Christopher Bates is known for his cheeky red lipstick stain on the collar of his shirts, but his brand is serious about quality. His Milanese style and Italian craftsmanship seeps from his fabrics, designs and sensibility. Christopher Bates’ personal style embodies his brand, combining North American sleekness with Italian quality.
However, fashion wasn’t always in the cards for this Canadian designer. He grew up in Vancouver and worked in marketing, before he realised he wanted to make his design dreams a reality. After studying at the Istituto Marangoni in Milan, he returned in 2014 and came full circle establishing his headquarters in the world’s fashion capital.
But why Milan? Aside from the irrefutably stylish way the Milanese carry themselves on the sidewalks they treat as catwalks, what makes Milan special to Bates? It comes down to “la dolce vita.”
“I’m constantly stimulated by living and working in Milan and Italy in general. I find inspiration in architecture, automotive design, interior and furniture design, food and wine, art, history, and the Italian ‘dolce vita’ lifestyle in general.”
It is a good time to be in Milan right now. With the blending of old and new, neighbourhoods capture old Italian romance with a contemporary flare. We asked Christopher Bates what Milan neighbourhood he would be.
“I would say Brera for sure. It’s got such a cool vibe with all the boutiques, restaurants, beautiful side streets, and young people. Definitely my favourite part of town.”
When he’s not spending his time at the luxe retail street, Via Montenapoleone- you can find Christopher at his favourite and calm Milan spot.
“I’m particularly fond of the garden lounge at the Hotel Bvlgari. It’s so tranquil it makes you forget you are in the centre of a city.”
There’s also the undeniable quality that is associated with Italian fashion. One can’t help but imagine a man in his sixties slaving over the perfect stitching and fit of a suit when they think of Italian tailoring. That’s why Christopher Bates is so passionate about having his garments produced in Milan.
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“The Italian materials and craftsmanship are the best in the world. When you combine these elements you can create products that are genuinely special.”
When you wear a Christopher Bates suit you are wearing the Italian lifestyle that comes along with it. His clothing personifies Italian attention to quality and details, and with an outfit change you have the ability to become the chic Milanese man you thought were only reserved for posts on the Sartoralist.
In combination with dressing Hollywood’s elite to designing the global uniforms for Air Canada - one of the world's most famous airlines- 2017 is an exciting year for Christopher Bates. You can find his clothing in select Italian and Canadian shops listed here.
For more interviews, visit the LUXOS People page.