Juhn @ sleevehead

An homage to Alfred Dunhill – the world’s first modern luxury brand

On or about December 1910 human character changed. Virginia Woolf, Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown (1924) History is rarely a linear and logical progression of events. The insular and exclusive world of luxury brands is a case in point. If you were to name the biggest and most famous luxury brand today, most of us …

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How to understand Sicilian tailoring through food

Many thanks to Tim Mureau for forwarding this video by Paul Hollywood. The video is not only a wonderful introduction to Sicilian food such as cannoli, cassata, arancini and street food but also to Sicilian history. What is less well-known is that understanding Sicilian food is perhaps the ideal way to understand the uniqueness of Sicilian …

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Interview – Sartoria Italiano

This is the second in a series of interviews with the Sicilian tailors who participated in the 2020 Trofeo Arbiter tailoring competition in Milan. They were the largest representative body to represent Sicilian tailoring in at least 20 years. This interview is with Claudio Italiano of Sartoria Italiano based in Palermo. The pandemic interrupted our …

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Artisanal longevity, or how to sustain an artisanal business for the long haul

How would you achieve an artisanal longevity measured in centuries or even millennia? I found the answer to this question in an excellent New York Times article on the remarkable phenomenon of centuries-old heritage businesses in Japan. Now you might be asking what does Ichiwa – a 1,200 year old mochi shop in Kyoto – …

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Interview – Pippo Arrigo

2020 has been a challenging year for the world of tailoring and tailored clothing. The pandemic has certainly seized the headlines this year but there have been bright spots in tailoring – Sicilian tailoring in particular. Most notably, Sicilian tailor Giuseppe (Pippo) Arrigo joined a group of his peers and participated in the relaunched Trofeo …

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The geopolitics of luxury and end of low-risk globalization

The age of globalization has been an enviable growth engine for the luxury industry spearheaded by Western luxury giants like LVMH, Richemont and Kering. The last 20 years have been a story of steady growth with low risk and few obstacles to global expansion. But what are luxury’s prospects in the face of a shifting …

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How to support craft in the wake of COVID-19

Beyond the public health impact, the current pandemic has also disrupted the global economy at all levels from ordinary citizens to the world’s largest companies. But it has become clear that some of the hardest hit economically are small businesses, especially craft-related ones. For me, a key question is how to support craft in this coronavirus …

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Flying safely without a coronavirus vaccine

An essential part of what I do is traveling, specifically flying. I fly domestically in the US to meet customers for Sicilian Reserve and abroad to Sicily to meet with artisans whom I write about on Sleevehead. Now the question of course is whether one can fly safely in the absence of a vaccine. My …

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