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Interview with Luca Rubinacci, Part 2

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by unbelragazzo, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Well-Known Member

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    Continuing from Part 1...

    David Isle: So your role is something beyond what a tailor could do by himself?

    Luca Rubinacci: The problem, and this is why my grandfather opened a bespoke tailoring house, is that from the beginnings, tailors know what they do, and they are the best in what they do. They don't accept changes to their style. Because they've made the jacket in that way for forty, sixty years. So if you come and you say you want something else, they tell you to go somewhere else. My grandfather opened the business to put together the best tailors, but with his rules. And this no one can give. One of the best compliments I've had was from a politician in Kazakstan. Everyone was at a round table with some important Russian politicians. Of the seven men there, five were dressed by Rubinacci. The politician said, "You five, you are all dressed very well, who are your tailors?" Upon finding that they all used Rubinacci, he was amazed that each could look so good but so different. This means that we are dressing people to look different.

    Whatever people want, from Rubinacci they can have it. We have to be good enough to make it look beautiful.

    DI: Is all of the bespoke made in Naples?

    LR: It's all made in Naples under 40 tailors. And this year we count 15 young tailors, between 18 and 22, that are incredible. They are giving me the pleasure of dressing differently. Whenever there is something that the old tailors don't want to do, they are the first ones to say, "Luca, don't worry - I will try it." This is the future. The new generation is more open - sometimes too open.

    DI: Is the future of the company to expand more internationally?

    LR: Of course, but we are already international. My grandfather made a Neapolitan tailoring house; my father established it; I am spreading it around the world. Today we are one of the few tailors that make 1,000 bespoke suits a year. I mean true bespoke. Today the marketing around that word is strange, which is why I made a short movie that will out in October for the opening of our new store in Milan. This new store will be like a club for gentleman.

    The movie shows the 54 hours that it takes to make a Rubinacci suit. We filmed every single passage, which I hope will give people a lot to talk about. My father was worried that we would give away our secrets, but I am not scared, because nobody wants to make suits like this anymore. It's too expensive. But for us, we don't care how much it costs. We don't use branding on the inside of our jackets, but we want every jacket that leaves our store to look be a Rubinacci jacket, even if we have to remake it seven times.

    What about the accessories and tie business?

    LR: This is a little world that is growing a lot. We are now in many many stores. It's our signature. Accessories also don't have a season, so we can keep them.

    DI: And a way for those who can't afford a suit to buy something from the brand?

    LR: This is a point that I'm focusing on. I'm going to focus on the ready-to-wear collection with my new store. I want to give a more affordable product. We want to arrive to the mass. But maybe step-by-step. Rubinacci is like Hermes for bags, and we want to keep it like that. But we do some collaborations with friends. For instance, we have just launched a capsule collection of espadrilles with Manebi'.

    Through collaboration is how we can arrive to the masses. I will never sell a jacket for 100 euro. But maybe I will make a collection for H&M, signed by Rubinacci. This is the right way to do it; you cannot cannibalize your own brand.

    [​IMG]


    Photo credit: Neil Watson at A&H Magazine.




     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
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  2. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    I hope the movie is 54 hours long.
     
    6 people like this.
  3. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Well-Known Member

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    Collective SF head-explode. Foo seppuku.
     
  4. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    So, produced by Andy Warhol?
     
  5. Murlsquirl

    Murlsquirl Well-Known Member

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    Every time I look at Luca's Instagram, I feel like quiting life.
     
  6. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about that possible H&M collection, but everything else he said sounds good to me. I'll believe it... :lurk:

    @unbelragazzo did you ask him how/where his RTW collection will be made?
     
  7. Thrifter

    Thrifter Well-Known Member

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    Can you imagine all of the iGents lining up in front of H&M to get a Rubinacci branded pocket square? lol
     
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  8. Luc-Emmanuel

    Luc-Emmanuel Well-Known Member

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    Yes, making all the money dressing up politicians from one of the most corrupt country in the world, nice.
    !luc
     
    2 people like this.
  9. emptym

    emptym Well-Known Member

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    Given their level of service, I'm sure they shot all 54 hours but with time lapse photography, for our convenience and edification.
     
  10. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    With this as the theme song?

    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]



    Or maybe ...

    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
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  11. EliodA

    EliodA Well-Known Member

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    Of course we can only wonder how politicians of a country with a per capita income that's a fifth of that of the USA, can be all kitted out in Rubinacci bespoke... ;)
     
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  12. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Well-Known Member

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    There's a ton of oil money there
     
  13. EliodA

    EliodA Well-Known Member

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    That's what I mean :D
     
  14. deepitm

    deepitm Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the dude needs to chill with Kazakh tip sipping.
     
  15. 9thsymph

    9thsymph Well-Known Member

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    Oh, wow...I really hope the H&M bit was hypothetical hyperbole!
     
  16. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Well-Known Member

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    Agreedsies, pretty much blood money, something to play down, not play up. Also sounds like bullshit via exaggeration, while we're at it. What are the odds of that...

    Also surprised to boast about 1,000 suits. Rubinacci clients want to be one of the few, not one of the many.
     
  17. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    1,000 suits a year isn't that many, especially spread across three stores and traveling visits. I imagine most of their clients order a few suits per order, if not many more.

    Whatever one thinks of Kazakhstan's politics, I think calling their economy "blood money" goes a bit far. Should people on this board feel the same way about tailors' Russian and Chinese clients?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
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  18. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Well-Known Member

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    That may be the case, but that was not my point. I am surprised that a bespoke tailor would tout quantity.


    You're mixing and perhaps misreading things.

    Here's what he said:
    Kazak politicians and Russian politicians. I didn't call the Kazakh "economy" blood money, I'm calling the Russian and Kazakh politicians' cash blood money.

    Everyone knows Russia is through-the-roof corrupt. Kazakhstan is probably similar. China is similar.

    The idea of policitians from generally impoverished, corrupt, and unfree nations sitting around in $6,000 suits doesn't sit well for me. I'm not telling you how to feel, just telling you how I feel.
     
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  19. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Well-Known Member

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    Isn't a Rubinacci bespoke suit closer to 10k in price? 6k might be too conservative...
     
  20. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    I think the politics of Russia, China, and Kazakhstan are a bit more complicated than that (especially Russia and China), but I don't want to turn this into a CE thread.

    Anyway, I think it's commonly known that Rubinacci is one of the bigger bespoke tailoring houses around. In Naples, tailors will talk crap endlessly on each other, but everyone respects Rubinacci. You get the sense it's partly because of the history of the firm, but also partly because everyone is in awe that they can charge the prices they charge, produce at the quantities they produce, and keep the levels of quality at the levels they keep them at. On your point that "Rubinacci clients want to be one of the few, not one of the many," I was disagreeing that 1,000 is many. Frankly, 1,000 even seems like a small number to me when you consider how much each person probably buys per visit.


    It's about $6k.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014

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