What's the deal with isaia?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by The_Foxx, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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    My previous experience with Gianluca Isaia was only a single item, a cashmere sportcoat. I didn't think all that much of their work, to be honest. HOWEVER, I ran into a store in Charleston that had a suit displayed-- the buttonholes were clearly hand-stitched, great edge stitching on lapels, classic neopolitian shoulders. So, how do you tell the difference in 'lines' they make? Which one is the link below? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....80&rd=1
     
  2. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    Try a search under "Isaia"; this topic was once discussed in quite a bit of detail (and this seller as well).

    koji
     
  3. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    There is a prior lengthy thread in this forum on the "Isaia" confusion including criticism of this seller, Pete Testa. I'm sure you can search for it under "Isaia".

    Anyway, the suit pictured is the higher quality Isaia line and not the cheaper "Gianluca" line, which this seller also carries from time to time, to the confusion of his patrons. This is based on the price and on the label.

    I have an Isaia suit from Pete, who can get testy (no pun intended), but who delivered my suit at a good price. You also have to get past the gaudy "nitrometer", but it doesn't matter.
     
  4. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The seller is not one of my favorites, but that is one of the good Isaia's so I wouldn't rule it out.
     
  5. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    I spoke with the sales director of Isaia a few years ago, then they had three lines, the fused GIANLUCA, the hand finished Gianluca Isaia, and the hand made ENRICO ISAIA.
     
  6. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    T4phage, perhaps you can help us out here. To my knowledge, the Enrico Isaia line is no longer available here in the US. Is the same true in Europe? I've been wondering whether they stopped producing the line altogether, or just stopped selling it on the US market.

    I ask the same question of anybody else in Europe. Seen any Enrico Isaia for sale lately?
     
  7. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    From what I could tell, the only significant difference in the Enrico line was the construction of the pants.

    koji
     
  8. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    I haven't seen Enricos for awhile now. Though I haven't really searched..... The thread posted a month ago asking whether an Isaia on ebay was authentic seems to be the replacement for the Enricos.

    Originally posted by Thracozaag:
    When I bought mine a few years ago, the storeowner compared the regular Isaia against the Enricos, and (at that time), the Enricos had handstitched buttonholes, thinner shoulder padding and chest piece, different felt under the collar, split waistband, handstitched pants, and a few others that I disremember. Maybe the quality dropped?
     
  9. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Not really, I think it's more that the quality of the Gianluca line got better. Most of the Gianluca now has handstitched buttonholes and other detailing that characterized the Enrico line. However, as Thracozaag said, Gianluca pants have never reached the level of the Enrico's. They were nice..

    You do have to watch the Gianluca line - quality can vary. Most significantly the buttonholes - sometimes they are handstitched and some times they are machine stitched. I have heard several retailers cite inconsistency of the product as the reason for dropping Isaia, so it even be that the quality varied from batch to batch. Hard to say for sure though.
     
  10. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Originally posted by A.Harris:
    That is a real pity since they are the one purveyor of "affordable" Neapolitan suits, cheaper than Attolini.
    By the way, do they have Isaias in the U.S with the pleating on the sleevehead? How about the minimal shoulder padding?
     
  11. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    I was extremely fortunate and picked up a very nice Isaia suit a couple of years ago in Palermo for a pittance. I compared the jacket with an Enrico and couldn't discern a noticeable difference (although it was only a cursory inspection), but the Enrico pants were clearly superior...akin to the Cesare Attolini pants I've seen. VERY nice.

    koji
     
  12. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    From an old Departures magazine article about the best Neopolitan makers:

    "Isaia produces three separate lines of menswear, each with different degrees of hand tailoring. The small Enrico Isaia line is almost entirely handmade, while the Isaia and Gianluca Isaia lines are machine made but handfinished. The Gianluca collection [is] aimed at the younger, more fashion conscious buyer."
     
  13. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    I love how they always couch their crappier-made lines as "younger" or "hip" or "fashion conscious". hahaha.

    koji
     
  14. Dan G

    Dan G Senior member

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    It's funny that you guys are discussing Isaia today. I just received a "Gianluca Isaia" navy suit and tan sportjacket, both which were purchased on Ebay. The retails were $1995 and $1595 respectively, but I picked them up for $600 together. The suit has machined button holes, and pants of average quality. The sport jacket, on the other hand, is wonderfully constructed with hand-sewn button holes.
     

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