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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7 rules on becoming a better bespoke customer

Conventional wisdom is the path of least resistance. For the most part, I find this to be the case with contemporary discussions of craft. Much of it tends to focus on the shortcomings of craft businesses and how to run them better. This seems natural. But my take is more unconventional and contrarian. It’s about …

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Coronavirus structure

Leadership in the age of COVID-19 or how not to lead in a crisis

Leadership is as old as humanity. It goes hand in hand with any kind of organization, flat or hierarchical. I’d like to think our ability to lead has progressed in parallel to the advances we have made culturally, economically and politically. In areas like medicine, that progressive arc seems unquestionable. For example, thanks to international …

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Sicilian costume design

Sicilian dressmaking: Christina Esposito’s Mode School

Last fall I had the great pleasure of meeting Christina Esposito who teaches fashion, costume design and pattern making in Palermo at her school called Mode School – Scuola di Taglio e Cucito. Claudio Italiano kindly introduced me to Christina during one of my visits. Anyone who loves sewing or fashion will resonate with Christina’s …

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sicilian tailoring

Sicilian tailoring in Ragusa – a sartorial gem worth keeping

In 2017, I discovered a tailoring circle in the small southern Sicilian town of Ragusa. My trip was initially prompted by coming across the name of Giuseppe Schembari. His signature appeared on a certificate for the jury-reviewed Forbici d’Oro selection for Sicily in 1986. This certificate was hanging in the workshop of Giovanni Cinturrino, a …

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