Ruffo is one of the best in the world for leather - great stuff. And I like Dunhill, the quality isn't bad and the styling is definitely above average. I've never heard of Caravalli but that doesn't mean they aren't good. Menchetti pants aren't that bad (probably worth $50-$75 at retail) but I would definitely stay away from their jackets. I used Naldini, Coveri, Canaletti and Menchetti as specific examples because I have seen their products in person, primarily at Ross and Marshalls. Â The Marshalls in Colma CA has started carrying suits that are visual knock-offs of a high end suit. They have fake pick-stitching on the lapels, ivory and dark yellow striped sleeve linings, basting thread on the shoulders, sleeves and buttoholes, "Super 120's" fabric etc. Yet they are mass produced suits and not particularly good ones at that. Menchetti was one of the labels I saw there that fit that bill. If a customer doesn't really know anything about clothing construction it would be fairly easy to assume from the surface resemblance that a Menchetti is as well made as a Brioni. Heck, I even looked twice the first time I saw them. From 5 feet away it looked as if they had just gotten in a whole rack of Brioni's. Gone are the times when I could pick out a Faconnable or a Corneliani or an Isaia from 10 feet away at Nordstrom Rack because they were the only suits with unfinished sleeves and white stitching down the shoulder seam. Now all sorts of wannabe suits sport the same details. It is at the same time a fascinating and a disturbing trend. It shows that men are becoming a bit more aware of "sartorial" clothing. However these suits are in reality counterfeits. Companies are spending time and money to add detailing that has no function other than to make the suit look like something it's not. Men in general are in desperate need of education about apparel quality because they are being taken for a ride..
Perhaps the more experienced among our group can make available a list of brands that are commonly misrepresented as "high-end"
The problem is that one factory in Italy might make suits for a HUGE number of different stores/labels. A list such as you propose would be a mile long. The better approach is to learn how to evaluate a suit on its own merits. Of course this is quite difficult when the suit is on ebay and you can't see and touch it in person. That is why ebay has become such a name game. However with a little practice and observation you will be able to tell the difference, often just from a picture. If you showed me a clear picture of say, a Naldini suit I could tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is a cheap suit, even if I had never seen one in person. The look is quite unmistakable. Until you have trained your eye to that point it is best to stick with names you know and sellers you trust. And if you are in doubt you can always ask the Style Forum
So those brands are trying to rip you off by saying they are "Italian?"
No, they are ripping you off when they sell you a cheaply made $300 suit by telling you that it retails for $1995.
Let it be know I have forever crossed those labels off my list of potential purchases (along with their sellers).
There is nothing inherently wrong with selling these garments. It is the fact that they are often represented as something they are not that is wrong. Naldini and Canaletti (if that is indeed the name of the parent companies, which is highly unlikely) are not to my knowledge selling the suits with a tag attached that says they retail for $1995. It is the ebay sellers that invent that price that are in the wrong. I was guilty of that to some extent when I first started selling on ebay. But at that point I really believed what I was saying about some of my lesser quality merchandise. Before long I knew better, and (with some embarassment) I either stopped selling or at least accurately represented items that are of less than top quality. You are probably not going to find a seller on ebay (or even a department or specialty store) that doesn't sell at least a few fused garments like Boss, Ferre, Armani, or even lesser known Italian labels. There is a demand for those items. I sell a few myself even though I don't particularly like them, mostly because there isn't a sufficient supply of top-end garments. So don't hold it against a seller if some of the things he sells aren't Brioni, or even designer. But DO hold it against him if he consistently and knowingly misrepresents his merchandise.