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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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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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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Craftsmanship for the 21st century

On the surface, we seem to be living in a golden age of craftsmanship. Luxury brands are enjoying years of steady growth, hiring and training new artisans and building new factories across the world from Texas to France. Content creators, luxury brands, journalists and influencers sing the praises of craftsmanship or at least mention it …

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Hawaiian shirt fabrics at Fabric Mart. Photo credit: Juhn Maing

Sartorial Honolulu part 2: tropical bespoke

As I noted in Sartorial Honolulu part 1, sartorialism and tropicalism are by no means polar opposites. But pairing the two requires a bit of an effort. Otherwise, if you have your sartorial blinders on, you’d skip the place. The key to finding interesting examples of sartorialism is paying attention to the underlying work that …

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Sleevehead x AuroChronos Festival

I’m pleased to be a media partner with the AuroChronos Festival of independent watch brands. As a matter of transparency, this partnership is a non-monetary affiliation designed to support independent makers and brands. The reality is that we live in a world dominated by corporate brands. The corporatization of brands is here to stay, especially …

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