Camps de Luca — the ultimate bespoke tailor, incredibly nice suits but incredibly expensive as well. Something to try once in a lifetime in a moment of folly. No regrets despite the stratospheric price-tag. After having tried elsewhere so many different MTM offerings and even a few bespoke offerings, I noticed that I was always unsatisfied with the end result. Therefore, I came to wonder whether it was actually me being too picky, or whether it was the previous tailors falling down on the job. To get to the bottom of it, as an experiment, I decided that if I ordered a bespoke suit from the best of the best and I was still unsatisfied, then it would prove once and for all that my standards for besopke tailoring were unrealistic, and that I should cut my previous tailors some slack. Well, as it turns out, Camps de Luca did not dissapoint me in any way, and even surpassed many of my expectations. The problem now is that it’s hard to unring the bell and go back to a previous state of unknowingness about what great tailoring should be — my little experiment has opened my eyes to the fact that many people who claim to be tailors these days are in fact nothing more than salemen who have taken a few courses in suitmaking.
Cifonelli — the other ultimate bespoke tailor in Paris. People tend to forget that they bought up all the best bespoke tailors over the years. By going to Cifonelli, you also have access to the legendary Rousseau or Gonzales styles , for as long as they still have the older workers on the premises who are familiar with constructing those older suits. Cifonelli also offers a superb RTW line made by Caruso, using great fabrics. Perhaps their RTW line is the ideal compromise for penurious sartorialists: great cut, great construction, great value-for-money, particularly during sales.
Smalto — I am a huge fan of the trademark single-breasted lapel with the low button stance and the assymetrical notch. Thankfully this model is readily available in their Caruso-made RTW line, which can be acquired affordably during sales. Some of their RTW fabric choices are questionnable however (too many gaudy, shiny, awful, nouveaux riche fabrics), and their construction feels more ‘armoured’ than Cifonelli’s RTW, although they are both made by Caruso. I’m not a huge fan of the trademark 5-button cuff, but I do love their square buttons for sports coats. Hats off to the superb handmade milanaise by default, not all luxury RTW brands have it. Beyond the signature Smalto model, I don’t find any of their other cuts appealing. And never buy the Smalto By second-line, which is a license product that has very little to do with Smalto.
Cesare Attolini — Amazing RTW suits and SC’s, with a generous lapel. Not to be confused with the bespoke Naples tailor called Attolini — the two brands having nothing to do with eachother, not even a family connection from what I understand. Cesare Attolini is one of those luxurious handmade RTW brands, like Kiton and Brioni, that actually retails for a higher price than a bespoke suit. Of those three ludicrously-priced brands, I think it’s the most beautiful and feels the nicest to wear. They also make suits for other brands, at varying levels of cost and qualilty, so you can look for their trademark yellow size label inside the trousers to identify whether another high-end italian RTW suit is actually made by Attolini — e.g. Luciano Barbera Sartoriale is made by them, among others. The wonderful handmade construction and details of the Attolini topline are on par with bespoke, which can explain the high RRP.
Raffaele Caruso — This is probably the best mass-produced suitmaker in the world, manufacturing for the all the best brands globally. I have Caruso suits from a dozen different brands, and they are all stunning. When I walk into a menswear store anywhere in the world, and when one suit on display looks and feels better than all the others, I usually discover on closer inspection of the inside label that it was made by Caruso. To be that good, consistently accross so many different brands, is a major achievement of industrialization succesfully applied to handmade garments.
Sartoria Parma (Caruso) — This is one of Caruso’s brands that they actually make for themselves. While it’s still a very nice suit, it’s definitely not my favourite line from Caruso.
Basile (Mabro) — This Paris store speacializes in italian suits. The cuts are nothing special, and the prices are prohibitve given the intrinsic quality of the product. However, they do sell some fine suits produced by Mabro, a factory in Tuscany that makes great suits but that isn’t as well known as some of the other italian factories like Caruso, ISAIA, Belvest, Saint Andrews, Attolini, etc. Louis Vuitton RTW suits are made at Mabro for instance. I have one Mabro suit which is great, and paul-lux.tumblr.com has another which he’s also really happy with, suggesting that Mabro is one of those unsung heroes of italilan suitmaking.
