“For me, clothing is more cultural. It’s about how these things came to be used, designed and created. I’m basically an anthropologist in the supply chain of menswear.”

Quoted in Deni Bechard, “The Accidental Maven of Menswear”, Stanford Magazine (July 2019)
Just landed in San Francisco and heading to meet our client Ethan. Photo credit: Timothy Archibald

I learned that this summer’s issue of Stanford Magazine has just been published, featuring an article on Sicilian Reserve, Sleevehead and my recent trip to San Francisco with Sicilian tailor Claudio Italiano.

I was very heartened to see the article went beyond my own story and cast a wider and deeper net. This includes a proper treatment of Sicilian bespoke tailoring compared to Savile Row and Naples, a brief history of Savile Row and the tuxedo, an overview of bespoke v. made-to-measure, and a refreshing perspective on bespoke tailoring from a millennial customer.

Sleevehead and Sicilian tailor Claudio Italian conferring with client Ethan. Photo credit: Timothy Archibald.

Perhaps most importantly, the article digs deeper and recognizes tailoring as a cultural good connecting people and places rather than simply a luxury indulgence, or just another story in the Instagram-feed(ing) economy, or a kind of quaint fashion tribalism.  I look forward to writing more about this in future posts.

For now, I would just add that culture and cultural goods such as tailoring matter and are worth fighting for. Moreover, they are not zero sum. Although I am a committed advocate of Sicilian bespoke tailoring this does not make me a blind partisan. Far more important to focus on the craftsmanship – its history and artisans – and appreciate it fully and fluidly whether it is Savile Row, Neapolitan, Japanese, Ethiopian or something else.

My deepest thanks to the Stanford Magazine team – Kathy Zonana’s unerring editorial eye and nose for stories worth telling, Deni Ellis Bechard’s perceptive research and storytelling, Timothy Archibald’s photographic prowess, Giorgia Virgili’s impeccable art direction and Lauren Mortimer’s succinct illustrations.

It was a genuine pleasure working with all of you!

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