Anthony Lupo knows he stands out in Washington legal circles. “I mean, I have a mustache,” the Arent Fox partner points out. “When’s the last time you saw someone with a mustache?” The facial hair isn’t the half of it. One of the country’s top fashion and entertainment lawyers, Lupo represents Hugo Boss, Marni, and Diane von Furstenberg. And he dresses like it.
In any room of fashionistas, Lupo is unmistakably the suit—“If I hire a lawyer, I want him to look like one,” he says—but on K Street, his style is just as eye-catching. Though he blogs at Fashion Counsel, his updates on intellectual property aren’t the kind of counsel we’re interested in, so we visited his bright corner office facing the White House to talk fashion.
“I love shoes. Check out the Barneys warehouse sale. On the last day, you’ll get $3,000 shoes for $120. They might be green, but they’ll be affordable. The panache you need to carry that off is free.”
“Ricky Ricardo. I like retro. Back in the ’80s, I did a lot of thrift-store shopping, and I was drawn to the ’50s-inspired cuts, the rockabilly-type looks.”
“I go to a guy at the Grooming Lounge on L Street. He remembers how to cut hair from the old days, but I’ve had it trained to do this for so long, I can get out of the shower and it almost stands up on its own.”
“I like the fabric of Italian suits, but I like the cuts to be German-style, a little tighter in the leg and a little shorter in the sleeves so the cuffs show.
“I wear jeans. But never blue jeans.”
“Art. I buy oil paintings, contemporary impressionistic stuff.” He also paints in his spare time.
How does a Washington man upgrade his look?
“Shoes. Tie. Watch. In that order.”
“I’ve been to China to have a cup of tea with a client. Turned around, came right back. But personally, my favorite place is San Domenico Palace Hotel. It’s an old convent in Taormina, on the eastern coast of Sicily. It’s heaven.”
Coolest current project:
“I’m working on the contracts and filming rights for the second season of [von Furstenberg’s reality show] House of DVF. It’s the perfect marriage of both my fashion and entertainment practices.”
Where he sees the fashion industry in ten years:
“Brick-and-mortar stores will be showpieces for a brand, but the real transactions will take place online. Virtual avatars so you can try things on, apps that recall and advise your purchases—that’s the future. It will free up a lot of money for the industry because a brand’s biggest expense is real estate.”
This article appears in our April 2015 issue of Washingtonian.