Boggi — This RTW brand totally impresses me, all the more given its rock-bottom pricing. If I were to recommend just one brand to penurious sartorialists around the globe, this would be it. Almost everything in their plethoric product range is something you would want to wear. But what’s really interesting is that there are a few hidden jewels in each collection, which they don’t charge extra for, so the value-for-money proposition is even more enticing if you know how to identify these gems. For example, they have 5 main suit suppliers — after a while you can start to tell them apart almost by looking at the garments. On the price-tag you will notice codes such as LR or FB, which indicate that the suit was made by say Lardini or Flannnel Bay (and AHD stands for Isaia, go figure). And then you have a few that read CR, for Caruso — these are fully canvassed suits, made from luxury fabrics like Loro Piana Tasmanian Super 150’s, at a RRP of 850 euros before discounts. Same with knits, ties, coats and shirts, where you can find a few amazing products thrown in with the rest, at about the same price. I mean, where else are you going to find seven-fold ties for 40 euros ? Obvisouly they have some people in the sourcing and design departments who know their stuff, and who are targetting the #menswear geeks like myself. Heck, my boggi suede mocs look better than the Berluti original that they were copied from. Bravo!
Ravazzolo — Nobody on the internet buzzes about this great RTW brand, another unsung heroe of italian suitmaking. The price is prohibitive but the product is very nice, recognized for what it is by true connaisseurs. For example Jose, the owner of l’Atelier des Createurs, has recently created a model copied from Ravazzolo. Not that any of his clients even know what Ravazzolo is, but it’s interesting that a guy like Jose, who is a real tailor who knows his stuff, should choose them as a model to copy. (Other models he’s copied include Tom Ford, and more recently ISAIA, so I think that speaks for itself.)
Pal Zileri — Don’t be fooled by their sleek & trendy ads in the menswear magazines or their faux-hip boutiques in bad locations — this is a great product, but you could never tell from the outside. I only tried them by accident when Madelios went out of business, but I wish I’d caught on sooner. Skip the Lab line, which is trendy and expermiental, and only buy in the main line or the Sartoriale line, which have great cuts, construction and fabrics. For example, PZ is one of the few RTW brands to make trousers that are barely canvassed at the waistline, much more comfortable to wear than the stiff waistlines of most RTW and MTM trousers. The construction of the jackets is so light you barely feel it, yet it looks very structured from the outside and holds up to wear. The choice of fabrics is always differentiating in subtle ways, so it remains original yet wearable. The way a RTW brand chooses its fabrics is often telling: some brands just choose expensive fabrics that don’t actualy look good, whereas Pal Zileri’s fabric choices are not the most luxurious but are always very carefully chosen, interesting both in look and feel.
Façonnable — This stuff is obviousely not top-notch anymore. The old Façonnable was good, back when Albert Goldberg created the brand. However, despite the fact that the jackets are fused these days, I’ve have some pleasant surprises regarding cut and fabric choice, which remain appealing, at very reasonable mass-market prices. I wouldn’t turn to them for CBD (although they had one SBPL model that was to die for), but their casual chic range is very appealing stylistically, striking a perfect balance somewhere between Riviera and Preppy.
