Tailors Are Responsible For The Birth Of Mens Italian Suits
There were no men’s fashion designers in Italy in the 19th century. Suit designers were tailors before the turn of the 20th century. The tailors of yesteryear like to design suits that fit the body like a glove. Suit fabrics were shiny and gauche. Italian fashion didn’t evolve into what it is today until Ermenegildo Zegna opened a textile school in Biella, in 1910. Domenico Caraceni Sartorias made suits around the same time, and in the 1930s Canali came on the Italian men’s fashion scene. Designers Vincenzo Attolini and the couturier Corneliani came on the scene in the same decade.
But the brand that made the biggest impact on mens Italian suits was Brioni. Master tailor Nazareno Fonticoli learned his trade on Savile Row. Fonticoli and another tailor, Gaetano Savini, launched the Brioni brand after World War II. In 1951, Savini and Fonticoli put men’s fashion on the Milan runways for the first time. The success of that first show paved the way for the 1963 Sala Bianca menswear show and the Pitti Uomo show in 1972. The Pitti Uomo became an international show.
The image of the fashionable Italian man in a suit was immortalized in the 1960 Frederico Fellini classic movie, La Dolce Vita. Actor Marcello Mastroianni was responsible for giving mens Italian suits a sense of easy elegance and cynical chic. Italian men’s fashion became the fashion to duplicate in the United States, but imitators couldn’t capture the essence that exists in the Italian art of suit making.
The early designers are the mentors of modern day designers, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Versace, and others. Giorgio Armani hit the men’s fashion scene with a bang. His crumpled jackets and suits became fashion must-haves, and his linen suits became the uniform of movie stars, high-profile investment bankers, and international jet-setters. The Armani jacket is now a classic, and it is timeless in the eyes of Armani followers.
Made-to-measure mens Italian suits are still the armor of choice for corporate tycoons. Brioni is still the Italian brand James Bond wears. Tom Hanks wore Brioni in the movie Angels and Demons. Even though the menswear industry is more casual now, men’s Italian suits are still the look that turns heads in a crowd. Italian suits bring a sense of elegance to the menswear industry and the classic taste of chivalry to a party.