Originally Posted by mafoofan
Of course, it's great to have different perspectives in a discussion. My only qualm is when these perspectives are pushed on an ad hominem basis. That I'm a tourist or non-Neapolitan should have nothing to do with the validity of my observations, so long as I'm not claiming to be an insider.
To clarify what I mean by Rubinacci offering better service: I know of no other Neapolitan tailor that makes such regular visits to New York, speaks fluent English, and offers a transparent, formalized pricing structure. If anyone else does, please let me know. On top of that, I have been extremely pleased with Rubinacci's willingness to correct every single 'error' that arises, even if it requires remaking an entire garment. It's true, I am not familiar with other Neapolitan tailors' performance in that respect, but Rubinacci compares very favorably against accounts of other internationally well-known tailors.
I understand your point, but the fact you are a tourist affect your research and observation. This is a fact. In every city there are touristy places and places for local. Prices are not the only factor (even in touristy places, a local will have a different price). A local would not go to a tailor just because he has been around for 80 years, but rather use someone that has been in business for long, got his own reputation, that probably steams from being the heir to a school he was part of (as Blasi was of teh De Nicola school etc...). Also, I know you says you are reporting some of the statements, but even the fact that those statemnts may not have any foundation is a key to pass them on in the first place.
I was born and raised there and my family has strong root in the city so I believe I now quite a bit about how neapolitan people behave, as I have been in certain situation advising tourists (both from North Italy or foreigners), and you tend to give the names that appear on tourist guides as they are safer for tourists to explore. So, although they may not offer the best coffee, if you ask most neapolitan where should I get a coffee in Naples they will tell you to go to the Gambrinus (which is a fantastic location), which charges more then average and offer an average coffee, although amongst us we may go to the Bar Mexico near Vanvitelli Square or Piazza Dante for the best coffee.
I am not even sure that I making my point clear with this again, and I have nothing against Rubinacci in principle, but actual facts proves that he has argubly been the best sartoria in Naples for the last 80 years, as there have always been many offers that may not have survived as they always been artisanal business, that when a tailor retired, the clients were taken over my one of the head cutters/master tailors. Rubinacci has always been a front shop, run by businessman with a sense of style perhaps, but never tailors (I know you know, just trying to complete my point) that have also been good at marketing themselves. Some of the stuff they wear and they made for you, do not warrant IMO any special status and that is my point, that there is better offer that can also be at a more convenient price point.
Basically, IMO, it would be fine to go to Rubinacci if you were a multimillionaire Arab, that spend no time reading anywhere about style, tailors etc, popping into the city where he heard that a business friend has his cloth made there, and ask the hotel where you should go. But in a forum like this, were there are people willing to learn and research and then travel there for a bespoke commission, there is a much wider choice.
Any tailor should be able to do anything you want. He may shrug it off as not is preference or house style, but if I ask for a bespoke structured jacket, my tailor should be able to do it. Luckily I have solid shoulders and need no padding...