In Conversation with Monaco’s Renaissance Man Alexander Kraft

Monaco's Alexander Kraft

The luxury brand ambassador and Sotheby’s International CEO has been dubbed ‘the Côte d’Azur’s most dapper man’ for good reason.

Here on the French Riviera, the distinguished gentleman before you needs no introduction. But for any latecomers to the room, the CEO and owner of Sotheby’s International and Realty France–Monaco is also a noted aesthete, ambassador for luxury brands such as Tod’s and Cifonelli—a Renaissance man who has created his own Negroni (Kraftoni), hotel-restaurant (La Maison Bleue in the Var) and a line of cigars (Alexander Kraft Selection by EGM cigars). He remains an undisputed master of sartorial elegance, with a devoted Instagram fan base of almost 500,000 followers, including many celebrities and stars in their own right.

Since 2020, the Côte d’Azur’s most dapper man has been on a mission: to enrich the wardrobes of other men with similar style smarts via his unique clothing line, Alexander Kraft Monte Carlo, which is designed in Monte-Carlo, handmade in Italy and sold online (

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His range’s stand-out factors—tactility, fit, silhouette and superb value for money—lose some of their impact when delivered to customers only via fibre optic cables. And so, he began looking for retail partners. “My first was a department store called Rainbow— it’s basically the Harrods of Bordeaux: very nicely curated. Next came Richard Gelding [in London’s prestigious North Audley Street], an outlet in Scandinavia, and I’m in talks for spaces in Germany, Holland, France and the States. And now to top it all off, I found a shop here in Monaco… ”

We chatted to Kraft to find out what Monégasque flâneurs might discover when his local outlet opens later this year—and how to spruce up their own style in the meantime.

Alexander Kraft

What can readers expect of the new Monaco retail space?

I’ve known it for a long time—it’s a 70sqm space which used to be an art gallery. About a stone’s throw from the likes of Chanel, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and so on, it is housed in an old historic building (these are becoming very rare in Monaco, just like in Hong Kong or Singapore). And it actually still has the original 120-year-old wooden blue facade, which is almost unheard of. I plan for it to be open by late summer.

How will it reflect your own interests?

The main room is going to be a replication of my personal dressing room at my country house. Elsewhere it will be a mini universe of all the things I love: some of my old polo gear, artworks, some watches from my personal collection. And I’ll always make sure one of my classic cars is outside. I’m also going to create a mini coffee shop with a separate entrance, called La Maison Bleue Monaco, based on my hotel and restaurant in Provence.

What makes excellent suiting?

For me, it’s all about the cut: very high armhole, roped shoulders, nipped waist. The other factor is feel: I always start all my collections by choosing the cloth and I really only use the finest ones I can find.

Alexander Kraft Monaco

Who is the most influential figure in your life?

I’ve always been passionate about fashion, thanks to the influence of my grandfather, whose wardrobe I inherited at the tender age of 12. I was probably the only guy in high school who wore his Levi 501s with loafers and an altered bespoke jacket from his grandfather.

What was your greatest epiphany?

From the very beginning as a manager and entrepreneur in my 20s, I have always taken a lifestyle approach to all my companies—UHNW clients don’t only want to buy a high-end estate, stay in a luxury hotel, eat at a great restaurant or wear fine clothes, but want to experience a complete, curated lifestyle. That’s why I have not only always created synergies between my different businesses but also injected my various personal passions such as vintage cars, watches, antiques, art, tailoring, cigars and drinks into everything I do. This is best exemplified in my annual Sotheby’s International Realty France Rally during which my guests and I drive in vintage cars from my own collection, visit extraordinary Sotheby’s properties, taste my own Kraftoni Negronis together with my line of cigars and wines chosen by Sotheby’s specialists, sleep in the best hotels or private estates, and have meals prepared by noted chefs—all this while dressed in my own sartorial line.

However, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and the entire event is celebrated in a casual spirit of friendship and shared mutual passion, and as a result has become legendary in connoisseur’s circles. As for fashion, I discovered Ralph Lauren when he started his international expansion in the mid-late 80s. I’d grown up in a very conservative environment and he really showed me, and the world I think, that you can dress very correctly, and still have fun with it. You can wear slippers with your suit, you can wear ripped jeans with your dinner jacket. That really was an epiphany for me.

What’s been your most important business idea?

People have always asked me, ‘Where’s your outfit from?’ It was usually bespoke from Cifonelli, or Henry Poole, or it was from Ralph Lauren Purple Label, or Kiton. And then an idea hit me: I should do something that reflects my style, the quality I like, but make it accessible. Which is why with Alexander Kraft Monte Carlo I work with fabric producers I know personally like Vitale Barberis Canonico, to obtain better prices. Same with small workshops, all in Italy—mostly in Puglia and Tuscany.

Alexander Kraft

Clothes should feel as good as they look. True?

Yes. People are used to mediocre fabrics. The thing about cloth is, you know the difference immediately once you feel it—but most people, unfortunately, don’t give a lot of thought to this.

Where is your retail paradise?

I was in Paris 10 days ago, and one of my first acts is to always go into the flagship Ralph Lauren store there. It’s like a second home. I’m a hunter and gatherer, always bringing home something I don’t need.

What’s your favourite nugget of style wisdom?

Firstly, quality over quantity—especially these days with social media giving you a constant bombardment of stimuli. I often really ask myself, “Do I really need the 100th blue blazer?” Authenticity translates into confidence.

Personal bugbear?

I really deplore the demise of the tie. A tie can really elevate a whole outfit, even if you combine it with jeans and a blazer and loafers. People see it as something outdated, stiff, but it doesn’t have to be. But I’m sure another generation is going to rediscover it soon. Everything goes in circles anyway.

Alexander Kraft Monaco

Do you have a timepiece you cherish most?

I have a collection of about 60, 70 pieces these days. Most of them are vintage Rolexes just because my collection started 25 years ago with a vintage Rolex given to me by my parents as a law school graduation present. But my all-time favourite would be a very special Paul Newman Daytona model in gold that is very, very rare.

What are your regular tables?

I love Cipriani Monte Carlo. We also have the Odéon Café by Cipriani here in one of Monaco’s biggest new towers, close to where I live—I have a private dining space so I’m there several times a week. Another favourite is MayaBay. How shall I describe it? The Mr Chow of Monaco. Fusion cuisine—Chinese, Japanese, Thai and so on, but very high-end and very nicely combined.

Any other favourite haunts?

There are my private clubs, like the Monaco Yacht Club, or the Automobile Club, which also has very good food.

Favourite city in the world?

Monaco has been my home for 18 years, so here is a favourite. Then Paris, London, New York—I’ve had or still have bases there. Palm Beach and Florence are my more relaxing places. I used to live in California and one day I will return—anywhere between Newport Beach and La Jolla.

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