Gambler — Didier Azoulay hardly wants to spend more than 5 minutes per customer, given that his MTM suits cost less than €500 and that he sells 10.000 of them per year, more than any tailor in Paris, so he has no time to waste and there’s always a line at the door. If you can get beyond this initial turn-off (some would-be customers never do, and I nearly didn’t), then you gain access to a very interesting value-for-money MTM proposition. Granted, this is not the best quality suit around, but the pricing is EXTREMELY competitive. This guy orders basic Super 130’s from Loro Piana one-thousand meters at a time, two years in advance, paid up front. We’re talking wholesale at 23 euros per meter, which explains how he sells so cheaply. In the same vein, he’s negotiated every step of the chain down to rock-bottom pricing — for example, you only pay 90 euros extra for full canvassing, whereas competitors double the price when you ask for a full canvass. No only that, he takes no markup on fabrics, so his CMT offering is even cheaper. Lastly, a pair of MTM trousers will cost you less than what you’d pay for RTW elsewhere. A very good address for penurious sartorialists.
Handson — What I’ve already written about pricing and quality at Gambler is almost identical here. No surprise, as the two actually use some of the same production lines. The main difference is the level of service. Stephane never has a line, as he receives only by appointment, so you get good quality time with him to discuss fabric choice, style and fitting. I think he’s also more into menswear than Didier Azoulay — I’ve had some geeky conversations with Stephane that I’ve never really been able to have with Didier. For example, you’ll never see Didier wearing a suit and tie, whereas Stephane dresses only in a suit and tie, and his warbrobe show that he’s a connaisseur who owns suits from all over, for kicks. A better address for penurious sartorialists who like to engage with their tailor.
Luciano Barbera (Attolini) — Great suits made by Attolini, but unfortunately not quite as nice at the ones Attolini makes for themselves.
Brioni — This is considered to be one of the Everests in men’s ready-to-wear handmade suiting. While it is indeed very fine, and I’m pleased to own some just for bragging rights, ultimately I don’t think it’s all it’s cracked up to be. The fabric choices are sometimes dubious. The cuts are so unimaginatively classic as to be boring — I’ve actually had my alterations tailor make significant improvement on the original (shoulders, waist, DB button placement), which is sad for such illustrious brand. Definitely not worth the stratospheric RRP. Brioni is living proof of Rule #1 for buying a suit, according to the Gospel by Flusser, which says to choose cut before any other consideration such as construction or fabric. The real pleasure of wearing a Brioni suit is the secret guilt of knowing how much it cost — beyond that, I probably look better in better-cut suits worth a tenth of the price.
Kiton — Kiton is to Naples what Brioni is to Rome. Definitely not worth the price either, even if it is an entirely handmade suit. The cuts are nice though, especially the Cipa model which has the extra-wide lapels. I’m not sure that the Kiton trademark Neapolitan shirt-shoulder, spalla camicia, which made the brand’s reputation worldwide, is actually flattering to a man’s silhouette, making everyone look hunched or droopy.
Oxxford — The most over-hyped over-rated RTW brand. Heralded as the iconic US-equivalent of Kiton or Brioni, I can assure you that it is not. Just because a garment is handmade is not a guarantee of anything — there are plenty of uninteresting handmade garments out there. I mean, if your grandmother knits you a sweater by hand, does that actually make it look nice to wear ? The cuts and fabrics are nothing special, nor is the handiwork. Just because some US President’s endorsed this heritage brand, the internet has unquestionably followed suit in praise of its quality. Wake up people.
Albert Arts — Also labelled ‘Le Fils du Tailleur’, because it’s founder Albert Goldberg, who founded Façonnable and bought Old England, was the son of a tailor. Goldberg created AA after selling Façonnable, in order to recreate a high-end RTW brand with lots of tailoring details. That spirit is visible in every garment that AA sells, which always have these really nice details that you associate with bespoke and don’t usually find in RTW. The whole range is made in Italy, some model even made by Sartoria Partenopea. AA was only sold at Old England at the flagship store in Nice, where Goldberg lives and continues to stay active at his store. Granted this stuff is too pricey for what it is at RRP, but ever since Old England went bust, there’s deadstock out there. Watch for it at rock-bottom prices on the internet someday.
Old England — Not the best brand around, not by a longshot. Nice to own for nostalgia value. Some nice fabrics and decent cuts, I’ll grant them that, just not a very high standard of manufacturing.
