June 23, 2014 / 5:47 PM / 3 years ago

Armani tells Italian PM Renzi to smarten up

MILAN, June 23 (Reuters) - Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi looks too casual and should wear a tie, fashion designer Giorgio Armani said on Monday.

The Italian designer said Renzi, who at 39 is the country’s youngest-ever prime minister, had done a good job since taking office in February, helping to push through a generational change in Italian politics.

“From being mayor of Florence he suddenly had to learn to be the prime minister, he’s been very good,” Armani, 79, said.

However, he said Renzi’s habit of wearing an open-necked white shirt was out of place when he appeared alongside other, formally dressed leaders. “It doesn’t do to play the young man,” Armani said.

“I would wear a tie,” he added, pointing to the example of U.S. President Barack Obama. “A shirt with a tie has a sexy touch.”

It is not the first time that Renzi, who occasionally sports a trendy leather jacket, has come under scrutiny for his appearance. Beppe Grillo, the ex-comic who leads the opposition party 5-Star Movement, calls him “Renzie,” a sarcastic reference to the rebellious Fonzie in the television series “Happy Days”.

Speaking after the Emporio Armani Spring/Summer 2015 menswear collection show, Armani, known for his simple, elegant designs, suggested the prime minister should avoid following the latest fashions in part because of his slightly “chubby” figure.

“As little fashion as possible ... some rebalancing without becoming too stuffy,” he said. (Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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