Few Italian bespoke tailors enjoy as much acclaim from their fellow tailors as Gaetano Aloisio. When we met at the Trofeo Arbiter in Milano in 2020 I noticed how much he is revered by the tailors wo took part in the contest. But Gaetano Aloisio is also a highly successful business man with an international clientele of customers, many of them celebrities. Two weeks ago I had the chance to conduct this exclusive interview with Gaetano Aloisio.
Feine Herr: Hugo Jacomet calls you “one of the greatest tailors in Italy” and he describes your work as extremely precise and your style as “Roman”. How would you describe yourself as craftsman?
Gaetano Aloisio: I prefer to describe myself through what I did and what I do: since my first steps into the bespoke world, I always looked for the best craftsmanship from the masters I met and from the garments I saw, in order to create my personal style, made precisely with the finest fabrics. The most important things that I keep in mind every single day is to give the highest quality to all of my Customers. I am delighted to hear what Hugo says about me, he had the opportunity to observe my work and surely have seen that I spend my attention – supported by my never ending passion – on every single detail, meticulously. My creations combine the most refined traditions of Italian tailoring, the modernity of the lines, the high technical approach and the Italian taste. All the above allows me to meet and sometimes to exceed the expectations of my valued Customers from all around the world, each one with different culture and background. And also today, after 44 years of tailoring, I aways think about the way to improve my work: I am a perfectionist and also a researcher of the Elegance.
Tailors are often a bit jealous of colleagues but every tailor that I’ve met praises you as a professional. How do you explain this?
Since I opened my own Atelier, 30 years ago, I have always had two goals to pursue: first one was – and also today is – to improve myself everyday. The second was try to be not the “simple” artisan, but try to be at the same time fine craftsman, highly skilled professional and visionary entrepreneur, paying attention to every single aspect of my business and growing up alongside my team, formed by absolute professionals. If my colleagues today say it about me – and I am honored of – it means that I have achieved my second goal. As far as it concerns the first one, I hope to preserve the learning-based approach for the entire life.
You started very early as a tailor. Could you give us a brief outline of your career?
Back in the days, I began to work as tailor apprentice during my middle school. I was very young but already passionate about this kind of art. I have spent several months to watch and to learn the job secrets. The workshop was the place where I fell in love with this work. Milan was the first important step into the absolute quality tailoring: I was only sixteen but I understood that I had to make some sacrifice in order to achieve back satisfactions. There, in Milan, Maestro Bolognesi gave me, over the technique, also the right mind-set to grow up well. But the sunny and warm colors of Rome made me decide to move from Milan. In 1991 I opened my Atelier in Rome, today it is located inside a prestigious Villa Malta, within walking distance from Spanish Steps. There are also two beautiful ready-to-wear boutiques in Rome and Gaetano Aloisio showroom in Paris. Today I am known as celebrities tailor, I make entire looks for most important names in finance, politics and industry, also including numerous members of Royal Families and various Heads of State.
You are very interested in helping younger tailors. What do you do to support them?
I began to support young tailors since I was young tailor too. First of all, by hiring them as apprentices at my own tailor workshop. Today I still continue to do that with huge pleasure: the young enthusiasts are the future, especially in this Art. There is also a problem: Italy is not anymore as it was years ago, when you could start calling yourself “Master Tailor” in a couple of years. To become a Master tailor today the student needs many years of hard work. But a fine tailoring school could be helpful: that’s why, with Accademia Nazionale dei Sartori, the National Master tailor Federation (of which I am the President) with the precious help of my special colleagues, the Master tailors with long experience, we have launched a new era of its school. It’s a modern tailoring and sewing school where whoever wants to become a tailor could pitch the chance to do it, as long as she o he commits itself with maximum dedication and absolute passion.
As a Vice President of the World Federation of Master Tailors, I spend a huge amount of my time into the federation life, talking and acting for supporting the new generation of Master Tailors all around the World.
Let’s imagine a new customer comes to order a suit. Is there something in the procedure that is unique to your way of working?
Every time I meet a new customer in my Atelier, I think he begins to live the experience starting from the outdoor of our workshop. It is immersed into Italian history and it’s a really magic place in the heart of the Eternal City. If I meet the new customer somewhere around the world, his journey into the pleasure of bespoke begins with our talking: I do my best to give to the Customer a unique experience, starting from knowing each other. During the first meeting I try to understand his personality and find out the most of his lifestyle, of how he sees himself, of what are his needs and desires. In the meanwhile I study his body, paying attention to every structural detail of his morphology: this will be absolutely helpful to create a perfect jacket for him.
My goal is not only to create a nice jacket or suit, every garment should be unique, made on the personality and the shape of that specific customer. And if, during the last fitting upon delivery, I see his happy smile, I know I managed to achieve my goal.
How important is the construction of the pattern in relation to the fittings in your way of working?
In my idea of fine tailoring is absolutely essential that every single step have to be done with critical level of attention. Surely, the development of the pattern will have visible results during fittings, as well as the other steps of the process will have their importance for the final result. Of course, a well done pattern will give the chance to do a well done cut. Every single step is linked with the followed and all of them are essential for the bespoke journey.
What is the biggest advantage of bespoke over ready-to-wear?
There are some ready-to-wear suit which are decent. But, of course, bespoke is another league. A bespoke suit is not a simple suit: it is like a second skin for the owner. That means natural beauty. And maximum grade of customization following the client’s taste. Furthermore, by choosing a bespoke suit, the Customer chooses also a tailor: in my opinion the Customer first orders and then buys a piece of art which should be the best expression of the creativity of its author.
Which advice can you give readers who want to try bespoke for the first time?
My advice is to start with choosing a good tailor. If you will be good with this choice, I am quite sure the journey will be fantastic. The experience lived through the relationship with the tailor, the moments shared to see, to feel and to touch different hundreds of fabrics, to exchange the opinions about style and life, to see your own image with the eyes of a Maestro… these are a non-exhaustive list of priceless emotions that bespoke tailoring can gift. But readers also must keep in mind that the bespoke tailoring could be risky: when you discover the elegance and the beauty of the image in the mirror given by a bespoke suit, you will also understand that no other garment will offer you the same feeling of satisfaction.
Do you have any plans for visits to Germany?
Of course. I really like Germany and its cities. I have been in some of them. If one day there will be German Customers interested in my creations, I will organize the journey and will come to visit them. This is also a part of the bespoke world.