In addition to making hand made custom shirts for some very serious clients in Europe, the U.S. and Japan (fortune 500 CEO types mostly), Salvatore Piccolo also produces a small collection of off the rack shirts and ties in his factory in Napoli. Every detail on the shirts are done by hand, often the shirts are made from exclusive Italian fabrics that the mills produce just for him. I learned recently in a conversation with Tom Kalenderian, the general merchandise manager executive vice president of mens at Barneys New York, that many of the prestigious Italian fabric makers will go the extra mile and bend their rules concerning minimums for Salvatore Piccolo. According to Kalenderian. “The mills love working with Salvatore because he has such good taste and his collections are so well done.”
Looking at the Piccolo shirts at Pitti Uomo (and again at Bread & Butter in Berlin where I snapped these photos) it makes sense why the mills want to work with this guy and why all of those powerful business types want him to make their custom shirts.
The SS12 collection ranges from classic off the rack work shirts to more casual sport shirts made from solids to summer patterns. The collection also includes a group of vintage inspired and Neapolitan styled ties that come in both a wide and skinny shape. Piccolo (who walked me through the line personally in Berlin) got a few fabric makers to create a selvedge silk fabric for some of the ties in the collection. You can see this detailing in a photo below of a completely unlined and unstructured tie.
The AW11 collection will be available at Barneys New York this coming fall, another solid pick up for the Manhattan-based retailer. In fact, almost everything I liked at Pitti ended up being an upcoming Barneys exclusive — so it is safe to assume where I will be shopping for the foreseeable future.
The off the rack shirts are definitely going to be on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of cost, ranging between $365 and $450. Ties will cost $185. While definitely very expensive, but the cost seems in line with other entirely hand-made shirts from high-end labels. [Salvatore Piccolo]