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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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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