Sartoria Partanopea — Just plain awesome. Only distributed at Old England. I shall forever regret that I woke up too late to this brand, and didn’t take full advantage to stock up when Old England went out of business. SP has an absolutely amazing trademark neapolitan cut, completely inspired by Kiton, where its founders used to work, except I think they improved on the original, at one third of the price of Kiton.
Canali — Why doesn’t this brand get the internet buzz it deserves? Just because it’s widely distributed and is in all the magazines, are people confusing it with Hugo Boss or something? Canali is a wonderful fully canvassed product, with a great cut and excellent fabric choices (although a bit too much on the delicate side, perhaps it’s part of their charm.) Yes, it’s a mass-produced garment, but for something mass-produced to feel this nice, it goes to show that Made in Italy still means something. Indeed, Canali is one of the few brands to have its own factory, and yet to produce exclusively for it’s own brand. I’m sure they would make a killing if they started making for other third-party luxury brands. The sensation of a Canali suit is unique, ranking up there with the best of the handmade italians, which is what’s so puzzling about them: one quick glance inside and you can tell it’s not handmade, but when you wear it it feels insane (this realization always hits me like a punch when I put one on again, after a few weeks away.) My only gripe with them is the RRP and the button stance on the 2B which is set too high.
Corneliani — The story here is almost the same as with Canali: they own their own production facility, and their suits look & feel great. The main differences are: Corneliani gets more internet buzz, their fabric choices aren’t as perfect, and they also make for third parties, such as Ralph Lauren among others. In addition, I suspect that Corneliani does a few more steps by hand, but I’d love to have confirmation of that hunch by someone who knows for sure.
Ermenegildo Zegna — There are so many lines of varying quality, from the half-canvassed ZZegna to the handmade Couture and Su Misura lines, that it’s hard to form a catch-all opinion. Skip ZZegna for sure. The upper echelon handmade lines are beautifully made and feel great — I only wish the lapels were a bit wider, or that there was some other feature to make the Zegna suit visually memorable. There is no trademark cut, IMHO you can’t tell a Zegna suit just by looking at it, as you could for many other suitmakers, such as Tom Ford for example, which is a shame given the prestige of the Zegna brand. Most of the other suitmakers I’ve reviewed here have some kind of visual identity, but Zegna does not. This may be the doing of M. Alessandro Sartorio himself, the former creative director at Zegna, whose recent Berluti menswear line is totally unmemorable as well, which certainly does not bode well for the future of the Arnys brand under his stewardship. I’m just glad I own an Arnys from the pre-Berluti days. PS: my comments above only apply to EZ’s suitmaking, because as a fabric-maker, which is their core business, they remain worldclass, although frustratingly overpriced due to their reputation.
Ralph Lauren — As with Zegna, there are such differences between the lines, from Blue Label (Polo) to Black to Purple, that it’s hard to evaluate it as a whole. For example, I’d be tempted to dismiss Polo on the basis of quality, but the Garrison cut produced in Italy by Corneliani is one of my favourites, even if it is only half-canvassed. On the other hand Purple Label, manufactured to the highest standard by Caruso, has never done it for me, whether the cuts, the fabric choices or the fit. Still, I have alot of respect of this brand and would never fault anyone who shops there mindlessly, as many do, since you can hardly go wrong with RL, the designer who never had an original idea in his life, but who cares, when it works it works…
Brooks Brothers — Like RL, BB also has variyng degrees of quality depending on the line. I understand that the Golden Fleece line is good, but I’ve never tried it. The rest of the offering is a low quality Asia-manufactured product. However, they now offer one line Made in Italy which is actually a great product. I don’t know who’s making it for them, but it immediately stands out from the rest. I’m extremely happy with my Made in Italy BB and would buy more from that line in a heartbeat. BB is also the only #menswear brand where the ladie’s section is great to shop for outfits for the Mrs. (I thought that RL would also have a preppy-heritage offering for women, but instead they sell BS faux-fashion, completely out of phase with the brand’s values.)
