Learning a trade that is rare and has fought the test of time is exciting! I was recently telling you in Pass the Craft that I have been given the great opportunity to learn the art of tailoring from a master tailor who is truly one of a dying breed. He began tailoring at the age of 12 in the coastal town of Cantanzaro in southeastern Italy. Fast forward 65 years and he is a master tailor and a very successful business man with stores both in the US and Canada.
So I started my apprenticeship with my mentor! And let me tell you – it was nothing less than amazing! The past three sessions have included learning cutting, measuring, marking, stitching, pressing, hemming, folding, sales, merchandise, and the list goes on and on. One could find it a little overwhelming but for me the wave of information has opened my eyes to a small, distinguished culture of men who like to project a high-quality image with menswear designed for their style and frame.
My mentor uses exclusive fabrics, including super 150, super 180, Italian silk and cashmere and the lines are hard pressed down the trousers. When a client comes in and slips on the jacket it fits like a glove! And if not, personal tailoring is applied to fit as it should. Taking the suits that need tailoring in the back, snipping the seams, measuring, cutting, and then putting back together is an art, and a dying art at that.
I’m learning how do to this art, not a quick in and out the door job, but an art of making sure that the client is satisfied and that the suit is going to last. This is an investment in looking good, not shopping. Businessmen, judges, lawyers, and bankers, to name a few are regulars to the shop. They are the members of the few that know what it takes to be taken seriously.
The usual man jokes are shared regularly at the tailor shop. There is beer in the fridge and an espresso machine in the back. Clients come here to hang out for a few or talk about the ladies. What a time this is turning out to be and what an experience! One cannot learn such art and life style from a book, or in a classroom. Having him introduce me as the “the future of the tailor shop” is both an honor and motivating. Motivating to learn as much and as quickly as I can. Though I will never stop learning, this has proven to be an excellent staring point.