a straight to the chase kind of guy who is very qualified in what he does.

Over time, Denis became a friend that I will always be faithful to.


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What he’s wearing

A dusty navy worsted wool suit with khaki pinstripes. Federico chose to style this suit with a double breasted blazer featuring covered buttons and single pleat trousers with a signature Denis Frison “fascione” extended 6cm waistband.

 
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Il Cavallino Rampante
 
 

The silhouette of a rearing racehorse framed in a yellow field. Above it, “la striscia tricolori”: the green, white and red of the Italian flag. Below it, “Ferrari” written in uniquely distinctive block lettering. It’s an unmistakable symbol of excellence, quality, innovation, design, speed Italian culture… In short, everything that we are passionate about at Denis Frison.

Today, we are glad to share a bit of our recent conversation with Amir Sadrieh, Sales Manager of Ferrari Beverly and proud patron of Denis Frison.

 
 
Who is Amir Sadrieh?

“Amir Sadrieh... Classy, competitor, stylish, over achiever, and won’t settle for anything but the best.”

Our passion for cars is one of the first things we connected over. Tell us about your relationship with Ferrari and what it means for you to be part of the family of the world’s greatest brand in the automotive industry.

“Ferrari... I live the brand. It is the most respected brand in the industry; I love everything that it offers. When you are able to understand there is no better automobile you will then understand Ferrari! It’s kind of like the government... you have to trust every decision they make.”

 
 
 
Your style is always delicately balanced between classic and contemporary, LA and Milan. What about the Denis Frison brand made you decide to trust us with executing your sartorial vision?

“My connection with Denis was very similar to Ferrari: we know you can’t re-invent clothing, but what I saw in Denis was that you can perfect it. The perfect suit, the perfect blazer, timeless pieces that will always have a presence.”

Who is Denis for you? As a designer and as the man behind the brand?

“Denis is first a friend; someone I’m honored to call a friend. When you have as much talent as Denis does in couture and you meet people like myself who dress pretty stylish. the slightest influence of his style made me dress even better! He’s truly a class act!”

 

 
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What he’s wearing:

A slate grey worsted wool glen plaid suit featuring a purple overcheck. Amir chose to style this suit with a 2 button notch lapel blazer and flat front trousers with a signature Denis Frison extended waistband.

 
Our Collectors22byDF
Creative, Inspiring, Italian
 
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Some people are just different - they have contagious energy. It fills you with an excitement for the future akin to when you are on the first leg of a much anticipated road trip, or strapped into a jetliner on your way to a never-before-visited destination. They have a certain twinkle in their eye when they discuss beautiful things like inspiring others, or building community - it fills them with a palpable enthusiasm that swells their chests (and inevitably yours) with excitement…

Mauro Porcini is one of those people.

Since arriving in New York a few short years ago as the first-ever Chief Design Officer of Pepso-Co, Italian-born Porcini’s name has become synonymous among the New York business community with creativity, inspiration and leadership. Over the past six years, Mauro has led his team to winning 800 design and innovation awards as they have infused design thinking into PepsiCo’s culture and led a new approach to innovation by design that impacts the company’s product platforms and brands (Pepsi, Lay’s, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Tropicana, Doritos, Cheetos, Quaker, Aquafina, Lifewtr, Naked and SunChips, amongst many others).

We consider ourselves fortunate to count Mauro among our clients, and had the distinct pleasure of meeting him in his New York office to learn more about the innate energy that drives this creative executive.

Scroll down for some clips from our conversation.

 
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What is it like to be a creative mind in a corporate structure?
 
Tell us about your relationship with Denis Frison.
 
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Thank you, Mauro, for sharing your passion and inspiring us with your special vision!

 
 
 
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What he’s wearing:

A wool/silk hopsack blazer with signature Denis Frison details: Peak lapels and Covered buttons!

 
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