We continue our series of interviews with representatives from some of the world’s foremost companies. Today is the time to become acquainted with Giuseppe Attolini, the third generation of the family Attolini producing perhaps the world’s premier costumes.
We meet Giuseppe over Cesare Attolinis annual Trunk Show at Gabucci in Stockholm. The bookings are surprisingly many referred to it, after all, the very high price a measure tailored suit from Attolini command. We get the chance to share a few words with him between two clients measure solutions.
Tell us a little bit about Cesare Attolini.
Me and my brother Massimilliano is the third generation Attolini but we are the first generation that developed the company into a business. My grandfather Vincenzo founded the company in 1930, but after World War II, he created what we today associate with the “Neapolitan style”. What he did was to break up the British silhouette and philosophy of tailoring and gave it a Neapolitan angle.
In what way did he do it?
He chose to remove the canvas and structure usually associated with tailoring for the period. This is to give a comfortable garment that barely felt that bar and not least to adjust the jacket for our climate in Naples can be very hot in summer.
At first, his philosophy, perhaps the leading edge and innovative thinking that only a few customers understood the grandeur but after time it became more and more popular and demand grew for these okonstruerade jackets. Today it is very famous and popular, something that is strongly associated with that Neapolitan tailoring.
My father Cesare took on the concept he learned from his father and developed series produced jackets. It meant no longer a tailor working with an entire garment, but a group of tailors in the respective specialties worked on all jackets. A tailor sews shoulders, a sew the collar, a sewing buttonholes, a scooter, etc. pressing off. Obviously the result was completely different from the past and actually for the better for a tailor can not be an expert in all phases.
The process was refined in the 1970s focused mainly on producing for other brands, and in 1987 took me and my brother over and has since worked more and more with your own company Cesare Attolini.
We grow continuously with its own shops in Naples, New York, Istanbul, Azerbadjian among others, as well as shop-in-shops in department stores and boutiques around the world.
Have you worked as a tailor or the production itself?
Unfortunately not. My brother and I are very familiar with the technical as well as designs and cutting but we had not enough time to learn to sew skräddarnivå. We focused on building the company now includes over 200 employees. We control the company’s direction, chooses the fabrics for each collection so on. We do almost everything beyond sewing products themselves.
What would you say makes Cesare Attolini unique in the market?
First and foremost, the quality of what we produce. We see ourselves as a quality manufacturer rather than a brand. Since the start of the company’s history, there has never been about business and money, but rather to produce such a quality product as possible. We are confident that our revenues and our success is a natural consequence of this.
Then there’s the choice of fabrics. We are very fundamentalist when it comes to the fabric we work with and the demands we place on them. We love the British fabrics and what is usually termed’s kräddares fabrics”. The Italian fabrics are also good but British fabrics are more suited for that classic tailoring.
They are usually a little heavier if I understood it correctly?
Not necessarily heavier but it is very much about details like yarn and above all finish the ring of fabric. They are very durable, while Italian fabrics often have a softer touch. For tailoring products to achieve optimal case and form, it is nothing that beats the best British mills.
Is Cesare Attolini world’s leading costume manufacturer?
That I will not comment on. But some … Our reputation in the industry is very high.
We are not sold, and for us, a luxury not primarily on price but on quality and some availability. Something you do not see everywhere and that caters to specific customer with great demands.
Why is “Fatto a Mano” or hand-sewn such an important part of Cesare Attolini?
For us… it’s about we do not know of any other way. Our father and his father have taught the same techniques performed by hand and Attolini it’s about more than just stitching that is done by hand. There is just as much about cutting the fabric by hand, squeeze the finished jacket by hand and not least the germline knowledge of how to do this in the best possible way.
I’m very proud of our production consists of a large and very well-organized structure.
Cesare Attolinis costumes are quite expensive …
No, I would not say that our suits are expensive. However, they cost absolutely a lot of money but the reason for this is that it is 100% quality. Expensive is about a cost based on things not related to the product such as marketing, branding etc. Our costumes cost much because the production does.
Some believe that when you can get a custom-made suit for the same money it is strange to buy RTW or MTM?
It’s still about how to handle the product in production. We put a huge amount of time on a suit. It consists of 25 hours for a jacket and 8 hours for a pair of pants. When testing the product understand the difference. The suit fits like a second skin but without being tight or restrictive.
It is also about the experience. Just because you have three or four fittings that does not mean that it will achieve a better result. Normally, if you do it correctly usually a fitting enough well.
There is one thing that struck me when tested Attolinis and other premium manufacturers costumes and it is how you basically can go both up and down in size and still have a really good result. I could wear size 48, 50 and 52 and it would still look good.
It is one of the secrets of good tailoring. Sure you can waist be slightly high in the larger size, but the cutting and movement is the same.
If you only had to recommend a suit to a customer, what would it be?
First and foremost, we would work with an exclusive fabric. The model should be about the person and the customer. If he is a creative person so suggests perhaps a stronger, more daring colors while a more discreet customer, for example, a lawyer may have more benefit from a more discreet choice. It is very important for us to understand who the person is before us.
We always recommend our own house style and we change not for extreme trends. We sell our history and philosophy. 20 years ago, customers and felt jackets were too tight and wanted to have long and big jackets, but our philosophy is different. Contrary to popular belief, it becomes a great blazer restrictive a slim cut. We try to offer a contemporary product with a modern style and classic craftsmanship.
It is important to find a balance between the classic and kontemporära and it is not always easy.