New Kingston Fashion — I have been using this Hong Kong tailor for nearly 20 years. IIRC, Will from ASW once wrote that every gentleman needs to have his cheap HK tailor — I couldn’t agree more. The role of the HK tailor is to produce good bespoke copies of the European-made garments we’d love to fill our wardrobes with, but we can’t afford to. So you splurge and buy one original of each brand in Europe, and then have them duplicated accross different fabrics in Hong Kong. Works like a charm, very cost-effective. I had foolishly stopped doing the HK thing for a number of years, but now I’m back. I had gotten to a point where I was no longer satisfied with my HK productions. When I started again, upon receiving the first commission, I immediately noticed NK Fashion had upped their game, compared to my memory of their quality 10 years prior. The canvassing was awesome, totally fluid and italian in spirit, not at all what I remembered. I confronted them about it and they confirmed that in the interval they had reengineered their process to become more italian. I could really tell the difference, so I’m back with them now. The price is unbeatable for that amount of hand tailoring in a suit. I simply insist that they do none of the buttonholes in HK, they don’t have the skills. I have them done by hand in Paris by Julien Scavini or Jessica de Hody, and I end up with a truly great besopke suit at an insanely low price.
Ohnona — A good MTM tailor, very knowledgable and good to talk to. I would love to work more with him, but my #menswear geekiness has tried his patience and he’s made it clear that he will no longer willingly suffer clients as demanding as myself. His loss I guess, because I was unquestionably right about all the things that I claimed needed alterations on my previous commisssions. Perhaps we got off on the wrong foot. He is a bit pricey for MTM however.
Di Castri — One of the last great salesmen of MTM. Unsurprisingly, as a former Lagonda salesman, his DNA is more that of a retail guy than that of a tailor. Having said that, I’ve found his eye and tailoring advice to have been spot on every time. I think that like many MTM tailors, Ohnona included, he’s caught between a rock and a hard place: between what he would like to be able to produce and what the factory he works with is ultimately capable of producing. This has led me, over the years, to have both the best and worst experiences with him, without me ever being able to ascertain whether the problems stemmed from him or from his factory. In the end, it doesn’t matter, since he bears the ultimate responsibillity towards the client. He’s obviously changed manufacturers many times over the years, because my suits from him are all different, some great, some terrible. He has the advantage, like Ohnona, of having a well-trained alterations tailor on the premises, which has resolved many dire situations. Beware that he has different models, but he’s not so clear about which is which when you order, so if your a maniac lile me about details, be sure to clearly identify the model you want and make sure that’s the one being delivered. For example, he has a cut called Tailor, which I beleive is now called Amo, that is very close to Camps de Luca, but he has another model called Andrea which is a bit different. I’ve seen orders get mixed up. He also has a bespoke offering, made out of Naples thanks to Easyjet commutes. Given the price, I’d rather deal with Ripense which is superior at a similar price.
Jean-Manuel Moreau (a.k.a. Tailormail) — He has two MTM lines: a house line made in Italy, and Orazio Luciano La Vera Sartoria Napoletana. The Tailormail house product is not bad, but I’m so enamoured with the Orazio Luciano which he also sells that I have a hard time talking about the house line. One thing is for sure, Tailormail does not get the attention it deserves from the #menswear crowd. It’s really well located, just off rue Marbeuf, but since it’s in a side street, you never notice it. Check it out, you won’t regret it.
Orazio Luciano La Vera Sartoria Napoletana — This stuff is indeed expensive for MTM, but it’s must-have if you’re a fanboy of the contemporary italian Pitti-style shit that is all over the internet right now. We’re pretty damn close to bespoke here, even if it is just MTM — the lines are getting blurry. Hell, this stuff fits better on first fitting than some of my bespoke suits after alterations. I don’t know what else to say, except I wish I had more money to spend on LVSN. Orazio was a former Kiton tailor who set out on his own. Like with Sartoria Partenopea, you can tell the inspiration but IMHO it’s better than the original, at a fraction of the price.
