Antonio Ciongoli and two looks from the Eidos spring/summer line

With his signature popped collar and sockless loafers, Antonio Ciongoli made a name for himself working for pillars of prep like Vineyard Vines, Polo Ralph Lauren and Michael Bastian. Now, he’s taking over the world of Italian tailoring on his own. After being hired by ISAIA Napoli in early 2013 to bring Neapolitan tailoring to a younger generation, Ciongoli launched Eidos Napoli. The line, made entirely in Italy, features everything from denim and knitwear to full suiting at affordable prices. Available at a quickly growing list of high-end retailers such as Bloomingdales and Carson Street Clothiers, his vision of Italian prep is the future. Fresh off a plane from shooting his fall/winter campaign in Italy, he answered our Style Questionnaire.

Name: Antonio K. Ciongoli
Current Residence: Shrewsbury, NJ
Hometown: Burlington, VT
Occupation: Creative Director, Eidos Napoli

Describe your style in three words.
New England Neapolitan.

Are there any style combinations that you dislike?
A really stylish person can make anything look great but fellas that try to run point-collar shirts, with or without a tie, are fighting an uphill battle.

Who had the biggest influence on your style?
My father. He was an Italian from South Philadelphia that went to the University of Pennsylvania during its Ivy Style heyday of the early ’60s. I grew up watching him throw an L.L. Bean barn coat over Zegna suiting and combining a Ben Silver bowtie with a Borrelli spread-collar shirt. That was my starting point.

The most stylish guys I know are confident in who they are.

If you could have one piece of clothing from your childhood, what would it be?
My childhood was completely dominated by skateboarding, and with that in mind I’d love to have back my first pair DC Lynx skate shoes from the late ’90s in the gray, orange and navy colorway. I’m not a sneaker guy, but I still skate when I can find the time, and no shoe has ever come close to skating as well as those.

Name a celebrity whose style you admire.
It’s all been downhill since Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy! (Photo courtesy sammy-davisjr.com)

What are three pieces that every man should have in his closet?
Outside of the obvious blue-blazery type answers, I think every guy would be happier in their life if they owned a chunky shawl-collar cardigan (think Sunday paper and coffee), white jeans (shockingly versatile, no matter the season) and a pair of slippers that have seen better days, because they’re better that way.

What is one thing guys can do to improve their style?
Wear the things you like, and don’t worry about what other people think. The most stylish guys I know are confident in who they are, and what they wear is an extension of that.

What stores or websites do you frequent?
I love the British Cottage in Red Bank, NJ, for vintage home goods—I’ve probably furnished 80 percent of our showroom from that one store. I’m in Italy frequently for work these days, and if I’m in Florence, I never miss Dexter, a tiny shop on the Oltrarno that has great men’s accessories and a beautiful women’s collection. I can always count on them to have the perfect gift for my wife. When I’m in NYC you can find me in the Eidos shop-in-shop buying all of the things from our collection that I didn’t sample in my size.

Another look from the Eidos spring/summer line

What is one thing that is always worth splurging on?
A well-tailored dark navy suit. I can’t stress this enough. No color is more flattering for every skin tone. Insist on a full canvas construction so that the jacket will mold to your form and get better the more you wear it.

What trend would you like to see disappear?
I’m looking forward to moving past black.

When you want to make a good impression, what do you wear?
That navy suit I was talking about before with a blue and white striped spread-collar shirt and a midnight knit tie. I’ve found the most refined things are often the most simple.