Momo’s Closet: What Momo Has

I'm as much a mobster as is your mechanic, your lawyer, your doctor, or anybody else who's making a living off your back. It's disrespectful to say those things. Those responsible will be punished accordingly.

All right, on to serious things, let's get down to today's lesson and forget this most blatant of personal offenses. I get all kinds questions; some good, most stupid and illiterate. People always want to know what elements make a man of honor what he is, besides his personality, integrity and the rest of that crap.

What should a man of honor drive? What should he drink? What suits should he wear? What should he carry in his hand? Where should he vacation? Where does he dump the body? How many mistresses are too many? Etc, etc.

Let Momo tell you about it

The best way to explain this is by telling you what Momo has. Not to show off, show how thick my wallet is, or impress you with some fancy-pants brand whose only purpose is take money from people who don't know any better, but to explain why these items are important and how they'll represent you in your own rackets.

Unfortunately, as much as I try to avoid turning this into some fashion infomercial, I can't avoid it. When discussing what makes a man a man, generalities are for stronzos, the finer things in life have names.

Saying "I like red wine" and saying "I like red wine from Chateauneuf-de-Pape" is two completely different things. So, if any of you think I'm getting paid to mention one name over the other, you're dumber than I thought, and I don't even want you reading my lessons any more. Everybody capisce?

Suits & Shirts

What does Momo have?

My suits are almost all Armani, Canali and Brioni, custom fit. When I'm in a good mood, I'll even go for a Super 180 wool Scabal-cloth model, especially after a good month, when my top earners delivered. Shirts are almost exclusively Brioni as well, Zegna once in a while, and maybe a Dolce & Gabbana thrown in here and there, but I am flexible with my ties, as long as it is made in Italy and thick when I make a knot. And I'm open to any color.

Why these suits?

First and foremost, Armani, Canali and Brioni make some of the world's best suits, they use the best fabrics, offer excellent cuts and, as long as you don't dig a hole with them upstate, they'll last forever. Second, it's Italian, so if buying from my paisans helps support some old-school 69-year-old Italian tailors, I'm sort of giving back to my people. Three, for those in the know -- the cognesceti -- it shows I am a man with taste, I am a man with financial resources, I am worldly, I am a force to be reckoned with, I wasn't born yesterday... tread carefully, and think long and hard.

Yes, a well-tailored suit will say all of those things because it shows you're not a schmuck who settles for second place, it shows that you're a winner, a leader who pays attention to detail. I always want to do business with a man with those qualities.

Shoes

What does Momo have?

I used to wear Bruno Magli. But once O.J. Simpson made them mainstream, ruining what I thought was my little secret, I stopped wearing them. Salvatore Ferragamo is good when my mistress wants me to have a "younger" look, but my choice for most of my shoes is A. Testoni. They'll normally set you back a G, but in terms of comfort and style, no one will touch you.

Why these shoes?

There is an old saying in Italy that when an Italian businessman shakes your hands, he looks down at your shoes. Why? Because a man's shoes reveal a lot about his character (I'm sounding like a broken record over here). Shoes show that you understand the concept of "completeness." Any clown can buy an expensive suit and a silk tie. But a man's ability to pick the right shoes to match his suit shows he isn't a peasant, and knows what he's doing.

Call me picky, but I expect men with certain influence to look the part. Having a good pair of shoes won't give you power or money, but it will get you that nod of approval from others.

Car


What does Momo have?

Cadillac Sedan DeVille. Old man's car? No. Magnet for the broads? No. Spacious enough for the mistress when her apartment is too far? Space is relative, my testicoli would fit on a donkey. I need a lot of room to do my thing. First-class luxury on four wheels? Yes! Imposing and intimidating? Absolutely. Plus...my driver Carmine loves it!

Why this car?

Because it shows that I am a successful man, without being too flashy. No one likes a showoff; spending an excess amount of money on your car tells the people around you that you have too much money. Your soldiers won't be impressed, and you'll spend more time worrying about dents than conducting your business. Have something respectful, but Madonna Santa lay off that stainless steel garbage on wheels. Besides, every Italian from Genoa to Salerno has a weakness for Caddies. Even if there are better cars out there, I'll always own a Cadillac.

Watch

What does Momo have?

