After Milan, hosting Milan Menswear Fashion Week, and Florence, home of Pitti Uomo, the next capital of well-done Made In Italy menswear fashion could be Naples.
This is the ambition behind “Le Mani Di Napoli” (meaning “The hands of Naples"), a new association founded in January 2022 by the Mediterranean city known for its great savoir faire tradition of tailor-made menswear fashion. The new association is gathering together 21 tailoring local enterprises specialised in producing handcrafted made-to-measure tailored menswear apparel, shirting, ties, footwear, gloves and more.
The ambition of the newborn association is to recall Italian and international menswear buyers and big spenders to Naples twice a year for “Vieni a Vestirti a Napoli”(Meaning “Come get dressed in Naples”), an event whose first edition is planned by the end of November 2022, that will lead them to visit highly specialised laboratories where these unique products are made according to a century-long tradition.
The association made its debut in the presence of local authorities, including Gaetano Manfredi, Mayor of Naples, who praised the initiatives' opportunity to show the value of local enterprises founding their work on careful manufacturing and wise gestures taught from father to son generation after generation, and underlining the importance of the association for its cultural value, in addition to entrepreneurial and economic one.
“I wanted to found this association before the pandemic, as I think that our territory deserves not to be forgotten for its great tradition and skills,” commented Damiano Annunziato, co-owner, Sartoria Dalcuore, co-founder and vicepresident of Le Mani DI Napoli, together with Giancarlo Maresca, president of the association.
“Many successful menswear companies were founded here. Among them there are, for instance, Kiton, Attolini and Marinella, but they offer industry-made products. Our associated companies, instead, produce true handcrafted 100% in-house made products,” he added, underlining that more companies could join it as 33,000 enterprises are registered as part of the artisanal apparel manufacturing category of the Campania Region’s Chamber of Commerce.
Producing a tailor made suit requires about one month of time, and two or three meetings for taking measures and fitting, for an indicative total of about 50 to 60 working hours.
“If they offer you a tailor-made suit for €180-€250, it’s not tailoring. A suit may cost between €2,500 and €3,000 up to €5,000 for a Rubinacci suit. Though it’s underpaid work considering that Dolce&Gabbana sells a semi-sartorial suit at €18,000, which means that only a part of the work is tailor-made,” added Annunziato.
In order to guarantee that all productive steps are done internally, the association wants to establish the ‘Museum’ label that will distinguish products entirely internally made, among it various aims.
“Among this association’s targets there are many aims - both material and cultural,” said Maresca, president of the association. “According to economic aims, its associates could access to purchasing raw materials more competitively. Speaking about the cultural aspect, instead, the association was created with the aim to go more into deep, defend and transmit its traditional knowledge that makes its handcrafted apparel so original and recognizable. Education will be one of its primary aims as, we want to establish an academic foundation that takes care to pass this expertise on to the younger generations and by building an Institute of Artisanal studies and a museum dedicated to the art of tailoring.
Then not less important, we want to reposition Naples in its natural role as capital of style offering visibility to its territory, its taste and art of living.”
Among its 21 associates there are Sartoria Dalcuore, Sartoria Sabino, Camiceria Anna Matuozzo, Ugo Cilento 1780, Luca Avitabile and Paolo Scarfora, among others, supported by sponsors like fabric manufacturer Ratti.
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