Tommy e Giulio Caraceni is without doubt one of the nice tailors in Italy, however it’s truthful to say they’re in a technique of transition.
The store is run by Andrea Caraceni, grandson of Tommy. His father retired final 12 months, and now when within the store you’re greeted by contrasting generations: the younger Andrea and some youthful tailors, and the older technology represented by grasp cutter Carlo Tonini (high picture), who stands on the central reducing board instructing these round him.
Caraceni additionally moved not too long ago – solely a bit method geographically, however maybe additional philosophically.
They’re now on the bottom flooring – which is uncommon for tailors on the continent – and on the nook of a block. The home windows are massive, the door open; Caraceni of Rome now seems like someplace you would possibly simply wander into.
This was a acutely aware determination from Andrea, who additionally organized the shop on this spirit of openness. The tailors upstairs are in a single massive area, moderately than the little interconnecting rooms you often discover. And the place most tailors have the reducing tables hidden away, right here they’re on the bottom flooring, making it inconceivable to be unaware of the craft occurring.
“That is the important thing drawback with bespoke immediately,” says Andrea (beneath). “If folks understood the work concerned, they might additionally perceive the worth of it, why it’s costly and why it takes so lengthy.”
Some transient background might be helpful right here.
There are three vital bespoke tailors immediately with the identify Caraceni. The founder was Domenico Caraceni, who arrange in Rome in 1926. As he turned profitable and expanded, his brother Augusto arrange a department in Paris, and the youngest brother Galliano arrange in Naples.
Each closed after the Second World Conflict, and the household subsequently cut up aside after the demise of Domenico. Augusto began his personal enterprise in Milan, turning into the most important and best-known Caraceni immediately: A Caraceni, lined beforehand right here.
And Galliano began his personal enterprise in Rome, together with his sons Tommaso (Tommy) and Giuiio. That is the smaller operation we’re overlaying immediately.
Lastly there may be my tailor, Ferdinando Caraceni. That is the smallest of the lot, and was arrange by Domenico’s head cutter. It’s run immediately by Ferdinando’s daughter, Nicoletta, in Milan.
I used to be carrying a jacket made by Ferdinando Caraceni once I visited Andrea in Rome, and he was to see it.
Apparently he is aware of Carlo and Massimiliano Andreacchio, who run A Caraceni immediately (the husband and son of Augusto’s granddaughter, Rita) however doesn’t know Nicoletta or her work.
Andrea’s conclusion was that my jacket was related in some methods to what T&G Caraceni supply, which is a bit more conventional than A Caraceni.
“I believe through the years they’ve tailored a bit extra to fashions, maybe in size of jacket or width of lapel,” he says. “Whereas now we have stayed extra with that unique lower from the Nineteen Thirties and Forties.
(That is me attempting on a T&G Caraceni jacket beneath.)
The variations are fairly small, significantly given any consumer can specify a selected size or lapel width. All of the Caraceni clan appeared to do the same conservative lower, with a robust padded shoulder line however light-weight physique.
In truth, the most important distinction to me between what Andrea and his colleagues have been carrying and my jacket, appeared to be that the shoulders had rather less padding, the road a bit extra pure.
And there was minimal roping on the sleevehead – as you’ll be able to see within the picture of Andrea, Carlo and myself beneath.
Regardless of Andrea’s modernisations, to be at Caraceni in Rome is to be surrounded by historical past.
Their most well-known consumer – at the very least amongst menswear fanatics – seems to be down from a few pictures on the wall: Gianni Agnelli. The becoming rooms, in the meantime, are bedecked with such pictures, from Hollywood names to native celebrities like Mario D’Urso and Valentino.
“My father all the time had these within the becoming rooms – I suppose exhibiting you have been in good firm,” says Andrea. “However I moved a few of them out into the entrance of the store, so different guests see the heritage.”
The custom of candid pictures within the becoming rooms began with Domenico Caraceni, and also you see it on the partitions at A Caraceni as nicely. Seeing them once more right here, it jogged my memory how one can date those from the Seventies and Eighties as a result of the prints from that interval all have time and date stamps on them.
One other side of this historical past is the archive of material Tommy and Giulio constructed up. “After we moved, this was the toughest factor,” says Andrea. “There was a lot of it, all in various levels of each situation and of style!”
The crew sorted by all of it, removed what wasn’t usable and introduced the most effective examples into the entrance of the store.
As is commonly the case with classic fabric, the lengths on show are vital for his or her robustness. The flannels are tightly woven, heavy however not essentially thick – simply dense, which provides them an exquisite hand.
The jacketings, in contrast, are extra open and spongey, however nonetheless furry. The factor all of them have in widespread is the sensation that they’re constructed to final.
(Sadly the cloths are solely out there to Caraceni clients. Which is comprehensible actually – it’s one thing they’ve constructed up and is a pleasant promoting level.)
Like the opposite branches of Caraceni, Andrea doesn’t do trunk reveals. All of them emphasise the significance of each them and the cutter seeing a buyer in individual.
Essentially the most Andrea will do is journey to see one significantly good buyer: he can be in London quickly, for instance, to see a longtime buyer who has ordered 20 items of tailoring. (“I actually hope they don’t want any adjustments!”)
Nonetheless, any readers in Rome or that go to town have a tailor value visiting that’s each storied and forward-looking.
“This night I’ll go to see my pal Valentino at his present on the Spanish Steps,” says Andrea. “I believe each tailor ought to concentrate on these items – it’s my technology’s job to take tailoring ahead, to make everybody perceive its craft and its model.”
Bespoke fits begin at €4500 together with VAT. TommyeGiulioCaraceni.com
Images: Milad Abedi