Raimondo Rossi (aka Ray Morrison) was born in Perugia, between Rome and Florence in the Italian countryside, into a very traditional family.
In person, he is an honest, warm, friendly, open and down-to-earth person like his art.
He has been photographed by the world’s leading magazines GQ, Rolling Stone, Vogue and The New York Times and is known for asking questions about perfection and for making beauty visible in every form.
Celebrity Raimondo Rossi is among Hollywood’s A-listers at fashion shows.
American rapper Cryptic Wisdom approached Rossi to style one of his videos.
He loves Asian labels like Juun J. Of international legends, Rossi deeply admires Alexander McQueen, who he says connects with his emotions and expresses them in his designs.
He likes Greece and visits it often. He loves Greek cuisine, especially Moussaka, Tzatziki, Mezes 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 fashion today?
I’d say that’s a really interesting question. I would say definitely yes, as long as the fashion industry and turnover is growing, it means that fashion as an industry is still very present and influential. I wouldn’t say I like it, I’ve always had an independent attitude towards fashion and its messages and stereotypes. But even though I don’t really like values that have been handed down for decades, that doesn’t take away from the strength of this thriving industry. If we think of fashion as creativity instead, I think it’s increasingly rare to see designers who create collections that are born from the bottom of their soul. Feasibility, embedding and marketability are always emphasized during the training period in fashion schools.
Are the men well dressed or do they dress up‘do you not follow fashion at all?
Fortunately, men come in a variety of styles: well-dressed and those who care less about how they dress. Our relationship with fashion and everyday clothing is certainly influenced by the place and city where we grow up. Four years ago I directed a video in this regard called “The Emotions Of Fashion” which can be seen on YouTube and tells a bit about this relationship between human beings and fashion that invests us from an early age. Somehow I think that both well-dressed and less-dressed men still have a relationship with fashion. Some out of love and 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. I personally love the ones that can play with multiple styles and not the 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 respect me in my work or personal life. What I am personally satisfied with is that I have always been and still am very independent of the obscure mechanisms that sometimes hide behind fashion and photography, and by obscure occult mechanisms I mean favoritism among friends, acquaintances or referrals and like to be a person who remains himself and is very accessible to everyone, whether I’m at a city station talking to the homeless or at an important fashion event in front of some celebrities. I like to treat everyone with equal respect and I am ready to listen to everyone.
What‘Is your view on combining fashion photography with more personal photography in depth?
I was terribly bored after a year of doing fashion reports about clothes or taking classic photos with tempting poses. From there, my interest in behind-the-scenes stories was born, in the stories of guys who walked to fashion shows and then back to school, in the imperfections of models before entering the scene. There I combined fashion and raw reality and created my reportage and photography style. Fashion by itself leads nowhere.
Where did you get the inspiration for your latest and most recent book titled? “I do not‘you don’t think like you”?
As I just said, the passion for the truest stories and imperfections of models was born after shooting classic fashion reports. All this was combined with the episodes of bullying I suffered as a child because I was very shy and chubby. From there came the idea of composing collections of portraits that showed the importance of not sticking to stereotypes and at the same time having good self-confidence and self-esteem. It no longer matters if we are thin or fat, transsexual or straight or gay, rebel or not; we all deserve to feel strong and respected.
What are your standout collaborations?
I would say that the ones that stood out the most for me were the ones that came when I was just starting to make myself known, but I was just getting started. So I would remember the art direction for the collection “Academy of Costume and Fashion” 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 that 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 brought me to know a man whose lyrics of his songs helped me in my dark moments.
you‘he is an inspiration to many men around the world. How do you feel after that?
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 classically, or I went to Milan Fashion Week, which tends to be very “modern”, dressed in classic dandy style. This makes it clear that we can all create interesting styles without thinking about the fashion of the moment. If this message was partially accepted, I am very happy.
What were some of the challenges you faced and were able to achieve?
I think the most important difficulties come from the world of fashion and photography. When a new person arrives in Italy, no one welcomes you, everyone is afraid that the new person might take their job or overtake them in some way. So there’s a lot of gossip and everyone discourages you. No one is sending you positive vibes and saying “bravo you can do it” or “bravo, your ideas are good.” In fact, they may be trying 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 any 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 the place. I would also like to do portraiture outside of the fashion world, not only for celebrities, but also for street reports, which bring me back into contact with very hard things. On the other hand, the approaching project is a new collection for a very discriminated category, which will turn into a new publication, a new book.
Society changed rapidly. Has it lost some of its aesthetics by creating other forms of necessity?
Society is undoubtedly changing rapidly, but I believe that a certain importance of aesthetics will always remain. It’s true that it needs a change, but if we think that there are cities in the meta-universe where all the houses in the most important neighborhoods have already been bought, it makes us think that aesthetics and appearance will continue to be important. Money is spent on buying a house in the metaverse near celebrities and shopping with them in the metaverse. I also see it as a form of aesthetics and frivolous appearance that human beings will continue to need. Fortunately, there is a segment of human beings that care less about aesthetics and think about more spiritual paths, but that’s another story. Thank you Vassilios, it was nice talking to you. Hello to all your readers!