Giacomo Gianniotti’s personal style could best be described as a perfect blend of crisp Italian and casual Canadiana.
“I think that’s a great way of putting it,” Gianniotti says with a laugh. “I fit well into both categories.”
Speaking via video call from his home in Los Angeles where he’s busy shooting the latest season of Grey’s Anatomy, the Italian-Canadian actor — who plays Dr. Andrew DeLuca in the popular medical drama series — shared his appreciation for both a dressed up and dressed down approach to style.
“I’m Italian first, I have to admit. I was born in Rome and we Italians have a certain sort of way of dressing. We are definitely leaders in fashion,” Gianniotti says. “Even though I’m maybe a simple kind of jeans-and-t-shirt and leather boots kind of guy, I do love suits. I love all that kind of really high-end male dressing. And I do like looking at what Armani and these guys put out when they’re doing a collection.”
For his August 2019 wedding to partner Nichole Gustafson in Rome, Gianniotti suited up in one of the Italian luxury fashion house’s tailored creations.
“It was the most beautiful suit I have ever worn,” he says of the design. “It’s nice to dress up and express yourself in a more complex way than just your jeans and T-shirt or what you wear around the house.”
When it comes to outerwear though, Toronto-raised Gianniotti takes a pointedly practical approach, noting that fit and function are both “non-negotiable” requirements.
“It’s got to keep you warm,” he says, noting that he favours a jacket that conveys a person’s sense of style as well. “Because we wear them so long, they do kind of become a part of our identity, a fashion statement and how we are presenting ourselves to the rest of the world. … In any cold climate it’s definitely a big deal.”
So, what does Gianniotti’s coat say about him?
“I like to blend in. I don’t like the limelight,” the actor says. “So, I like black, grey — things that are kind of neutral and hide. I don’t want anything flashy.”
His appreciation of outerwear likely contributed to Gianniotti’s decision to sign on as an ambassador for the Ontario-based luxury outwear company Nobis. The actor has also lent his star status to the company’s current charitable campaign titled No Cold Shoulder.
“I think it’s a time where we’re all very fragile. We all really need some care, empathy and compassion,” Gianniotti says of the timeliness of the global initiative.
Throughout the month of November, Nobis will be accepting gently worn winter jackets to donate to local community charities. Partner charities in Canada include: Bissell Centre in Edmonton; Brunswick Street Mission in Halifax; Lookout Housing & Health Society in New Westminster; Mission Old Brewery (in Montréal; New Circles Community Services in Toronto; The Lighthouse in Saskatoon; and The Main Street Project in Winnipeg.
“No matter which city you’re in, you’re going to be donating that jacket to the local community and charity organization that’s working exactly where you are,” Gianniotti says. “So, you’re actually impacting your own community.”
Helping those in need at a community level, he says, is especially pressing amid the pandemic. Statistics Canada data from 2018 indicates an estimated 3.2 million Canadians — or 8.7 per cent of the population — already lived below Canada’s Official Poverty Line, the number designated by the market basket measure to indicate the cost of “a modest, basic standard of living” ($48,677 in Vancouver in 2018) including buying food, clothing, transportation, shelter and more.
The need will undoubtedly be up this winter as many have faced employment changes due to COVID-19.
“This pandemic has pushed a certain type of person that maybe was balancing on the poverty line to maybe being below the poverty line,” Gianniotti says. “And I think we’re all very compromised. There’s not a single person in our community who hasn’t been impacted in some kind of way, whether you are a business owner, whether you’re an employee of a corporation, whether you’re a self-made business person. There’s no way that you haven’t been impacted in some way by this.”
The initiative will see a resealable, biodegradable donation mailer bag with prepaid postage provided with each online purchase for shoppers to send back a used coat. Mailer envelopes are also available for pickup at Nobis stores and participating retailers while supplies last.
The company created a reversible orange-and-grey toque to mark the campaign, which will be gifted to customers with a purchase during the month. The toques, along with a special enamel pin, can also be purchased independently for those who want to support the No Cold Shoulder campaign without purchasing a Nobis piece. The pre-tax price will be donated to New Circles Community Services, according to a news release. A full list of retailers along with more information on No Cold Shoulder can be found at NoColdShoulder.com.