A Cut Above: A Brief History of the Italian Tailor


A Cut Above: A Brief History of the Italian Tailor


Italian tailoring, much like Italian garments, comes with high quality and a prestige reputation. Here at Derks, we appreciate and know a thing or two about Italian tailoring, too.

The roots of the true Italian tailor can be traced back to the Italian Renaissance, starting in the 13th century. Tailoring in Italy isn’t just about making a suit fit “right”; it’s the reason Italy is the world’s most stylish nation.


Jacket: Tagliatore  /  Pants: Mason’s  /  Shirt: Stenströms  /  Belt: Anderson’s 

A true Italian tailor is not born overnight. In order to become one of the greatest it takes years of experience, often beginning around the preteen years. Many master tailors start very young, optimistically cautious at first, but later gaining a passion for the craft that lasts a lifetime.

Italy now requires a would-be tailor to complete at least four years of school and apprenticing in order to be considered good enough to make a suit by hand. It actually takes students three years to perfect the art of sewing a jacket.

A few specific tailors who have contributed to Italy’s renowned style include Rubinacci, Antonio Liverano, and Sartoria Panico.

The Rubinacci family, known for bespoke tailoring, has been in the Italian fashion business since the 18th century. Their handmade suit is known as the “suit of a lifetime”.


Photo Credit: Rubinacci 

As introduced in our last post, it’s extremely important that the misura (“measurements”) of a client be accurate. The misura determines the fit, comfort, and overall appearance of the suit once worn by the client. The Rubinacci family always takes the most perfect measurements, making it seem as though they know the client’s body even better than the client himself. People fly in from all over the world for the Naples experience this family’s company will provide at their villa.

Antonio Liverano is a Florentine tailor who has created Liverano & Liverano, one of the last remaining tailor houses. Antonio is known for his own version of the perfect Italian abito (“suit”):

“…a soft, sloped generous shoulder, the sleeve head is clean and connects to a full and curved sleeve, the rich chest is balanced by a generous lapel with low breast pocket leading to a tapered waist and cut away, slight short, jacket bottom.”

And when it comes to the trousers, they are:

“…always pleated with a medium rise and cuffed opening.”



A work of art?



Pants: Mason’s  /  Shoes: Lloyd

Sartoria Panico, a man that finished his apprenticeship at seventeen years old and opened his first tailor’s shop at 22 years old in 1964, is still going strong. When asked about one of his suits, he talks about his own that’s 25 years old:

“…it still fits well and when I wear it, I forget that I am wearing anything. That is ‘real’ tailoring.”


Jacket: Tagliatore  /  Pants: Mason’s  /  Shirt: Stenströms  /  Belt: Anderson’s 

The common denominator among these designers is the strong attention to detail. They pay as much detail to which tessuto (“fabric”) and sifilata (“thread”) are used as they do to concepting the look of the suit.

The best of the best know what works for each individual. That’s what makes Italian tailors the best in the world. 

Derks brings the best of Italy to Edmonton. Visit us in store or shop online.  

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