Raimondo Rossi (aka Ray Morrison) was born in Perugia, between Rome and Florence in the Italian countryside, in a very traditional family.
In person, he is as sincere, warm, friendly, open and down to earth as his art.
Photographed by GQ, Rolling Stone, Vogue and The New York Times, some of the world’s leading magazines, he is known for questioning perfection and giving visibility to beauty in all forms.
The famous Raimondo Rossi is one of Hollywood’s A-listers at fashion shows.
American rapper Cryptic Wisdom approached Rossi to style one of his videos.
He likes Asian labels like Juun J. Of the international legends, Rossi has a deep admiration for Alexander McQueen, who he says connected with his emotions and expressed them in his designs.
He loves Greece and visits it often. He likes Greek cuisine, especially moussaka, tzatziki, meze and baklava, which are hard to find in Italy. He loves and reads Greek literature. He calls himself a philhellene. The Greek magazine Lifo featured Raimondo in an article about the best dressed men.
Is there a fashion today?
I would say that is a very interesting question. I would say that there certainly is, as long as the fashion industry and traffic is growing, it means that fashion understood as an industry is still very present and influential. I wouldn’t say that I like it, I have always taken an independent attitude towards fashion and the messages and stereotypes that it always conveys. But despite the fact that I don’t really like values that have been handed down for decades, that doesn’t diminish the strength of this successful industry. If we think about fashion as creativity, I think it is increasingly rare to see designers who create collections that are born from the bottom of the soul. During the training period in fashion schools, the feasibility, insertion and positioning in the market are always taken into account.
Are the men well dressed or trained‘don’t follow fashion at all?
Fortunately, there are all kinds of men: well-dressed ones and those who don’t care how they dress. Of course, the place and city where we grow up influence our attitude towards fashion and everyday clothing. Four years ago, I directed a video with the title in this regard “The Emotions Of Fashion”, which is visible on YouTube and tells something about the relationship between man and fashion that invests us from a young age. So somehow, I think both well-dressed and less well-dressed men still have a relationship with fashion. Some out of love, some out of annoyance, some out of indifference, and some out of interest. Among those who feel interest or love, I would say that some men are very creative and interesting in their attitude. Personally, I like ones that can be played with multiple styles, rather than ones that fit into one repetitive style.
Tell us about the qualities that make you unique as a person.
You should ask this question to those who value me either in my work or in my personal life. What I am personally satisfied with is that I have always been and remain very independent of the obscure mechanisms that sometimes hide behind fashion and photography, and by obscure occult mechanisms I mean favoritism between friends, acquaintances or referrals, and I am happy to be a person who remains myself and very accessible to everyone, whether I’m at the city station and talking to the homeless, or whether I’m at an important fashion event in front of some famous people. I like to treat everyone with the same respect and be ready to listen to everyone.
What‘What is your perspective on merging fashion photography with more personal depth photography?
I was terribly bored doing fashion reports that talked about clothes or doing classic photos with tempting poses after a year. This is where my interest in behind-the-scenes stories is born, in stories about boys who went to walk in fashion shows and then returned to school, in the imperfections of models before going on stage. This is where I combined fashion and raw reality and formed my reportage and photography style. Fashion by itself leads nowhere.
Where did you get the inspiration for the latest and last book under the title “Not me‘don’t think the way you think”?
As I said a while ago, the passion for the truest stories and imperfections of models was born after classic fashion reports. All this was combined with episodes of bullying that I endured as a child because I was very shy and chubby. From there came the idea of putting together collections of portraits that showed how important it is not to follow stereotypes and at the same time have good self-esteem and self-confidence. It no longer matters whether we are thin or fat, transsexual or straight or gay, rebellious or not; we all deserve to feel strong and respected.
What are your exceptional collaborations?
I would say that the ones that stood out the most for me were the ones that appeared when I was just starting to introduce myself, but I was just getting started. So, I would think of an art direction for the collection “Accademia di Costume e Moda” in Rome, which is one of the most important in the world, and working with the American rapper Cryptic Wisdom, a niche rapper with a very interesting personal story and whom I followed long before he contacted me to take care of his styling. for his new song. He contacted me and I was very happy; life introduced me to a person whose song lyrics helped me through dark times.
Your‘an inspiration for many men around the world. How are you feeling?
This makes me very happy because it means that the message I wanted to send has been received. I never followed “fashion of the season”, I went to an avant-garde event dressed in a classic way or I went to Milan Fashion Week, which is usually very “modern”, dressed in classic dandy style. This makes it clear that we can all create interesting styles without thinking about current fashion. If this message is partially received, that makes me very happy.
What were some of the challenges you had to face and were able to overcome?
I think the most important difficulties came from the world of fashion and photography. When a new person comes to Italy, no one welcomes you, everyone is afraid that the new person will take their job or overtake them somehow. So there’s a lot of gossip and they discourage you all. No one sends you positive vibes and says “well done, you can do it” or “bravo, you have good ideas”. In fact, they may try to steal them from you. These are the things that are most difficult for those who are passionate about starting something new in their lives.
Do you have plans you would like to share with us?
I can say that I am looking for the right place to settle a little more in California and a little less in Italy, where I really like the sun and the dry days that accompany that place. I would like to devote myself to portraiture outside the world of fashion, and I am not only referring to celebrities, but also to street reports that bring me back into contact with very difficult things. On the other hand, the upcoming project is a new collection for a very discriminated category, which will grow into a new publication, a new book.
Society has changed rapidly. Has it lost some of its aesthetics by creating other forms of necessities?
Undoubtedly, society is changing rapidly, but I believe that a certain significance of aesthetics will always remain. It is true that change is needed, but if we consider that in the metaverse there are cities where houses in the most important neighborhoods have already been bought, it leads us to think that aesthetics and appearance will continue to be important. Money is spent on buying a house in the metaverse near celebrities and going shopping with them in the metaverse. I also see it as a form of aesthetics and a frivolous look that people will continue to need. Fortunately, there is a part of people who care less about aesthetics and think more about spiritual paths, but that is another story. Thanks Vasilios, it was nice talking to you. Hello to all your readers!