Chester Barrie — Please, never confuse this with Chester By, some fused crap made in China that bears the same name. Chester Barrie Handmade, sold at Harrod’s and Saks, is one of the great unsung heroes of #menswear. And because no twentysomething i-gents know what this brand is, the prices are ludicrously low on eBay, with regard to the intrinsic quality of the product. Best kept secret not on the internet. The fabrics, cuts, construction and handiwork is all top top class. I only regret that, as with Paul Stuart, most of their SC’s are single-vented, which prevents me from acquiring more. I’ve got dibs on the double-vented ones that show up on eBay every so often…
H. Huntsman & Sons — I have their bespoke, MTM and RTW, and it’s all good, very good. I won’t be able to add anything useful to the millions of things written about them already, so I’ll shut up, the name speaks for itself. If you are a #menswear geek, you owe it to yourself to have at least one piece in your wardrobe, especially if you’re not an A&S drapecut fanboy, which is my case. We’re at the other end of the spectrum here, no drape, tight chest, just what the doctor ordered. The stuff of crisp army uniforms.
Caraceni — As you know, there is A. Caraceni, D. Caraceni and Tommy & Giulio Caraceni, a feuding family of world class tailors, each claiming the title of best bespoke tailor on the planet. I couldn’t say, as I only have Tommy & Giulio Caraceni, but this has got to be close to the top of the top. Certainly better than almost everything else I own. The cut is super classic, almost to the point of being boring, but it’s so well executed that it becomes exciting again. Now that’s skill.
Belvest — Great contemporary italian RTW. Not that sought after, oddly enough, given the quality. It’s mass-producded and reminds me of Canali and Corneliani when I wear it. Again, how do they manage to mass-produce suits that feel so nice, and if they can do it, how come the others can’t ? Is the answer to do with the fact that they, like Caruso, Canali, Corneliani et al., have their own factory ? Is it because only the italians know how to get it right on a massive scale ? I often wonder…
Gieves & Hawkes — I’ve only tried their RTW so I won’t comment on their bespoke. Frankly, given the prestige of the name, their RTW line is a half-canvassed sham that casts doubt on the street cred of their entire operation. OK, the cut it’s bad, but the garment is stiff and doesn’t breathe. Great on a cold & windy day.
Ripense — Roman bespoke at great value-for-money. The absolute starting address when you go bespoke on a tight budget. The house cut is awesome, great shoulder, great lapel, great chest, great back. It’s also cool to be tailored by a guy that dresses better than you, and that #menswear bloggers are always posting pictures of. Touch the dream.
Claude Rousseau — One of the historic greats of the Parisian cut. I feel lucky to have been able to thrift one, a collector’s item.
Rubinacci — The jury’s still out on this one. I keep going back and forth between thinking this could be one of the alltime greats and thinking this is just too flimsy to hold up over time and cast an ideal shape over my body. We’ll see. My mind is totally polluted by internet groupthink, so I was taken aback when I didn’t have the Revelation when I first tried it on.
Hartwood — Great Caruso-made RTW. I only wish they would also do 2B RTW, it’s all religiously 3B, barely rolling to 2. They are clearly in bed with Loro Piana on fabric choice, for better or for worse — but I guess you could do alot worse that make your entire collections out of LP. This brand probably deserves to be international, I hope they get there because it would put French RTW back on the map. Of course, connaisseurs know and love Hartwood already.
Paul Stuart — I’m really not that impressed by construction, which is a bit stiff, we have the Canadians of Samuelsohn to blame for this I guess. Given how awesome the PS cuts and fabric choices are, this brand could be much huger if they would just go for Made in Italy 100%. I’m surprised they don’t expand into Europe, I’m sure they could be a big hit.
Smuggler — Pointless fused crap. I just had to mention them out of thoroughness, as I owned some before I knew what I was doing.
