Brioni: James Bond's Tailor

The Italian Masters of Suiting Celebrate 65 Years of Style

Clark Gable, Andrew WK, Barack Obama, Luciano Pavarotti and Bond, James Bond. An impressive list of celebrities, certainly, but not as random as you might think. These gentleman (dead, alive and fictional) share an unswerving devotion to the classic Italian tailoring of Brioni, the official outfitter of successive James Bonds since 1995’s Goldeneye. Founded 65 years ago by Penne-based, Savile Row-trained tailor Nazareno Fonticoli and entrepreneur Gaetano Savini, Brioni has always aspired to elegance and exclusivity—its name comes from a group of Croatian islands that became a summer playground for the European elite at the end of the 19th century. It wasn’t until 1951, however, the year of its (and the world’s) first-ever men’s fashion show at the Pitti Palace in Florence, that Brioni achieved global recognition. In the ensuing years Hollywood descended on Rome to the Cinecittà studios and stars flocked to the tailor’s shop on via Barbarini, snapping up suits to emulate the pared-down, understated chic of Italian actors such as Marcello Mastroianni. Today, Brioni remains unfaltering in its dedication to sewn perfection: each suit (made from a choice of over 5,000 fabrics) takes between 18 and 22 hours and 5,000 to 7,000 hand stitches, and hence can cost as much as $46,000 at the top end. The brand has recently expanded with new stores such as the latest in Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza district and a limited-edition fragrance, its first since 1958—and at $360 per 100ml, a serious luxury item. While Brioni debuted womenswear in during Milan fashion week in 2006, we're looking forward to when the house’s new creative director, Alessandro dell’Acqua, presents his premiere Brioni collection for Spring 2011.

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