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Books on Italian tailoring?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Simone1, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. Simone1

    Simone1 Senior Member

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    Hi. I've been a long time reader of this forum, and I know how well educated users we have here, so hopefully someone could give me an advice!

    I've read quite a few books on men's style, and I work in a Hugo Boss store right now and previously I have worked with Paul Smith London. I have a dream of working more close to proper tailoring (yet still in retail) perhaps with Zegna, (<)Tom Ford, Brioni, Isaia etc.

    I am half italian but I am unfortunately not able to speak Italian, as I've always only had my Swedish parent - otherwise I'd move to Italy to try and get closer to the products..


    Is there any books that you can suggest which would be relevant for me? Books with information that would prepare me better for a future job in one of those stores, and information which I also could use to give my customers a better experience when consulting with me on my job.

    My kindest regards,

    Simone
     


  2. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Distinguished Member

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    Non that I know of in English. There are few in Italian which are mostly not current, but can be found in Italian Libraries. Where are you located? London? I guess part of the training from a retail brand is a full brief about their product and what differentiate it.

    Otherwise you need to use the Internet and this forum to extrapolate as much info as you can.
     


  3. Simone1

    Simone1 Senior Member

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    Oh, I know that Zegna, Brioni etc. have multiple books, but what I've heard is that they are either massive (coffee table style with just photographs) or otherwise theyre only available to selected stores, which sells their brands.
    I am located in Sweden, and Hugo Boss does have several online courses which helped me understand their products very well - but I appreciate your thoughts a lot!

    I already read many books on both style, suits, construction etc - but they are all by british authors (and always refers to Savile Row) I know that the British are fantastic at what they are doing, but being of Italian origin, I am also very fascinated to learn more the Italian way.

    Your name is Marco, so there's a big possibillity that you are Italian aswell. Do you know of a dictionary with suit-related terms which is Italian > English? I'd like to know what Italian call things like for example peak lapels on a jacket.
     


  4. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Distinguished Member

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    Yes, I am Italian from Naples but London based.
    There is not a vocabulary as such, however I can give you a brief quick translation for the most common terms:

    lapel : risvolti o revers . Peak lapels: revers o risvolti a Lancia
    Buttonhole: Asola
    Trousers cuff: risvolti o piega pantaloni

    If you have other questions, feel free to ask
     


  5. IChen

    IChen Senior Member

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    Coming from a sales person myself, I used to work at Neiman Marcus doing suits like Belvest, Brioni, Isaia and so on. I respect that you want to get to know the product well as I felt the same way before I started the position. I had a basic knowledge of Neapolitan jacket style and stuff like "Spalla Camicia" and "con Rollino" and how to explain canvassing but really, I only had to sort of explain this I believe twice. And once it was to a very knowledgeable client who clearly had a collection himself of Neapolitan tailoring and was really just here to chat about what styles I preferred/sold more of while he selected a jacket.

    My advice is really just to understand the basics of like materials for what weather/season, different styles like how Tom Ford has wide peak lapels, understanding maybe what style/price/line would appeal to a customer, what color/fabric of a jacket for example would appeal to a customer's needs.

    Very rarely would you need to dive in to stuff like tailoring aspects, but it's a nice thing to know. Spend most of your time trying on products in the store. Yes when it's break time or when it's slow, keep trying things on so you know what to sell and how to sell it. When you're going to be interviewing at a store like Tom Ford for example, go into their store beforehand and try it on so you know how to "smooch it up" in the interview, like what design aspects you like about their style and so on. But like the guy said, this forum does teach a lot of what you can learn/know.
     


  6. Simone1

    Simone1 Senior Member

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    First and foremost, thanks a lot for taking your time writing a reply on this thread - it was very informative. I actually never really bothered to try on our own clothes, and when you write it like that, it seems so stupid that I havent done that....

    Yesterday I tried on a Zegna jacket and a Kiton jacket (Kiton jacket was a 90% wool 10% cashmere and had a cost of 3000 pounds) it was my first time ever trying on something above the range of Hugo Boss etc. I was left completely speechless... I had no words to describe the feeling I had wearing such a jacket, I felt unstoppable and there was so much difference in what I've tried. Amazing experience!

