If you spend any amount of time at Italian clothing trade shows (or reading blogs about the things seen at Italian clothing tradeshows) you start to get a complex about your ability to dress yourself — at least I do. When I go to Pitti I start to wonder about my comparative ability to layer, choose colors and to mix textures. It’s a humbling exorcise in general, but my perceived personal style deficiencies are provoked most inside the Brunello Cucinelli stand.
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.