The ten best sartorial surprises from 2014


The ten best sartorial surprises from 2014

Yasuhiro Shiota , Aubercy Bespoke

The men’s style market is buzzing lately. Hardly a day goes by without new houses being introduced, a throng of new offers by established shops, and an array of advertising campaigns to tempt even the most discerning gent.

Times are exciting for the sartorially inclined, with quality going up and prices becoming more competitive. These phenomena are the inevitable side effects of steep competition in a blooming market. Now more than ever, it’s possible to dress well without having to pull off a heist, and all it takes is a bit of time and education, as well as an healthy dose of insight.

In the midst of the current sartorial storm, we’ve isolated 10 tell-tale examples of what we consider to be proof of the fantastic health and dynamism of the menswear industry. Of course, this list can be highly subjective – but it has been compiled with all the seriousness you can expect from these columns.

1- Finally ! Cifonelli launches a RTW line worthy of its name


For us, one of the most memorable events so far this year. The Cifonelli RTW relaunch is long overdue, and it doesn’t disappoint.

The first Cifonelli micro-collection has been designed by John Vizzone, former style director from Ralph Lauren, and was presented last June in Paris for a very convincing first taste that left many observers with high expectations for the full collection, to be unveiled this winter. Finally, a Cifonelli RTW line that follows the house’s style design guidelines !

2 – Finally ! The Rake goes (more) international


The limited distribution of The Rake outside of Asia has long created some humorous banter between aficionados. Finding the revered magazine has often been difficult for style lovers, and the shipping prices have at times been cost-prohibitive — The Rake is a big publication and weighs a lot for a magazine, and many gentlemen have grown tired of paying twice the price for every issue.

What fantastic news to learn that, as of a few months ago, The Rake has finally decided to install an office in London. The international edition has been readily available all over Europe ever since. Hallelujah !

3 – Gennaro Formosa (through the website No Man Walks Alone) is Making Neapolitan Style More Accessible To The Discerning Gentleman


One of the most excellent news (and success) stories of the past few months—the development of a RTW line of suits and jackets by Neapolitan house Bespoke Formosa, in collaboration with the website No Man Walks Alone.

Founded and helmed by a Frenchman living in NYC, No Man Walks Alone offers a sharp selection of products and features many exceptional houses for the style connoisseur, along with some very interesting price points. A fantastic initiative that we wholeheartedly support. Many stores should note this example, and work towards creating more bridges between Bespoke and RTW.

4 – Aubercy is Back in The Bespoke Business

Bespoke Aubercy

Another fantastic occurrence : Aubercy‘s bespoke is back on the market in full force, with the arrival rue Vivienne of talented Japanese bootmaker Yasuhiro Shiota, formerly from house Corthay.

The first few lasts and prototypes we have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of have shown much promise…an offer to follow very closely indeed.

5- Corthay’s New Manufacture


The “Made In France” label has been heavily promoted in our country in the past few years (despite the mass exodus of many shoe production lines to Spain and Portugal), and house Corthay distinguishes itself in the best way possible, despite the grim economical climate, with the grand opening of its newest manufacture in rural French region of Maine et Loire.

In a region that was once the Mecca of traditional handkerchief production, some of the most beautiful shoes in the world are now being made. Vive la France !

6 – Calabrese 1924 Readies Itself for Deployment Outside of Italy

Calabrese 1924 Ties

A small Neapolitan treasure, widely unknown to the general public, which is a shame indeed, as this small family-owned business specializes in crafting ties, handkerchieves and wraps of a beautiful and enduring make, sold at very reasonable prices.

If our sources are to be trusted, the launch of an online store is imminent.

Calabrese 1924 is definitely a name to remember.

7 – Eidos Napoli : The New Sensation


A name that’s on tip of everyone’s tongue these days : Eidos Napoli is a Neapolitan house whose products are made at Isaia, with the ambition to redefine the high end segment of the market by offering fully canvassed suits at prices rarely seen elsewhere at this quality level (e.g., $1200 for a suit, $ 850 for a jacket).

Adriano Dirnelli, one of our Contributing Editors, has high praise for what might just be another Neapolitan wonder, despite its rather poor distribution outside of the US. Keep an eye on this one.

8 – Ducal Firenze Steps Out of the Shadows


A recent discovery made by our Editors at this year’s Pitti Uomo. This small house from Florence is very confidential, but manages to impress nonetheless by the sharp style of its creations, coupled with a great quality of make.

Ducal Firenze — nothing to do with Doucal’s, should make some noise in the next few months…

9 – Meermin : Price-Quality Ratio with (Almost) no Equivalent


We said it before and we reaffirm it here : Meermin, a house brand of Majorcan Albaladejo group keeps impressing with the quality of its products and, above all, by its low prices — 150€ for a pair, and even less during a sale !

A terrific entry house for your first steps into the world of quality shoes. Meermin is a house we hold in high regard.

10 – Howard’s : Ties that keep getting more gorgeous and sophisticated


Ever since we discovered the beautiful ties from Howard’s in Paris, restless owner and founder Frédéric Costa keeps impressing us with every passing season with his tireless and superb new additions to the house’s already sizable collection. And what’s more, the quality hasn’t dropped a centimeter.

Currently on the menu : Silk twill ties with an amazing hand, and fragrant silk grenadine available in multiple colours.