Methodical, in love with the city of Milan and his job (small offices pay off), and obsessed with offbeat movies. Roberto Selvetti was one of our very first customers ― he was at the first Bottega’s opening event ― and is such a big fan that he put all the dark-colored Velasca shoes he owns onto plies made of Il Sole 24 Ore newspapers, to create his own makeshift Velesca shoe rack. We met him, and his Cadregatt, at a bar in the city center, nearby his studio.
Hi Roberto, would you tell us about your average day?
I’m a really methodical person: besides Sunday, my alarm is set for 7:15 am every day. I always have breakfast at home. Regardless the temperature outside, I drink tea. I might change up my food ― biscuits, bread, or Nutella ― but hot tea is a constant. After showering, I head out of my apartment at approximately 8:30 am.
My working day is quite varied; I don’t quite have a clear routine. I rarely get off work early though, it’s usually around 8:30 pm. This is not because I’m a workaholic, but we’re a small team at work and there’s a lot to do. Plus, I love working hard.
What do you like about your job?
The fact that everything changes very fast. A strict office life would kill me. I’m very happy to be busy outside the studio and traveling a lot. I also appreciate working in a small company: it’s way more flexible.
Sit-down lunch or delivery?
Take-away or delivery. I’m not a big fan of eating lunch out because I won’t enjoy it. It’d end up that I’d keep on thinking about getting back to work. I much prefer taking my time with food and listening to music to get fresh for my afternoon tasks.
How did Velasca get your heart?
I love subtle humorism. Velasca is a brilliant idea, based on values like freshness and positivity. When it comes to choosing where to buy my new shoes, I much prefer it rather than going to some corporate show-off brand.
And how do you match with your shoes?
I mainly wear them when I’m working. The dress code at work is dressed up classic: blue suit and white shirt. I’d say that I have a “plain style,” given my past working at banks, where there was the “no brown in town” standard rule for shoes. I don’t particularly love silk ties; I prefer wool, cashmere, or cotton.
A place in Milan where you enjoy spending your time off?
I adore Milan. I venerate Milan. I moved with my group of friends to this city in 2006 for university and, since then, I’ve lived with them. So, it’s hard to choose one single spot because there are many places that I feel are “mine”. I’m definitely very attached to the area where I live between Via Quadronno and Piazza Cardinal Ferrari. I feel at home there. At the end of the day, I usually walk back home after work.
We recognized you. What do you remember about our first Bottega’s opening event?
The gin, definitely. Small touches like this make a big impact on branding: my attention was grabbed by the many Hendrick’s bottles. They just fit the context. It was a good event, and I already knew many people attending that night.
A movie to watch (again and again)?
The first one that pops up in my mind isn’t actually a movie but a cartoon. I always loved ‘The Lion King’, which I probably have seen 20 times already, and, at least once per year. I love African animals; it’s a continent that I visited many times.
A movie that I’ve appreciated is ‘Pane, amore e…’ (‘Bread, love, and…’) with Vittorio De Sica and Sophia Loren. It’s a light comedy, and it properly envisages a moment in Italian history.
A scene that I particularly remember is this: Loren ― who plays a fisherman’s wife ― dances at a party with a local guy. De Sica ― a marshal in love with and jealous of her ― decides to dance as well and make her feel jealous. They don’t talk, but the way their faces and gestures “speak” says way more than if they were talking.
What would you be doing now if you weren’t an investment manager?
I’d have worked as an archaeologist, without a doubt. At some point in my childhood, I wanted to be a Carabiniere (Italian paramilitary police) on the border, but archaeology has always been my first passion.