International art dealer and advisor Paul McCabe opens the door to the family home in Milan and shares his thoughts on art and style that stand the test of time. 

Text by Marcus Dunberg

Writing an article about Paul McCabe comes with some challenges. The biggest one? You need to get a hold of him, which is much easier said than done. “I’m in New York for the auctions,” he responds when I first try to reach him. Over the following week, as we text back and forth, he swooshes through the Italian wine region of Barbaresco before heading to Milan, where he lives with his Swedish wife Jenny, an actress and writer who’s building her own reputation as an interior designer – an extension of her cinematic passion. Together, the couple has three young daughters, and the family home is a sprawling, art-filled 1930s apartment decorated by Jenny right in the heart of Milan, on Via Senato.

Before moving to Milan, they lived in Stockholm and New York. “I love the quality of life in Stockholm,” notes McCabe, “but Milan is much better suited to my business and my personality: it’s more vibrant and bustling, with friends and collectors coming through town all the time.” The family also has a place in the Swiss mountain resort of St. Moritz. “We spend a lot of time there,” he explains. “It’s become an important place for us, both as a family but also for work.”

— Effortless colours with a right amount of contrast

M65 Cashmere Jacket Navy

Effortless colours with a right amount of contrast

Indeed, McCabe is no stranger to moving around the world for work. A South African native, he started his career in Cape Town, before relocating to Miami and New York in his early twenties to strengthen his career in the art world. And over the past few decades, he has done just that: built a solid reputation for being that rare combination of art advisor and dealer – one who’s knowledgeable, trustworthy and has a good eye.

Above all, he has a genuine love for art. “I’m just deeply passionate about art,” he says. “I want to share it with as many people as possible – to make them see what I see and feel what I feel. That is at the core of what I do. The business part, the transactions, just follow on as a natural consequence.”

As an advisor and collector in his own right, McCabe is obsessed with quality – and that extends to the rest of his personality, as well as how he approaches style. He’s allergic to anything that isn’t crafted with love and care, whether it’s art, furniture, interiors, food or fashion. 

— The cashmere sweater is a year-around favourite

7 Gauge Crewneck Cashmere Sweater White

The cashmere sweater is a year-around favourite

Consistency is also key. Walk into any major art fair in world – or down Milan’s Via Montenapoleone – and you’ll find him there, always wearing a suit or a blazer; a crisp, white, open-collared shirt; smart flannel or corduroy pants; and suede shoes, all paired with his signature accessories: thick-framed spectacles, bracelets, and a quality watch. Everything fits perfectly, and he always looks effortless. “You could say my way of dressing is a bit of a uniform,” he says, “but it takes me seamlessly through many different cities and occasions, which is just what I need in my line of work.”

5 quick questions


Who is your favorite living artist?

– That’s a tough one; I find different things I love about different artists. My top picks would be David Hockney, Peter Doig, Barry X Ball, Rashid Johnson, Georg Baselitz, Damien Hirst…

Who inspires you?

Visionary individuals like the groundbreaking art dealer Leo Castelli.

The Milanese way of dressing is…?

Attention to good fabric and tailoring, a twist of individuality, and an air of effortlessness.

Best restaurant in Milano?

A family-run classic that doesn’t take reservations, La Latteria.

When you’re not working, you prefer to…?

If I’m not looking at art, I’m always drawn to areas of extreme natural beauty, like skiing in the Alps or jumping off a boat, into the clear sea.

For McCabe, the key to a good collection – art, clothing or otherwise – is about editing. “It’s about taking away and saying no more often than you say yes,” he explains. “Pare it back to what really matters and will stand the test of time.”

And with those words, McCabe is off. Wherever he’s headed in the world, we know it’ll be in style.

— The denim shirt fits many occasions

The denim shirt fits many occasions

Explore Paul's favourite pieces