Sterling Silver Tiffany Atlas with a stainless steel band is the watch I wear every day. It's elegant and tasteful. I have a few other watches, an Omega (a blue James Bond Seamaster; again, for the mistress and her little role-playing games) and one watch I got as a "gift" from a guy for doing him a favor. It's a solid gold Piaget with solid gold bracelet band-- it costs more than some people's cars, but it's the classiest thing in the world.

Why this watch?

Like shoes, watches reveal a lot about a man. I will size up a man very quickly by his shoes and his watch. Anyone I see with a Rolex, I dismiss. Buying a Rolex is like buying Bruno Magli shoes: it's too common, too known, too easy, and doesn't indicate anything more than you wanting people to think you have a huge limit on your credit card. I like Tiffany and Piaget, they are classy, without the excess crap of other watches, and I don't need to shylock anyone to get them repaired. Buy a watch that has class, is unique and reflects the power and influence you want to project. Also, diamonds are for the wife, not for your watch.

Put that wallet away, get rid of your credit cards and get yourself a nice clip.

Money Clip

What does Momo have?

I carry almost everything in a money clip. If you insist on carrying a wallet, you need something basic and small to hold the minimum amount of documents possible. But yes, do carry a money clip.

Why no wallet?

Besides holding your driver's license nice and tight, you don't need one. Too many men use their wallets to hold credit cards, the first sign that it's a bad thing. I never use credit, I pay for everything in cash, just like you should. So what's the wallet good for? To put pictures of my wife?

Organizer

What does Momo have?

I don't have one.

Why no organizer?

Because organizers are nothing but trouble. They leave a paper trail for all your associates, and all your associations. Memorize details of your business instead. Of course, you'll need to have phone numbers and names written down somewhere, but don't make it easy for the Feds, your wife, or your boss to find the info. Keep essential information and important meetings in your head, limit the amount of things you put a pen and paper to.

Cell Phones

What does Momo have?

The cheapest phones on the market. Only requirement is that they are digital and not analog, for security reasons. And, it has to work to call into the Ron & Ian Show.

Why not a better phone?

Momo switches cell phones and phone numbers as often as I change my underwear. Regardless of how careful I am on the phone, I can't control the trap of the guy on the other line. Ever hear of ECHELON? Look it up my friends, the good old US of A government has the ability to listen to every phone or mobile conversation you have, and read every fax and e-mail you send out. Call me paranoid, but I'm not going to the joint because I grow too attached to some mobile piece of crap. You might not have the same requirements, so go crazy with the dishwasher phone.

Get yourself a nice hideout and a schmoozing lawyer...

Hideout/Safe House

What does Momo have?

Tell you about my safe house? You want my ATM number too? Fuggedaboudit.

Why a safe house?

Everyone needs a special place they know inside and out for "emergencies," whether it's for you to get away from your wife or people looking to put you six feet under or just pound your flesh for kicks. The key is to have a place you know well, that's well-protected from outsiders and far enough from where you usually are to give you the breathing room you need to get your thoughts together. If you don't have a Safe House, you can always use a booth at Malio's. 

Lawyer

What does Momo have?

The best mouthpiece money can buy.

Why a $1,000-an-hour lawyer?

Because a $1,000 guy will keep me kissing my grandkids whenever I want to, and keep Momo out of getting “pinched”. A $1,000-an-hour suit (lawyer, not clothing) has the power and influence to get me out of any trouble someone has put me in (after all, I'm a careful man but I can't say the same for some of the stooges in my crew). Look for guys who don't have a desk in their office, or do a lot of paperwork. It shows they're schmoozers, and don't have time to do anything but talk on the phone to the right people, in the right places -- the people who will make things disappear, "legally," for you.

Weapon

What does Momo have?

Momo doesn't believe in violence, and I have no weapons of any kind, officer... automatic or otherwise.

Why don't I use weapons?

I don't need them. But the people around me might, but I don't know anything about that, they pick their own poison. I think maybe my driver Carmine might be "packing" some heat.

closet is closed

All right, now you know what Momo has in his closet, but remember one thing; you can have all of the things I've mentioned, but it still doesn't make you Momo.

Having these things only helps others distinguish whether you are a "very important" person or a "I can stand to ignore" person, but it won't hold their attention and more importantly their respect, if you don't apply all the other lessons I've taught you. Clothes might make a man, but you'll always be a well-dressed empty man without an honorable character. You can't be Momo, if you're just really a ”ham-n-egger”.

Watch your backs and keep your noses clean. And always remember... “you better think long and hard", my friends