Search Results for isaia | A Continuous Lean.

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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Being Neapolitan | A Lesson in Language & Style at Isaia

Jul 3rd, 2012 | Categories: CC Reagan, Italy, Pitti Uomo June 2012 | by CC Reagan

The first time I met Gianluca Isaia was years ago on a gray, damp day in Milano. He was wearing a heavy wool double-breasted brown and beige herringbone topcoat. His hair was long and he was throwing back caffe’ like a man doing shots of tequila. He had just arrived that morning from New York and the gloomy Milan climate wasn’t sitting well with him (in fact, it doesn’t sit well with any Italian who hails from Rome and below, but that’s for another entry). Yet, despite the jetlag and the rain, Gianluca had a take-it-or-leave-it lightness to him, a wholly Neapolitan attitude equal parts optimism and fatalism. I would later come to understand it informs everything he does, not least of all his distinct approach to dressing.

“Non pazziar’,” he tells me as he shows me through the spring collection during the latest Pitti Uomo. That’s Napolitano for “no joking” (I can’t help it if I found his blue, red and white Prince of Wales suit and signature leather Capri sandals amusing). But I should know better, when it comes to this venerable brand, style is no laughing matter. That’s not to say, though, there isn’t room for a bit of irony.





The Details | Isaia Napoli

Jul 6th, 2011 | Categories: Clothing, Italy, Made in Italy 2011 | by Michael Williams

The post on the Isaia factory in Casalnuovo was extensive in terms of photos, partially because there was much to absorb at the storied Neapolitan tailor, but also because the process is so involved. Making a suit jacket is an intricate endeavor that requires not only great skill, but also equal amounts of finesse. It is a wonderful time-honored process and something magical to witness in person. So to help convey the complexity, I wanted to give you as many perspectives as possible.

One thing that really struck me at Isaia was all of the work that is done by hand, the relative ease at which the processes are performed and the general skillfulness that the workers exude. Even though I shared photos of the factory in general, I thought it would be interesting to drill down a bit into the work done by hand — one of the things that separates Isaia from other makers — and also into the little details that make these suits truly unique.

The lining is attached manually to the sleeve opening. Note the pucker, a sign the sewing was done by hand.





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.





Wants & Desires | Eidos Spring Summer 2014

Sep 20th, 2013 | Categories: Made in Italy, Menswear | by Michael Williams

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Launched this fall, Eidos is a recent addition to the Isaia family. The collection represents much of the Italian style that has ascended Isaia to cult status among those with an appreciation for fine tailoring. Though similar to its older sibling, the collection is focused more on a younger guy. Not to say that the target is young per se, Eidos is for those that love what Isaia offers in terms of style, but hasn’t necessarily graduated to that level quite yet.

The good news is, Eidos is priced below main-line Isaia and there’s not huge a sacrifice of quality. The collection is made entirely in Italy at another of company’s factories that is located between Naples and Rome. The higher-priced Isaia collection is made entirely at company’s original manufacture (which played host to me a while back) just outside of Naples. Regardless of where they are made, both offer great tailoring that is made with a high level of attention to detail.

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Made in England | Sunspel Menswear Ltd

Dec 23rd, 2012 | Categories: England, Factory Tour | by Michael Williams

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Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to see all sorts of things being made. I’ve been to Wayne, Michigan to see a newly re-tooled and incredibly modern Ford plant, to Schaffhausen, Switzerland to see the precision watchmakers at IWC craft beautiful timepieces. I’ve seen multiple generations of tailors sitting side by side in Naples, Italy making Isaia suits almost entirely by hand using skills that look liked they took lifetimes to develop. I’ve seen jeans made in L.A., suits made in Brooklyn and boots made in Minnesota.

After all of this, what I came to discover were people who are amazingly similar even though they hail from vastly different places and backgrounds. To walk into Sunspel in Long Eaton, England and see people making cut and sew underwear was an equally astonishing and familiar pursuit. In American and England, I don’t think people expect factories like Sunspel’s to exist anymore. I for one don’t, even though I have been to so many similar types of places. (I should point out that my marketing company Paul + Williams does work on behalf of Sunspel. Full disclosure and all that good stuff.) It goes to show that people want the real thing, they want quality and they will pay for it. That’s how I feel and over the course of doing ACL I’ve discovered that there are many people out there that feel the same way.

To go against the changes in society and continue to make the highest quality in England was likely not an easy thing to do. It is like swimming upstream. It takes guts and resiliency. On top of that, it takes a lot of hard work and some luck too. The important thing to remember here is that it can be done — these things can still exist in a meaningful way. I admire Sunspel because of its heritage and history. I respect it because it didn’t just close down its factory in the Midlands and chase cheap labor to the bottom over seas. I love it because it is real.

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An old image of Sunspel factory sewers from the company archive.

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Further Assessments | Camoshita AW12

Apr 30th, 2012 | Categories: Further Assessments, Japan, Pitti Uomo January 2012 | by Michael Williams

A Japanese-designed, Italian-styled collection that is heavily appreciated on an American blog —Camoshita could potentially make the world explode, or at least the Internets. After a meeting in midtown the other day, I popped into Barneys to survey the new goods that had recently arrived. Low and behold, right there on the main men’s floor, was the Camoshita collection. It reminded me of these images from Pitti that have clearly been neglected for too long. Though, all is not lost because these clothes still have a few more months before they hit stores.

The Camoshita collection is designed and produced under the United Arrows umbrella by Yasuto Kamoshita (the UA creative director) in Japan, and the line beautifully represents the double-barreled Japanese commitments to craftsmanship and Italian tailoring.