The Wizardry Of Robert Rabensteiner

If there was ever a man to live vicariously through, it would be Robert Rabensteiner. The Milan-based fashion editor of L’Uomo Vogue has lead the Italian version of Men’s Vogue to not only survive, but thrive where it’s stateside counterpart failed. An icon within the menswear community, he has worked alongside some of the Industry's biggest names—case in point: His epic model turn in MP Massimo Piombo's latest lookbook. And, Of course, there is Rabensteiner’s title as a bonafide streetstyle king, topped off by his signature circular frames in lieu of a crown. Over the years Rabensteiner has become a favorite subject for The Sartorialist, Tommy Ton the scores of trickle down bloggers that follow these sites like the word of god himself. Nick Wooster has his short suits and Black Fleece brogues, Justin Doss can seemingly never wear an article of clothing twice, John Wrazej has that whole mysterious thing going for him considering he only comes out into the daylight twice a year, but what makes Rabensteiner an icon, not only in the eyes of street style photographers, but to the menswear community at large, is that he’s the swami of men’s style.

Season after season, Rabensteiner makes his round in Florence, Milan and Paris, armed with the enviable ability to predict the future. Those floppy hats and shawls that all those fresh-faced twenty-somethings were wearing while they dragged on unfiltered cigarettes for the cobblestone paps this year at Pitti? Yeah, your boy Rabensteiner was already pulling off that look. Three years ago. I don’t need to tell you that traditional menswear is glacially slow when it comes to evolution, but over the past few years, it seems that we’re on a bit of an accelerated course, with trends popping up and sticking around with far greater frequency than ever before.

Allow me to take this moment and gloat on Rabensteiner’s behalf, because at this moment there’s no man dictating what the rest of us are wearing more than R squared. Between now and the close of New York Fashion Week in just about a month's time, there’s going to be an outpouring of street style images popping up. To avoid any confusion between who's bringing that new, new and who's just biting the god, here’s a primer for all the waves that Rabensteiner’s already been had for years. And of course, be sure to check out what RR is wearing this year because you better start saving up those pesos now so you can follow suit in 2016.

Jake Gallagher is a writer living in New York. Read his blog, Wax Wane, here and follow him on Twitter here.

  • Richard


  • Eric

    Umm…ever hear of Gandhi, or for that matter any other significant male from the Indian Subcontinent? While India is no sprezz hub, it has given the world of menswear a million things for which it gets little credit, including the idea of wearing a shawl when it’s cold outside.

  • Dan

    Photo 7 of 8 is a lesson in panache, gravitas, and most importantly, having your own style. That’s an amazing look that represents who he is so well.

  • francesco

    Those 2 guyz in the last pitti editions were ridicolous copying Robert’s hat: such a particular hats should stay on the head of first person who dared such look, especially for people hanging around fashion places as those 2 guyz who worn like this just to be spotted by some photographers. What a shame copying someone else style in this way

  • mo

    You forget he did goth first too doe

  • Josh

    Good read. I’ve definitely seen this guy evolve since I first saw him trendsetting on the sartorialist in ’07.