    I know a few things about textures like you said, materials for weather/season (tropical wool / serge wool etc) and their abilities (pros and cons) - I love reading magazines and I love reading and watching videos about different brands etc, I am always updated on Neiman Marcus / Mrporter, because it really fascinates me.

    I think the party of understanding the needs of a customer etc, usually comes with experience - I have only been with Hugo Boss for a half year, and I can feel that I slowly get better!

    I only work 25 hours weekly, and rest of the time is basically used on working out. If you had a suggestion to me, what would you do? I really wanna use my time at home to get better at my job basically. I was adviced to read a few books on style: And I did so, what else could contribute to my skills?

    I have a very big interest in suits and the sales aspect of them, and I want to become the best in my store...

    Btw, I work in a department store much similar like Neiman Marcus: Just smaller in size, and less high end brands :)

    My kindest regards,
    Simone
     


  7. Simone1

    Simone1 Senior Member

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    Thanks a lot for your time and kindness!

    Nice tumblr ;) enjoyed it
     


  8. greger

    greger Distinguished Member

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    Don't know what Swedish tailoring is like now, but in the past some Swedish tailors were among the best in the world. Absolutely fabulous garments they made. There are still a few true Swedish tailors around. Look for the ones who went through the Swedish apprenticeship with an open mind. So much of the Italian tailoring is rather simple. It is a warm climate and the way they wear their garments simple in many cases is better. So much of clothing is understanding the cultural climate. If you can make Swedish garments, then you will have no problem making Italian, if you submerge yourself in the Italian culture.
     


  9. Simone1

    Simone1 Senior Member

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    Thank you Greger for your great reply! It seems to me that its difficult to find books on the subject, so perhaps for me I should go to pinterest etc for inspiration, or I could travel to Milan for a week to try and get more knowledgeable on the great italian brands.
     


  10. greger

    greger Distinguished Member

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  11. IChen

    IChen Senior Member

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  12. IChen

    IChen Senior Member

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    Yeah sales people really need to know their product. Something new to the store come in? Try it on asap. For you I'd recommend trying on all suits in your department or store. Come up with like 3 suits you would recommend to a particular person. Like suit A and C for skinny lean guy. Suit b and D for athletic guy with broad shoulders. Suit E for guy who looks like he wants to go conservative. Summer jacket? Bring him to like linen.

    It's really about knowing what suits you will want to show a certain customer. Like for example if I saw a tweed jacket I brought them to belvest section because we had a bit of tweed belvest selection. Young guy looking for expensive sport coat? Probably brought him to Isaia section.

    This is basically about knowing your product, knowing the fits of suits, and material. A customer who walks in may be overwhelmed. He probably wants to only look at like five suits because else it's a waste of time and you need to know which ones to show.

    On break feel free to go to other stores you're interested in. Try their stuff on. Take a notebook and jot down details you see.

    In response to your experience to zegna and kiton I would keep asking other guys here about hand work on like kiton suits for example or other brands and maybe learn about details you don't get on other brands.

    Start to take note of the style and fit of brands which to be honest comes with looking at them and then trying them on.

    Best of luck :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016


  13. Simone1

    Simone1 Senior Member

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    Awesome site, thanks!!
     


  14. Simone1

    Simone1 Senior Member

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    That was very valuable information and ideas to me. Thanks! I will begin asap

    Parisian Gentleman, should I buy that?


    Edit: Btw, how did you learn to pin suits for basic(!) alterations like trousers length, sleeve length etc? We usually pin our basic off-the-rack suits and then send them to the tailor :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016


  15. IChen

    IChen Senior Member

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    I didn't buy the book just read the articles so I'm not sure. It's something I'm going to buy soon since I'm interested though.

    Since it was neimans and free tailoring we asked the tailor to come down and pin. I only had to sort of hold the jacket at spots and point out what was wrong such as long sleeve and collar gaps and grab jacket from back since many needed to take in width.


    Also a good tip is to never suggest something that's the wrong style and fit for the customer. Makes you look inexperienced and never judge a customer either.
     


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