Meet The Collector #15: Mirko Di Giovanni

Today the 15th episode of the topic Meet the CollectorMeet the Collector is about passionate people with a focus on collecting. With this topic I will give you an insight in their special collection. Collectors will tell their story behind their treasures, show their most rare and unique items and tell you all about the collecting thrill.

Mirko Di Giovanni has an amazing collection. His collection contains some very rare and unique pieces. Thanks for sharing your collection and story Mirko. Enjoy.

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Mirko Di Giovanni

Mirko Di Giovanni

  • Name: Mirko Di Giovanni.
  • Living in village & country: Rome, Italy.
  • Age: 45 years.
  • Instagram ID: @ruggedstyledude & @the_navyism.
  • Number of Instagram followers: Total 43 K (total for both feeds).
  • Website: https://ruggedstyledudeblog.tumblr.com/
  • Daily work: Officer in an Italian Law Enforcement Agency against Counterfeit products and Piracy, and blogger writer (occasionally).

What’s your favorite brand:

As a vintage clothing purist, the Japanese Real McCoy’s is definitely the best brand on market.

What’s your favorite denim brand:

Levi’s (made before 1971), and Tellason (nowadays).

Mirko Di Giovanni

What’s your favorite footwear brand:

Nike (the 1970s vintage running ones) and Red Wing Shoes.

Mirko Di Giovanni

How long are you collecting:

I collect since I was a young gun, late 1980s/early 1990s. First purchased with my beloved Nonna’s money.

How many items are there in your collection:

I never have count my collection, but it will be around 400 pieces, more or less.

Mirko Di Giovanni

How or why did you became a collector:

As a toddler in the early 1980s I grew up, as all my generation, with american TV series, as Dukes of Hazzard, Diff’rent Strokes and A-Team. With the years I added movies to TV series too. They were my first inspiration, and got me hooked to collect.

What’s the best thrill about collecting?

Picking up a vintage garment at the current market price is something ordinary; find it at “score price” maybe after hours and hours, days and days of research is ROCK!

What is your favorite item en why:

My first Red Wing Shoes Moc Toe, 875 style, purchased brand new in 1999 (with box) has become vintage with my feet inside. And it is still incredible on duty (after more than 20 years), and I’m so proud of it!

Mirko Di Giovanni

More, I have recently found on eBay a “classic mislisted” auction Levi’s ‘hidden rivets’ jeans from early 1950s/60s that fits me like a glove. And I scored it for onyl 200 bucks.

What’s your best bargain in your collection:

As I collect since the late 1980s when I basically stop to play with Lego bricks and masters Action Figures, I often found in fleas vintage Nike running sneakers at 1.000 or 2.000 lire (conversion 0,50 Euro’s); most of them worn daily and destroyed!

Lately I focussed also in 1930s military denim garms with a killer trilogy of jackets from US Army and Navy.

Mirko Di Giovanni

Which item was the hardest to get and/or the most valuable one:

I have many hard and valuable ones; custom WW2 era U.S. military flight & deck jackets.

Which item would you add to your collection:

At the moment I’m on the hunt for the original 1930s U.S.N. Submariner coat, a simply design garm made in very very limited pieces, a true holy grail.

Where do you get your daily inspiration from?

Starting in the early 1990s chatting with old skool American vintage stores owners, then in the 2000s Japanese magazines to arrive in these late years from blogs and IG feeds; about IG I love to chat worldwide with people who share my same passion with the same interest, even if we are from different and sometimes very far places.

What’s your favorite inspiration quote:

As a deadly vintage hunter (online and in fleas) I understand the deepest menaning, sometimes on my skin of ‘IF YOU SNOOZE YOU LOSE’ (laugh & cry).

What’s Next project?

I have teamed up with two my great friends Andrea, @onanysunday40, a vintage collector and skilled graphic designer and David, @8ottobre, talented street photographer to realize an editorial project named ‘Ruggedstyle War’. A photographic book edited by Pennsylvania based Publisher Schiffer @schifferpublishing.

The book is a gallery of more than 100 military jackets from WWII era US Army Navy & Air Force, with 800 detailed pics plus a second part with still life photo’s shooted in cool corners of Rome, the eternal city. And I think (and hope) we have done a good job as we are honored that the worldwide recognised vintage guru, Mr. Doug Bihlmaier wrote the foreword, telling us his experience with vintage clothing since he was a young gun.

Mirko Di Giovanni

Shot from the book.

Read also the previous episodes of Meet the Collector;

Jerry van Vorstenbos: Eposide #1

Michael van Hal: Episode #2

Antonio di Battista: Episode #3

Ronald Vijsma: Episode #4

Eric Maggiori: Episode #5

Ruedi Karrer: Episode #6

Viktor Fredbäck: Episode #7

Dave Edwards: Episode #8

Mohsin Sajid: Episode #9

Brit Eaton: Episode #10

Kay Knipschild: Episode #11

Douglas Luhanko (Second Sunrise store): Episode #12

Jasper Lijfering (Amsterdam Vintage Watches): Episode #13

Will Varnam (Military Collector): Episode #14

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Are you also a collector or do you know an interesting collector, please send an email to: wouter@long-john.nl 

Written by Wouter
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine I'm working as a freelance marketing specialist for brands and retail. Specialized in denim. Nominated as 'Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50.