What incentive do I have to go back and retract an endorsement? You know, in most circles that would be seen as an honorable mea culpa. If anything, it's embarrassing to admit I am wrong and it would be far easier just to not report that I made a mistake. Only you guys could manage to twist that around.
Anyway, I try to share my experiences for others' benefit. So, I feel bad when somebody or a company I spoke favorably of turns out to be less than I thought. If you don't appreciate that and would rather continue swimming in the shallow end of the pool, where every random "artisan" is infallible and deserves unwavering respect, then please, feel free. But stay out of my threads--because you won't get that here.
Here is a re-cap of what I've dealt with, to clear-up the insinuations made by others. If you find it helpful, great. If you want to chat about it, great. If you want to continue insinuating I'm lying, get out of my thread.
I paid for a $1,000 alligator belt in 2006. They sent me the wrong size. I returned it and they refused to refund the payment, because they don't do returns when an error can be fixed, only exchanges. However, they didn't have a belt in my size (which they had lied about). So, they said they'd order the correct size and ship it to me within three months. I waited three years, and still no belt. They gave me different excuses. Hold-up in production. Not enough high-quality hides. Finally, held by U.S. Fish and Wildlife for inspection. No belt. I tried to be friendly and maintain the relationship the whole time, which is why I tolerated such a long wait. When I had enough, I threatened a charge-back on my American Express. They promptly refunded me. Jay Kos has since closed down its original shops and become some avant garde vegan food bar that sells crocodile jackets on the side.
In 2006, I bought a MTM shirt from the New York boutique, before they were shut down. I had about a dozen MTM Borelli shirts ordered from a shop in the DC area. They were decent, but I figured I could get a better fit if I went straight to the source and got fit by their much lauded shop manager. However, the manager was largely dismissive and seemed distracted during our meeting. The new shirt arrived with broken stitches all over the place. And it didn't come remotely close to fitting. I returned the shirt and didn't order another. Lesson learned: don't trust someone who doesn't appear to give a shit, no matter their reputation.
They refused to discuss a custom umbrella when I visited their shop in Naples, back in 2008. They insisted I go back to the U.S. and buy one of their umbrellas from Barney's. Bizarre. I told them I needed a shorter length because of my height. They said they can't help me because they only make umbrellas for Barney's and other big companies. Whnay had exactly the same experience a few months later--and he was with Mariano at the time. Later, Mariano called them on my behalf to make an umbrella. They said yes when he asked.
You all know the story. I am currently owed 11 trousers. Salvatore and I are working on resolving this. I am hopeful, but we'll see. It is a particularly upsetting situation since I did so much to popularize him in the first place.
They made me amazing shirts--to begin with. The workmanship, fit, and service were fantastic. But on my next dozen shirts, they switched the workmanship down to their "semi-handmade" version, which costs ~150 euro less per shirt than I was paying. I contacted them to rectify this multiple times. They've gone AWOL on me, even canceling my appointment with them in Naples, with less then five days notice. They flippantly suggested I come back another time. I am not the only client of theirs to experience this bait-and-switch tactic, but I've promised not to reveal their names.
I have no problem with Marinella. Service was great. Ties were great. My tastes simply changed. They are a must-visit when in Naples.
Ordered about a half-dozen suits and jackets from their New York shop back in 2005-2006. Workmanship was excellent. Service was well-meaning, but lacked attention to detail. I asked for natural, unpadded shoulders. I wound up with very heavily padded ones. To rectify, they simply removed the shoulder padding--causing an effect exactly like the NSM pa-fucked upturn. The cause? When you simply remove the padding from a shoulder and don't cut down the arm scye, the scye will rise too far above the jacket's shoulder line, causing it to turn upward. I asked them to properly make the jackets with unpadded shoulders in the future. They did not and kept repeating the same error. There were other mistakes, too. Linings in unlined jackets. Wrong linings. Wrong lapel types. Forgetting to put in pleats on trousers. List goes on. Then I decided I had enough with MTM and started planning a trip to Naples.
Bizarre experience at men's shop on Madison. They refused to discuss a special order wallet "at this time." After some persistence and targeted e-mailing, things worked out. I love my wallet.
They said their chambray was 100% cotton. I bought a large quantity. They then said it is actually part polyester. I don't see how any of you are confused about why this is wrong and dishonest of them. And yes, I think any poly-blend fabric is de facto shit fabric. Some of you keep asking about longevity. Yet, if longevity were a meaningful measure of what a shirting should cost, then all the nice shirtings this forum likes to get from Alumo, Riva, SIC Tess, etc., would be stupid buys and all-poly would be king.