A Conversation with Mr. Ata de Çin

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Meet Mr. Ata De Çin (@ata.de.cin), a photographer and bar manager based in Florence, Italy.

Give us a short introduction about yourself:

I am a Florence based photographer, fashion enthusiast and bar manager. On top of that, I am a social media manager for Bosca, an authentic leather factory established in Florence in 1911. My photography is inspired by my life, and I use it to capture intimate moments through my 1950s lens, an aesthetic that also reflects in my personal style. I aim to capture moments of “La dolce vita”, including the exchange of excellent beverages, happy moments among friends and strangers, the mesmerizing southern sea and much more, all of which I share on my Instagram. Fashion and photography are essential to my identity; they allow me to share my creativity with the world and showcase my personality and everything that matters to me.

How do you define your style?

Balanced and, while classic, never excessively dressy. Coming from a military school background I’ve learned over time how to add color and different, more modern textures to my personal style. For this reason, I’m certainly enjoying this-well deserved Italian holiday.

What does it mean for you to be a Modern Gentleman?

I think the standards of the modern gentleman are as follows:

• Recognize the humanity and value in others—and respect them.
• Be well-dressed and put-together.
• Believe in earning things honestly.
• Maintain a kind and even temper.
• Be disciplined, yet free and humble.

I believe a true gentleman must be gentle and respectful in the way he carries himself, treats and views others. For me style is never about the desire for expensive clothing but rather the meticulousness in which an outfit is pieced together. It is an understanding and expression of the self, an insight into who he is beyond clothes. Discipline is a crucial factor in style and lifestyle: I have always admired the self-control and disciplined essence that the gentlemen we see on our TV screens carry themselves with. Whether in style, entrepreneurial ambitions or social interactions, a modern gentleman is a disciplined man. He’s a traveler, curious about new places and cultures, navigates social interactions with skill, charm and empathy.

Most importantly, he is an honest and humble man, aware that one must earn what they have, and he does it gladly. There’s no deceit, no shortcuts, and no underhanded dealings. You can always trust a gentleman because they hold themselves to the highest standards in all that they do.

When it comes to style, where do you mostly get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from a variety of people in different times: from Gary Cooper in the 1940s with his tailored suits and coiffed hair to King Charles in the 1970s with the double breasted jackets and Barbours. However my greatest style inspiration has to come from movies, especially two of them: “The Great Gatsby” and “The Talented Mister Ripley”. In my day to day life I try to use some elements of the style of the protagonists in these films and incorporate them into my own: tailor made suits, knitted polo shirts, white linen trousers, hats, linen blazers and colorful shorts.

What’s your personal style signifier?

A good double breasted blazer, well built and made with quality fabric is a must for any of my outfits.

What are your favorite wardrobe essentials?

Some wardrobe essentials for me are white linen trousers and some well-tailored jackets. While those will provide a good base, accessories are what make an outfit feel personal. A good belt (Italian leather, classic style, with silverware buckle puts together my outfit in a classic and elegant way), and rings (classic gold or silver, depending on the weather) allow me to elevate an outfit.

What are your main passions and how do you cultivate them?

My greatest hobby has to be photography: I always try to bring my film camera with me anywhere I go. My passion for photography was something I never planned. I decided to pursue it the day I stumbled upon an older gentleman in a white linen suit walking his dog. The light hit perfectly and I found myself pondering on the beautiful moment and wished I was able to capture it. Since that day, I chose to carry a camera with me everywhere I went. In this way I was able to capture moments that made me feel alive. I take inspiration from Slim Aaron’s photography and try to represent the Italian lifestyle in pictures.

A good day is also not complete without a quick visit to the “Societa dei Canottieri di Firenze” – my local rowing club. When I’m rowing my preoccupations quickly vanish and all that’s left is the slow traffic of people on Ponte Vecchio taking in the mesmerizing views of the city I am fortunate enough to call home. It’s my escape!

Florence can be a very busy city, but when I’m rowing down the Arno it feels like it’s just me and the city. I cultivate my passions by practice, and it’s an effort I love to put out because they are the things that make me feel like myself.

What does your ideal Sunday look like?

There’s a vintage market in the Santo Spirito district of Florence that I love visiting every Sunday. I spend the whole day browsing through stands with the only goal of taking pictures and wondering whether to go to the movies later on, have a slow aperitivo with friends, or go rowing in the silence of the Arno.

Describe an interesting trip you have taken and tell us what’s the next destination on your bucket list.

One particular trip to the British isles has stuck with me ever since. Growing up on the mediterranean sea, I had never experienced the growth and shrinkage of the tide, until I visited the British isles. I found myself visiting islands that would soon be swallowed by the sea due to the tide, something which I had not known about before experiencing it first hand. It’s not that I didn’t know it existed but rather the feeling it enticed in me, the coming and going of the sea and the land was truly fascinating. Hearing the stories of sailor ships navigating the tide and its intricate nature left me in awe. I am not sure in what country I would like to land next but I can assure you it will be somewhere in Eastern Asia.

Tell us what can never be missing in your liquor cabinet.

Campari, Vermouth Rosso, Gin, Whiskey, Disaronno and Cointreau.

What are your three favorite books?

The Kite Runner” – Khaled Hosseini

The Catcher in the Rye” – J.D. Salinger

Notre Dame de Paris” – Victor Hugo.

What are your three favorite movies?

The Godfather

The Talented Mister Ripley

The Great Gatsby

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