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After a couple of years of sitting around at home in loungewear and casual clothes, Britons were returning to more formal attire, according to a recent article. In 2019, the term “tailoring” was searched for on Google at levels that haven’t been seen since 2009. This year, that number has increased by 600%.
This emerging trend is fueled in part by popular culture. Since the first episode of the popular Netflix show, Bridgerton aired, searches for three-piece suits (a jacket, pants, and waistcoat) have increased by 500%. With celebrities dressing up again for major events such as the Grammys and the Oscars, suiting is back, but brighter and bolder than before.
According to a celebrity stylist, traditional formalwear trends are changing: “We are seeing a “recoding” of the male dress code with styles and colors that are for the very first time bridging the gap between formal and casual.”
While many clothing companies worldwide are eager to capitalize on this latest trend, Piero Pavone of the fast-rising Italian bespoke menswear brand Sartoria dei Duchi believes that the old ways of making suits remain supreme. The charismatic founder and CEO sat down to talk about the origins of his brand, why holding on to tradition is important, and why Sartoria dei Duchi suits are second to none.
How would you describe the company to someone who has never heard of it?
Piero: Sartoria dei Duchi is an Italian company that has been making formal clothes for men. It is inspired by the beauty and history of my hometown of Atri, Italy. Our mission is to offer our clients luxurious, custom-tailored suits, shirts, accessories, and shoes made from the finest Italian wool, linen, silk, fine cotton, leather, and other premium materials.
Our head office is housed in an ancient palace called Palazzo Sorricchio, an urban extension of the Ducal Palace of Acquaviva, which is now the seat of the Town Hall in Atri.
Can you give us some background on why you started the company?
Piero: Sartoria dei Duchi was inspired by the legacy of the House of Acquaviva, which were the dukes and duchesses that ruled Atri in the fifteenth century. Traditionally, the “old money” Italian blue bloods would invest in exquisite clothing, custom-tailored suits made from only the finest wool and richest silks, as seen in paintings created by various Italian artists during the Renaissance.
In addition to their wealth and taste for finer things, the dukes deserve respect for making Atri the cultural and artistic destination it is today. They gave a lot to the government and the church, supported artists and fought for them, and worked hard to make Atri a center for art and culture.
We believe the true elegance of Atri’s former times should never be lost, and we pride ourselves on preserving its legacy and workmanship. Suits from Sartoria dei Duchi are made to order by our master Italian tailors, who use only the best wool and have a keen eye for the classic good looks that are so ingrained in the culture of the Italian aristocracy.
What makes you unique among the many other formal menswear brands today?
Piero: The concept of “bespoke” implies that you cannot buy a suit that is identical to another. Each piece is as unique as the person who purchased it. At Sartoria dei Duchi, we want to attract like-minded people like this.
Sartoria dei Duchi’s success can be traced back to the fact that we only use the best materials and hire master tailors with extensive experience, just as they did in old Italy. The fabric for the brand’s suits and shirts is made by Loro Piana and Albini, both of which are based in Italy. And we only work with master tailors who are passionate about their craft and have years of experience.
We do not manufacture anything in large quantities. To maintain high quality, the master tailors at Sartoria dei Duchi make only 100 to 200 suits per year. A single suit could take up to 60 hours to create.
Can you tell us about the concept of Sartoria dei Duchi’s collection?
Piero: The classic Italian suit inspires the entire Sartoria dei Duchi collection. However, because everything is made to order, each client has the opportunity to feel like a duke, complete with a personal tailor.
Even the names of the suits offered by Sartoria dei Duchi pay homage to the dukes; there’s the Acquaviva, Ferrante, Gualtiero, Aragona, and Giannantonio, among others.
More important than the suit itself is how the customer feels while wearing it. Each one is made to fit the wearer’s exact measurements, so it can move with them and follow their every curve and swish.
To be successful, you need to dress the part. Wearing a suit is a sign of success in most cultures around the world. That’s all there is to it. What you’re wearing, especially a custom Italian suit, sends a message to those around you.
Why is it important to you to uphold tradition and represent Atri worldwide?
Piero: Atri is a charming historic town and a breathtaking location that we are fortunate to call home. Featuring breathtaking views of history and beauty, including original mosaics from the Roman baths and a cycle of 15th-century frescoes by Andrea de Litio.
With its signature tiny cobbled streets and striking architecture, it’s difficult not to feel creative in Atri, which explains why the town has such a long history of traditional men’s tailoring.
Sartoria dei Duchi realizes our dream of sharing our passion for Atri and Italian tailoring with the world through contemporary suits based on traditional values.
Made in Atri for the world to enjoy
Pavone and his team hope to continue sharing Atri’s love and passion for Italian tailoring with the rest of the world by creating modern suits based on traditional values and using high-quality wool, linen, silk, and fine cotton made ethically.
Sartoria de Duchi opened its first showroom outside of Italy earlier this year, at the Sofitel Dubai’s The Palm, to have a more significant global impact. The five-star beach resort is situated on Palm Jumeirah, a well-known area that houses some of Dubai’s most opulent hotels and resorts. The famous island, which is a haven for tourists, wealthy expatriates, and wealthy investors, is home to approximately 25,000 people.
Pavone has stated that he plans to open Sartoria De Duchi showrooms in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and London by 2023.