Brioni Suits for Men
What do Donald Trump, Nelson Mandela, Eric Clapton, Al Pacino, Rudolph Guiliani, Richard Gere, Kofi Annan, and Vladimir Putin all have in common? They have one thing in common for sure, that being that they are each among an elite group of 25,000 men who have their bespoke suits made by Brioni in Italy.
Master tailor Nazareno Fonticoli and public relations expert Gaetano Savini founded the Brioni Company and label in Rome, Italy in 1945. The name Brioni refers to the Croatian Islands whose elegant resorts were popular with Italian aristocrats prior to the Second World War.
Brioni changed everything about men’s suits from their appearance to their purpose. Before Brioni, suits were designed to keep a man warm and therefore were bulky, padded and oversized; they were made of heavy materials that were undeniably both hard to work with and lacking in style. They were for better words, uniformly drab.
Brioni’s realization that men were now working in climate controlled environs and living more and more in warm weather climes, allowed them the opportunity to use their skills as a designer to create lighter, close-fit suits which were constructed to make a man look good.
Brioni staged history’s first fashion show of men’s clothing at Florence in 1952. Two years later the company did the same in New York City, thus introducing their suits to the American consumer. Soon, Brioni suits were being worn not only by European nobility---their original clientele---but also by big-framed Hollywood actors such as Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Henry Fonda, Kirk Douglas, Gary Cooper, Richard Burton and John Wayne.
By 1960, the mecca of men’s clothing was no longer London and Saville Row, but had turned to Rome and Brioni. Sophisticated, stylish, elegant men were drawn to the new “Continental Look” that featured broad shoulders and narrow waists, relaxed Italian silhouettes, daring colors and fabrics. Brioni was the first designer to use silk in a man’s suit.
Italian tailors were historically known for their impeccable craftsmanship, with their reputation for quality stretching back to the Renaissance. Brioni became known for peerless cutting and stitching, and their handmade suits were totally customized from scratch and measured to the millimeter.
A man’s appearance in a gorgeous, luxurious Brioni suit guaranteed that he would instantly be considered suave, poised and charming in his sartorial splendor. John Gotti, Bobby Kennedy, Johnny Carson, and Pavarotti were all customers of Brioni.
Brioni employs a total of 900 tailors at their factory in Italy, and has 38 boutiques located around the globe including six in the United States. Their least expensive suits start at $5,000, whereas their most expensive may run up to $46,000.
Brioni features some 5000 fabrics from which the buyer can choose. A master tailor will spend an average of 32.5 hours making one suit out of the wool from 2 rams and 4 ewes. Total production time for one men’s suit is two months, and it involves 185 operations with rest periods---for the suit---in between.
Brioni now makes men’s shirts, ties, leather goods and women’s wear as well. Their most recent coup came in 1995 when they received the contract to provide the suits for 007; taking that contract away from Saville Row which had previously attired the actors in the role of James Bond.