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Interview with Luca Rubinacci, Part 3

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
The grand finale of my interview with Luca Rubinacci. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

David Isle: Even with all these collaborations, you want to remain an independent company and continue to do bespoke?

Luca Rubinacci: Of course, always. Because we have tailors. The story of tailors disappearing is bullshit. If you pay, you will find guys. The thing is you have to pay, and you have to bet. Because they don't know how to sew, and there is no school. So you have to pay them to learn. Our young guys have a football team together - we just won a match against Kiton.

DI: Do the students first learn to make the traditional Neapolitan jacket before doing anything more experimental?

LR: The first step for a young tailor is to do alterations. The last thing they will learn is how to make a jacket. You can't make a car if you don't know how the engine works. So for the first couple of years, they only do alterations. When they're very good with alterations, they will start playing with jackets. They start out by making clothes for the family. This suit I'm wearing now was made by one of our young tailors, and he was very happy that I wore his jacket at Pitti. After they make for me, they make for my father, who is more difficult to fit. Then they start to make for our very old customers. Then finally for a new customer.

DI: You're wearing a very distinctive shirt, with a wide stripe. Do you enjoy wearing unique and bold patterns?

LR: In this case, this suit is very powerful. So if I wore a light blue or white shirt, I would be giving all the power to the suit. To make the suit less powerful, I have to have something underneath it that is also powerful. Everything combines together. I love contrast - you will never see me matching colors, because I think it's too simple.

I remember when I was 20 telling my father that I wanted to start wearing ties; my first couple of years of working I didn't wear ties. I asked how many ties I could take, and he told me to take ten ties. Ten ties was a lot, but it was not enough. So I asked my father if I could wear a different tie every day for one year, and then after that decide which ten I wanted. He told me, in two weeks you'll want to wear something for a second time. So we made a bet. And in two days I already wanted to re-wear one of the ties.

When you like something, you always want to wear those things. When it goes to the laundry, you can't wait for it to come back so you can wear it again. But I forced myself to keep wearing different ties. And I finally understood that you can wear any tie with any jacket. The thing is that you have to be comfortable with wearing it. After a year, I had taught myself how to wear ties. Today, if a customer comes, I am able to sell a customer twenty ties because I know how to wear them.

I remember at the beginning, on Styleforum and everything, people were saying, "Oh Luca, he is making a mess of everything." Because it was different, not wrong, but, in the eyes of a gentleman, I was a different man. But if you look at pictures from the 30s or 40s, the dandy was like that. Today we are not dandies because today is too spread out, with sportswear and classic tailored clothing.

DI: How do you transfer to the customer a confidence in wearing something you sell them?

LR: I think I am able to transfer a lifestyle concept, that is more than just suggesting something in particular. It's a way of dressing, not a particular thing to wear. I would never tell a customer what he has to wear. I will let him understand it for himself. If I say to him, "wear a brown tie," maybe he goes home and says, "Okay, I have to wear a brown tie because Luca said so." And he will only wear it with that particular shirt that I told him to wear it with.

It's not me, you don't have to copy my style. I'm me, but you can never be someone else. You have to be yourself.

Photo credit: Neil Watson at A&H Magazine.

post #2 of 6
I didn't know Luca was an SF member in the old days...
post #3 of 6
Those lapels are nuts. They damn near touch the shoulder seam....but I like it.
post #4 of 6
Rubinacci for Tom Ford?

I would like that collaboration more than H&M...
post #5 of 6
Putting on my big boy pants... Moving out of parents place for first time at 23
post #6 of 6

What was the sunglasses he wore?

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