Napoli | A Continuous Lean.

Further Assessments | Salvatore Piccolo AW13

Mar 19th, 2013 | Categories: Further Assessments, Made in Italy, Menswear, Napoli, Pitti Uomo 2013 | by Michael Williams

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This is the room I most want to see in every season at Pitti Uomo. Piccolo is the master of color and texture. He mixes in English, American and Japanese with Italian style in the most simplistic and natural way. He’s also mastered of fabric if you were wondering. Not only that, he’s easy-going and affable as a person, which makes the visit even that much more enjoyable. He’s always wants to tell you about the process and the little details that make his clothing so special. It started as custom shirts all made in his bottega in Napoli. Later it evolved to ties, then on to jackets and now he makes handsome suits as well. The guy is a unstoppable.

Barneys brings it to America and Savatore comes to New York a few times a year to work with his custom clients, but when you see everything in once place like at Pitti, the presence of the collection overwhelms. It’s a feeling of mixed joy and pain. Happiness that you get to see it. Sadness that you can’t just pack it all up in trunks and ship it back directly to your closet where you will systematically deploy it to become the world’s best dressed man. [SALVATORE PICCOLO]

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Know Thyself | ISAIA AW13

Jan 27th, 2013 | Categories: Italy, Made in Italy, Menswear, Napoli, Pitti Uomo 2013 | by Michael Williams

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Seeing Isaia’s fall collection is one of the things that makes the trek to Florence worth it. The Neapolitan tailor never ceases to impress when it comes to shape and texture. The styling and strong sense of color also serve as some of the most inspirational corners of the menswear summit that is Pitti Uomo. The brand’s AW13 collection is no let down in this regard. There’s a lot going on in a relatively small selection of items, but the spirit remains and Isaia continues to delight with its willingness to know itself and be the brand it wants to be, not the brand other people want it to be.

Like most of the Isaia clothing in the past, this collection draws its inspiration from Naples, specifically from Januarius (the city’s patron saint) and the Naples Cathedral. The details of these inspirations show up in prints and in other small elements of the collection. The photos here give a nice sense of the fabrics, styling and feelings you can look forward for the coming fall.

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Hand Made Shirting from Napoli | Salvatore Piccolo SS12

Jul 27th, 2011 | Categories: Made in Italy, Menswear, Napoli, Shirts | by Michael Williams

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.





Made in Italy | Isaia Napoli

Jun 28th, 2011 | Categories: Clothing, Factory Tour, Italy, Made in Italy 2011, Napoli | by Michael Williams

The third installment from the ACL Made in Italy tour focuses its sights on the Neopolitan tailor Isaia. Located on the outskirts of Napoli — in a small town called Casalnuovo, a place that has been the home of tailors for generations — in a factory where nearly everyone that works in production is a second or third generation tailor. Isaia itself is a family-run business; founded in 1957 by Enrico Isaia, the clothing maker is now helmed by Enrico’s grandson Gianluca Isaia, and has various other family members involved in its day-to-day operations.

The factory is an expansive two story building that is tucked away in an unmarked alley with a large gate. If I were to find the place without the assistance of Isaia’s driver, I’d venture to say it would have been impossible. More than that, if I had to drive myself through the traffic in Napoli, I don’t know if I would be alive to report about the wonderful tailoring I witnessed. But all of that just adds to the allure of Napoli and of course, the Neapolitans. I find Southern Italians to be charming and friendly with a good sense of humor. I find Napoli to be intense, exciting and renegade. Definitely unlike any other place in Italy that I have been.