Last week I had the pleasure of stopping by Palermo tailor Guido Davi in his atelier near Via della Liberta. As always, we had a thoroughly interesting discussion. We first met more than seven years ago but I always learn something new whenever I visit. Guido is among the most well-known Palermitan tailors and over the years has cultivated a distinguished clientele as mentioned in my book SGST.
Unusually among Sicilian tailors active today, he has spent a significant amount of time working abroad (London specifically) which has played a key role in connecting him to the clients who work with him today. Think an international client base of successful professionals and mostly grown through word-of-mouth. For any bespoke tailor, these describe the preferred ingredients of sustaining the business as well as their craftsmanship. They are not the only ingredients of success but they are essential in my view.
Also, unusually among Sicilian tailors, Davi’s spoken English is close to near-native fluency. I can’t think of another Sicilian tailor at his experience level who speaks English as well as he does. Obviously, this is a huge plus for most clients who would otherwise have to bring an Italian speaking friend, relative or translator to fittings.
Davi cuts a soft and clean jacket with a subtly shaped chest but of course is able adjust the shape and structure depending on the cloth and client. He typically requires two fittings for new customers. Interestingly, there are philosophical differences regarding fittings which Guido illuminated for me during an earlier visit. In that fascinating discussion, he elaborated on the differences between his approach and Savile Row which relies more on a highly architected cutting system.
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