From Hollywood superstars to European aristocrats, the world’s most stylish men know that Rome is the place to find the finest bespoke tailors. Home to luxury international labels and traditional family-run sartorias, the Italian capital boasts an impressive range of tailoring options that will satisfy even the most discerning clients.
One of the city’s leading forces in modern bespoke menswear is Andrea Luparelli, whose tailoring house, Sartoria Ripense, has cultivated a long list of international customers, some of whom fly to Rome specifically for his expertise in made-to-measure menswear.
Following in his tailor grandfather’s footsteps and driven by an inherited passion and a love of traditional Italian tailoring, Luparelli opened Sartoria Ripense 16 years ago on the Via di Ripetta, a short walk from the historical Piazza del Popolo. Luparelli describes Sartoria Ripense as a laboratory as much as a tailor’s shop. His focus when creating a suit is ‘taking into consideration the proportions and personal shape of each client to work to create the perfect fit,’ he explains. ‘Everything starts in front of a mirror, with the client and the professionals, the tailors and consultant, supporting and guiding the choices with their experience.’
It’s during this consultation stage that Luparelli’s clients discover the sartoria’s vast library of fabrics, finishes and accessories. The Sartoria Ripense ‘laboratory’ experiments result in an entirely bespoke wardrobe, from suits to scarves and everything in between. ‘Even a belt buckle can be customised,’ says Luparelli.
It’s clear that Luparelli’s mission is to keep traditional Italian tailoring within the modern menswear wardrobe. However, Sartoria Ripense is not the only tailor to attract some of the world’s sharpest-dressed men to Rome. Luxury labels with boutiques across the globe have based their best bespoke services in the city – including Italian menswear powerhouse Canali. Founded as a family-run business in 1934, Canali has become one of the most renowned Italian labels for beautiful suits and formalwear, but it’s the Su Misura (made-to-measure) service, available in its flagship Rome boutique on the city’s Via del Babuino, which has gained the brand a legion of bespoke menswear fans. ‘Owning a Su Misura suit makes our clients feel unique; it represents the perfect balance between the personal taste of the client and the skill and mastery of our tailors,’ explains Elisabetta Canali, the label’s group communication director and the granddaughter of founder Giovanni Canali.
A client who books a Su Misura consultation has the full expertise of the label’s master craftsmen, paragons of fine Italian tailoring, at their disposal. ‘It all starts with the choice of model, understanding the style that best suits the physique and personality of the customer though a relationship of trust and interaction with the master tailor,’ says Elisabetta Canali. ‘We then use fabrics sourced from the best mills in Italy’s Biella district and offer, among others, 100% pure wools, mohair, cashmere, vicuna, silk and linens. After over 80 years of working together, we have privileged relationships with the best mills and work together to create exclusive blends and patterns just for Canali.’
While Canali’s library of textiles is of the utmost quality, it’s the fit, and the expert craftsmanship of its master tailors, that are the defining factors of a Canali made-to-measure creation, as Elisabetta Canali explains. ‘Our master tailors have years of experience and understand their craft to the highest possible levels. They are skilled professionals who take time to listen to the client and understand their bodies, their lifestyles and their needs.’
It isn’t just suits that are getting the personal treatment in Rome; luxury labels offering personalisation and made-to-measure services line the city’s historic streets. On Via dei Condotti, one of the city’s premier shopping streets, luxury Italian label Ermenegildo Zegna offers clients a vast array of ultra-personalised finishing touches, including monogrammed buttons, personalised shirt cufflinks and even bespoke fabrics with the wearer’s name woven into the selvedge. Iconic Italian textile doyen Loro Piana offers a full bespoke service for bags and shoes, including over 30 options for fabrics, stitching and hardware, ensuring that even if clients don’t opt for a traditional bespoke suit, their accessories will be unique.
The Made in Italy initiative draws together the best of Italian brands and the Made in Italy label indicates the use of quality, luxury Italian fabrics, but it’s not just the materials that keep this nation at the forefront of the luxury market. The country’s long tradition of fine craftsmanship, particularly present in its tailoring, is as strong as ever – and when it comes to bespoke, Rome is clearly the place to be.