Alvaro Maggini on Madonna, Milan and his handmade Japanese jeans and jacket
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My personal style signifier is my watch, a 42mm gold Panerai Luminor Due. I am a Swiss “machine”: time is precious. This watch is significant because it marks a new chapter in my working relationship with Jean-Marc Pontroué, after the period we spent together at Roger Dubuis, and it expresses my dual origins: Italian and Swiss. Similar style £18,700; panerai.com
The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of handmade jeans and a denim jacket by the Japanese designer Momotaro. I love the fit and the cut. They make me feel like a movie star. Similar styles, from £205; Rivet and Hide, rivetandhide.com. momotaro.design
A recent “find” is Henne Kirkeby Kro, one of Denmark’s best restaurants. What really impressed me was the tasting-menu formula of 10 amazing dishes combined with 10 different glasses of excellent wine – each was a unique and unforgettable combination. We were at the table for five hours. Evening menu, DKr1,395 (about £170); hennekirkebykro.dk
The grooming staple I’m never without is Vétiver Extraordinaire by Frédéric Malle. It’s completely understated. Malle considers himself a “perfume publisher” rather than a perfumer, and I love his approach of putting the talented perfumers forward and focusing entirely on uncompromising quality – he’s like no other. £200 for 100ml EDP; fredericmalle.co.uk
The best gift I’ve given recently was a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Duetto, a birthday present for a beloved friend. It has two distinct faces so the wearer can change styles whenever they like. Similar styles, from £8,300; jaeger-lecoultre.com
And the best one I’ve received recently is one given to me by my Parisian “muse”: it’s the Boucle bracelet in platinum by French jeweller Goossens – part of the Chanel maison. It’s a boldly modern art deco piece, on the edge between art and goldsmithing. It was custom-made for me in platinum, which I love – you can’t tell by looking what it is, so only you know that it’s precious. Similar styles, from €290; goossens-paris.com
Something I would never part with is a pair of combat boots from the early ’90s made by Jil Sander. They’re brown, which is no longer my colour, but at least once a year I find a combination to go with them – because I love them. jilsander.com
The last music I bought was the Madame X album by Madonna. She piqued my interest again with this album because the last two did not really work for me. Her eclecticism has always fascinated me and her ability to reinvent herself is amazing. From £7.89; amazon.co.uk
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Hunting the Truth: Memoirs of Beate and Serge Klarsfeld. I’m more interested in historical facts than fiction writing. We can never hear enough about the Holocaust, and seeing the news – that there are still extreme-right groups out there with their ideas and convictions – sends a shiver down my spine. I am completely anti-violence. £12.99; waterstones.com
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Kwok Hoi Chan. I love very round shapes, tubes and 1970s vintage – nothing too colourful – and objects that are not only beautiful but functional too. His chairs are just impeccable. From about £1,500; 1stdibs.co.uk
My grooming and wellbeing gurus are my personal trainers. I am currently living between three cities – Milan, Geneva and Megève – and I have a personal trainer in each one. Going to the gym relieves stress, improves my memory, helps me sleep better, and gives my mood and body an overall boost. I have Francesco Russo in Milan, Gabriel Stevens in Geneva – for Pilates and yoga – and Clement Makiello in Megève. I try to do a minimum of one hour every day. Francesco Russo, +39338-858 9660. Gabriel Stevens, ptr-training.ch. Clement Makiello, mgv-coaching.com
An indulgence I would never forgo is discussion. I adore working in a team, and conversation is stimulating – it’s undervalued.
My style icon is David Beckham. He is a great example of what it means to be metrosexual. The late photographer Peter Lindbergh once said to me during a shoot: “I saw him walking barefoot downstairs, wearing just jeans and a white T-shirt, and suddenly I understood why he’s deified.”
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a slim-fit cotton Prada suit that I bought recently in Milan, in a very nice indigo. I have been a loyal customer for decades. £2,320; farfetch.com.
The thing I’m eyeing next is Autoban’s Box sofa. It was designed for an interior in which all the seating is clustered in the centre of the space, so it looks handsome from every angle – and its tapered legs give the impression that it is hovering above the ground. From £6,642; kookudesign.com
If I had to limit my shopping to one city, I’d choose Milan. Definitely. When the city hosted the 2015 World Expo, it not only improved its infrastructure, but also used the event to position itself as the gateway to Italy – a destination for more than just fashion, design and business. My favourite shops are downtown: the Prada store in Montenapoleone and the clothing boutique Gio Moretti on Via della Spiga. Also worth a visit for designer clothes and accessories are Antonia, in the Brera area, and Biffi, in the Navigli area. The restaurant I love most is Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, in the centre of Milan since 1957. The food there is amazing, as is the historic Bagatti Valsecchi building, one of the most prestigious in the city. Antonia, antonia.it. Biffi, biffi.com. Gio Moretti, giomoretti.com. Prada, prada.com. Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, ilsalumaiodimontenapoleone.it
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Pristina, in Kosovo, a fascinating place in the heart of the Balkans. The people were so kind and I was struck by the respect they show to their land. I felt personally enriched by the experience.
The last meal that truly impressed me was on a visit to the Argentario coast in Tuscany with some friends, where we found Alicina Hosteria in Porto Ercole. The food was exquisite. I loved all the raw fish, but the most impressive element was the red shrimp; it was the best “crudo” I have had in my life. +39056-483 2630.
If I didn’t live in Milan, Geneva and Megève, I wouldn’t feel the need to live in any particular city. Who I am with matters much more to me than where I am. Being Swiss, I’m used to speaking different languages and am open to all cultures.
In my fridge you’ll always find cheese. Ricotta is my favourite, followed by Emmental and Alpine cheeses in general. Being Swiss, I love dairy, but I am careful about my weight and my health. I always have a nice bottle of Bellavista and a tin of caviar in there too.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a screenwriter. I like the idea of inventing stories, playing with words and creating characters, and of being able to transform and manipulate the plots and the characters’ lives.
My favourite app is Runnin’City, which lets you choose from different running routes wherever you are and helps you discover new places. apps.apple.com.