Stile Latino is PG’s latest revelation !
Vincenzo Attolini is the eldest of the Attolini brothers, and bears the name of his grandfather who, according to those versed in men’s tailoring history, invented the famous Neapolitan jacket while working for Rubinacci in Naples, Italy.
Various stories have circulated about the origins of the Neapolitan style, with many tales mixing actual accounts with erroneous information.
In Italy, family stories and actual history are oftentimes interchangeable. In an attempt to clarify events as we know them today, a brief summary:
Grandfather Vincenzo Attolini (see the picture above), is known for having “invented” the Neapolitan jacket in its current form, with all its telltale characteristics : sloping shoulder with shirring, no padding, minimal lining, maximal lightness and comfort, patch pockets, etc… while he was working for house Rubinacci (a.k.a. “London House”), then headed by über elegant and known dandy Gennaro Rubinacci – Marianno’s father and Luca’s grandfather.
This being Italy, the debate of ownership rights to the Neapolitan jacket created an enduring feud between the two families, one that time still hasn’t fully healed…
Our opinion is that both sides deserve full credit ; Vincenzo Attolini did physically invent the modern Neapolitan silhouette, but he did so on behalf of house Rubinacci, where he was employed as a head cutter at the time.
To add spice to the debate, we also have to recognize another important character in the saga. Before Vicenzo introduced the Neapolitan jacket to the world, Master tailor Domenico Caraceni (then working in Roma) was the first known tailor to propose suppler lines and a lighter and less “rigid” approach to tailoring, an approach that opposed the stiff suit construction preferred by the British that reigned supreme for the first half of the 20th century.
It’s quite known that Vincenzo Attolini (the grandfather) was influenced, and indeed drew direct inspiration from Caraceni’s work—a story that can be further explored in one of Sonya’s article here.
Of course, with Italy being Italy, the Caraceni’s story, just like the Attolini’s story, is not an easy one to tell either. Intriguing tidbit : as of today there are at least four houses that claim the name “Caraceni” between Milan and Roma ! This is a chain of events that will be told in another article at a later date.
Let us get back to Stile Latino.
Vincenzo (the grand father) is the father of Cesare Attolini (the dashing gentleman pictured below), also a very famous tailor with three sons : Vincenzo, Massimiliano and Giuseppe Attolini.
Cesare’s firstborn, Vincenzo, who holds the name of his grandfather, founded the house that we are celebrating today: the fast-expanding house of Stile Latino. Cesare’s younger sons, Massimiliano and Giuseppe head up Sartoria Cesare Attolini, arguably one of the world’s greatest Sartoria.
Are you still with us ? We know it can be confusing, but remember we are in Italy!
We haven’t delved into why the three brothers have two different Sartorias, but we are happy to reap the benefits of enjoying two Attolini houses instead of just one. We can also safely say after meeting Vincenzo in person, that he is an artist in his own right, the kind that needs to be sole captain at the helm of his own vessel, in order to be able to fully express himself.
The three brothers still get along well enough though, and each Sartoria has its own traditional workshop in Naples : Cesare Attolini (led by Massimiliano and Giuseppe) employs about 120 people, while Vincenzo at the fast-growing house of Stile Latino employs 30 .
In terms of quality of the finished products, both houses are top notch. Cesare Attolini’s products involve a greater amount of handiwork than Stile Latino, but the price tag is quite a bit heftier as a consequence.
These stories and more will be explored further in my second upcoming book, the Italian Gentleman, to be released by Thames & Hudson late next year.
STILE LATINO : BONA FIDE NEAPOLITAN STYLE
It’s been a while since my heart started racing after trying on an exceptional piece of clothing ; it’s that kind of physical reaction you only get from specific items that speak to you on a very personal level (either for their aesthetic value or for their exceptional handiwork). Maybe we at PG have become somewhat desensitized, because we literally spend our lives touching, sampling and trying on exceptional pieces crafted from all around the world.
Yet, to my surprise, my heart was racing as I donned a splendid overcoat from Stile Latino. It was last January, as Sonya, Lyle and I finally got to meet the wonderfully exuberant Vincenzo Attolini and his business confidant, the charming and talented Primo Guercilena, in their Milan showroom during the local fashion week.
Besides the warm welcome from two such important names in the world of men’s style, we were able to discover Vincenzo’s work in depth ; a bona fide slice of Neapolitan craftsmanship from a tried and true Attolini descendant – extremely light and supremely comfortable, with the joy doubled by some very unique stylistic choices.
Vincenzo is the first designer-craftsman of such a high level that I hear describing his clothing as not only elegant, but also sexy. Very à propos, when you take a look at the images…
The overcoats, pictured above and below, are ridiculously light to wear with an almost complete lack of lining that allows for freedom of movement that is near absolute, in true Neapolitan fashion.
The jackets and suits are cut from the same cloth, pardon the pun : light and supple pieces of work, with that oh-so-characteristic sloping Neapolitan shoulder…
It’s not an overstatement to say that we’ve been dumbfounded by what this “small” house, that we barely knew until now, has to offer.
Stile Latino now has a sizable and growing fan base from all around the world, hailing from Japan in particular (where the local elegants are fond of Vincenzo’s creations), but also Europe, where the Stile Latino brand is being distributed in several quality stores, including at our good friend Pierre Degand’s top notch multi-brand store in Brussels.
For more information on where to find Stile Latino’s fantastic products, feel free to write to the following addresses : stilelatino[at]gmail.com or info[at]stilelatino.it. Don’t be shy and say that Parisian Gentleman sent you – that’ll guarantee you an even quicker response !
STILE LATINO – 9, Via Gaetano Donizetti – Casalnuovo Di Napoli – NA
Phone :+39 081 5221617
Official website : stilelatino.it
Tumblr : stilelatinonapoli.tumblr.com
Facebook : Facebook Stile Latino