THE CITY WHERE
NOTHING IS EVER MUNDANE
Known as the home of pizza, the city where Sophia Loren was deified and the very city Diego Maradona became god. Naples can be described differently from different people, definite pride from the proud locals and various visitors who experienced different approaches of its hospitality but hardly, no one has ever described it as “plain” nor “forgettable” For us, it almost seems like Naples is the city where mundaneness doesn’t exist.
The passionate characteristic of Neapolitan is everywhere and it is in everything once you are in Naples, from its heavenly coffee, cuisine or people you walk by or even in the air we breathe. Unfortunately, you can’t find coffee or pizza as particular as what they have there and there is never enough Neapolitans in your city but certainly, one thing can always manage to carry the city’s characteristic throughout the world; the Neapolitan tailoring.
As written by Christian Baker about a brief history of tailoring in Naples “The roots of today’s Neapolitan tailoring stretch back almost 700 years, to the founding in the 14th century of Italy’s oldest tailoring association, Confraternita dell’arte dei Giubbonai e Cositori (the Brotherhood of the Jacket Makers and of the Tailors). Its members were among the first to create ready-to-wear men’s garments, made in Naples and transported to royals, noblemen and the affluent across the continent” (1)
Ever since the 18th century, Naples is a part of the Grand Tour custom of which the upper-class young men from British noble families would start a journey from Dover southwards through the continent to Naples then Capri. Along came with the young Britons were their elegant attires, and of course, they could not escape those prying eyes of Neapolitan tailors who not-before-long have loosened up stiffness in British tailoring to fit the Neapolitan ways.
According to Arianna Reggio whose definition of Neapolitan jackets is perfectly well-put “they are, de facto, the leisurewear of tailoring. If properly constructed and tailored, you should be able to perform any daily task while wearing a Neapolitan jacket – from riding a bicycle to harvesting tomatoes” (2)
To present day, young Neapolitan men are still groomed to go to the very same tailors their grandfathers have been going to over the decades. Unlike in most cities around the world, tailoring is considered a luxury for privileged men, and for young men, it is mainly for reminiscing the good old days or cherishing the dying chivalry or whatnot but in Naples, it is still the way of life, it is everyday life and most importantly, it is for everyone.
Old-fashioned some might say, but handmade is still the vital essence of the Neapolitan way of tailoring and The Somchai believe a product made from hands of skilled craftsmen is not only meant to please the eyes but also to be felt through the skin of its wearer. We believe handmade products are unrepeatable, impossible to be replicated, the Neapolitan craftsmanship has been passed down through generations, it moves within their muscles and embedded in their souls.
Take Ambrosi for instance, Salvatore is the 4th generation of his family trousers making legacy, the craftsmanship from his works is so genuine, and very tangible. Ambrosi’s trousers are all hand stitched with the exception of the centre back seam. We once heard a gentleman jokingly said “the real Ambrosi trousers supposed to contain the lingering cigarette aroma on them” (since there is always an ashtray on Salvatore’s table)
Through our love and appreciation for Neapolitan tailoring; The Somchai would like to introduce our 3 Neapolitan partners to Bangkok; Orazio Luciano, Ambrosi and Finamore. Starting off with Orazio Luciano’s very first trunk show in South East Asia on 23-24 September 2018.
Orazio Luciano, Napoli
From the earliest days, the brand has dared to experiment different techniques and push the traditional style boundaries with subtle details like an aggressive mappina, hand stitched buttonholes and a particularly notable effortless fit, Orazio Luciano likes to wear his elegance lightly while pushing the traditional wardrobe codes to make his own style statement. The Orazio Luciano famous fit offers an unrivaled freedom of movement, which refines the body figure.
The Ambrosi family have been trouser makers for the past four generations. The Ambrosi legacy began during the economically testing time of the Second World War. Antonio Ambrosi seized the opportunity to provide practical work trousers in a time when formal suiting and sports jackets were considered frivolous. Ambrosi produced trousers for the most respected tailoring houses in Naples.
The shirts are characterised by traditional and manual workmanship which makes them unique and exclusive. This is what makes Neapolitan product stand out from those sold elsewhere, the way of doing certain operations which is envied all over the world. The third generation of entrepreneurs has been able to raise the level of quality even more because they not only use the highest quality fabrics but also manage to mix and transform a classic product into a revisited one: a challenge which is giving considerable satisfaction to the company.