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“The French would talk about savoir-faire, the English about know-how, and we in Italy talk about tradition,” says Piero Pavone, founder of Sartoria dei Duchi, a bespoke menswear atelier in Atri, Italy where he keeps alive the craftsmanship of Italian men’s tailoring.
“Italy has always stood out worldwide for its timeless elegance, the high quality of manufacturing and raw materials, and the distinct creativity of its designers,” he continues. “Our history and, consequently, the knowledge of the tailoring–matter.”
Atri is not Milan or Firenze, places where style is synonymous with its reputation. Atri is a small village nestled on a hill in Abruzzo on the Eastern coast of Italy a half an hour from the shores of the Adriatic. Although for Pavone, Atri’s history as the seat of the House of Acquaviva–a line of Dukes which ruled the region for nearly two centuries–its landscape, and its preserved medieval architecture are inspirations for Pavone’s work in his quest to create menswear with tradition, timelessness, and meticulousness.
Although, what makes pieces from Sartoria dei Duchi so special? According the Pavone, it’s simpler than the heritage and the fabrics–it’s the basic frame structure of the garments. While the external elements such as finishings and fabrics are the end results which pleases the the consumer aesthetically, it’s the internal work which makes each garment something for which his loyal customer base returns.
“In addition to the visible handmade parts, it’s the many series of steps during construction, visible and not, which makes us unique and proud of our work,” he says.
Pavone aims to offers a 360-degree, head-to-toe handcrafted experience which means his shoes, belts, and accessories are all made by hand in the Italian tradition. This handcrafted experience also extends to the brands more casual offerings for which the methods of creation remain the same.
“What changes is the selection of textiles and the structure of the garment,” says Pavone when asked about the demand for casual wear. “For example, classic attire designed for elegance or business is made by applying the lining inside the jacket using refined combed fabrics. For casual wear, however, the choice falls on the unlined or semi-lined to provide comfort and freedom for the movement of the customer.”
While Pavone’s world may be niche, his mission is grand.
“I, ultimately, want to ensure the great tailoring traditions of our territory continue to live,” he says. “And that its fundamental dictates and values–the result of centuries of history and extraordinary talent–remain a valuable part of contemporary fashion as it ever was.”