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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State of the art – Montecristi Panama hats

I enjoyed reading this excellent New York Times piece summarizing the current state of Panama hats, which, contrary to its name, originates in Ecuador. The finest versions of this classic hat are made near the town of Montecristi. Traditional weaving of Panama hats involves no machines – just hands, eyes and enormous focus. The author …

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Perfectly Suited image for Stanford Magazine article on Sleevehead and Sicilian Reserve

Stanford Magazine award for article on Sleevehead

I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Stanford Magazine’s article on my work in Sicilian tailoring has just won an award for feature writing – the 2020 Circle of Excellence Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Congratulations to the editorial and creative team of Kathy Zonana, Deni Bechard, Timothy Archibald …

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Up or down: business resilience in a two-button economy

In an economic crisis, business resilience will get stress tested. Every business will face an elevator moment so to speak. Is your business going up or down? Does the crisis make you sink or swim? For many enterprises, crises have the effect of putting your business in an express elevator going down to the basement …

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