Yet from his showroom tucked away in Milan’s Navigli canal district, the soft-spoken, bespectacled designer, a reluctant name-dropper, has dressed such celebrities as Leonardo DiCaprio, James Franco, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, and — yes — the current Bond, Daniel Craig (who wore one of Mr. Alba’s shawl-collar cashmere sweaters during an appearance last March at the New York Theater Workshop). It was Mr. Craig, Ms. Gooday said, who suggested that they seek out Mr. Alba for the film wardrobe. The actor “had bought a pair of the designer’s needlecord jeans for his personal life,” she wrote in an email, and clearly liked them.
As to why, well, Mr. Alba ”doesn’t do mood-boards or second-guess the season’s fashionable color,” said David Coggins, author of the 2016 book “Men and Style.” But, “he’s a very enlightened designer, perfect for this enlightened Bond.”
This is a Bond, after all, that comes post-#MeToo and post-Brexit. “The world has moved on, Commander Bond,” a female agent, played by Lashana Lynch, says in an online teaser. After all, Prince Charles’ Aston Martin DB6 now runs on a cheese byproduct and old wine, and a suit-clad spook would stand out in a contemporary office filled with hoodies.
So how to give Bond a blast of the contemporary? Enter Mr. Alba.
”Informality is the key to my label,” said Mr. Alba, with his 10-year-old golden Labrador, Jasper, at his feet. “There’s nothing pressed or rigid,” he said of the watercolor-hued garments hanging around him.
“It’s the new safari suit,” the men’s wear designer Umit Benan said of Mr. Alba’s needlecord separates, in a reference to the safari jackets and shirt-jackets that were the off-duty looks of Roger Moore’s James Bond in the 1970s and early ’80s.