Zara — Crap also, but I’ve got to hand it to them, given how wide their range is, you’re ALWAYS going to find a piece that isn’t that bad. This happened to me once on vacation in a remote destination, I unexpectedly needed a suit for one evening only, Zara saved the day and my wallet with a tan cotton suit that actually looked very cool and stayed with me for many many years thereafter.
Stefano Ricci — Another ridiculously-priced RTW brand, alongside Kiton and Brioni. Made by Saint Andrews. Oddly, Ricci may well be my favourite of the three italian giants, in terms of cut. Here’s the test: Ohnona once pointed out that you can tell great italian RTW by trying on a suit one size too large and one size too small — only the italians know how to make suits where you’ll still look great in the wrong size. I’ve tested this maxim time and again, and it’s totally true, it’s like a sartorial magic trick. Having succesfully performed the test at Brioni, Kiton and Ricci, I can rule that Ricci’s cut looks even better than the other two in the wrong size, so they get extra points.
Gianfranco Ferre — This is a very well-made handmade garment, that doesn’t get the street cred it deserves because it caters to the wrong crowd, the faux-fashionistas. If we put the marketing aside and look at how it’s made, it’s obviously coming from one of the top factories in Italy, not sure which, as the price-tag would suggest. (Is it Attolini ?)
Lagonda — I give them credit for popularizing a Parisian ‘cran tailleur’ in an affordable RTW context. This brand could have really gone places, they somehow missed a few turns along the way, and are now probably headed nowhere. Maybe a potential turnaround story someday for the right investor/designer duo ?
Phist — Does anyone besides me even remember these guys ? In the context of the mid-90’s, what they were doing in terms of style and price wasn’t bad at all. I wonder why they screwed up and vanished. They also could have been big. It’s now become a crappy brand called Oliver Grant, but all the older salespeople who are still there agree that the former collections were a zillion times better.
British House — Another mid-90’s brand that could have surfed on the anglo-trend, like John Preston in the early days. Instead they went bust and John Preston lost it’s way.
Arnys — RTW by Caruso, handmade in China, weird. Don’t beleive me, it says so on the inside label. I’m not a huge fan of the cut, but the construction is indeedd superb, all the more disquieting when you consider where it was made. Buttonstance is way too high. Some models are downright awful. Top fabrics usually. Collector’s item now that Berluti/LVMH has bought them out. I predict bad karma.
Maco — Another brand, along with Sartoria Parma, where Caruso is making for itself. Clearly it’s with the Maco brand that Caruso is going all out on quality and cut, not with Parma. Lovely lovely stuff.
Doriani — I don’t know who makes this stuff, but defintely below expectations given all the hype on the brand by the Sartorialist. I spoke to an italian connaisseur who confirmed to me that suiting is not their strong point, cashmere knits are, which may explain my dissapointment.
Maurice Sedwell — Incredible Savile Row bespoke (or is it off-Row?) that certainly doesn’t get the exposure it deserves given the intrinsic quality of the tailoring. IMHO we’re above Huntsman here.
Lander Urquijo — The young Spanish up-and-comer. Their MTM is all cut by hand, so you can ask for style modifications like I can’t find anywhere else in MTM. For example, they did a collar shape to my specifications. That’s cool for MTM. I’m very happy with the jacket and trousers I’ve ordered so far. I will probably commission more. They have a lower cost offering at 450€ CMT for a jacket, and a more upscale offering at 700€ CMT for a jacket. Having tried the more expensive line, I frankly don’t see much difference with the low cost version, so I’ll try the 450€ CMT next time, which could turn out to be great value-for-money if I’m right.
Atelson — Cheap RTW, nothing special, except that they offer some very current italian-style fabrics, with neapolitan unstructured construction, which is rare in RTW stores in Paris. It’s a shame their lapels are a bit too narrow.
My review of shirtmakers:
My review of bootmakers: