Sartorial suggestions from a Florentine maestro
While many believe that clothes make the man, too few appreciate that a man must choose his clothes with care. “There is more to dressing well than just buying expensive designer labels,” says Antonio Liverano, master tailor and owner of Liverano e Liverano, the legendary bespoke menswear atelier in Florence, Italy.
Antonio Liverano started his career as a tailor’s assistant in Puglia in the south of Italy at the tender age of seven. By age 11, he had moved to Florence to help his brother Luigi at the tailoring studio where Luigi worked.
Fast forward to 2015 and many see Liverano as being one of the standard bearers of the classic Italian-cut suit.
Jackets from Liverano e Liverano are based on a traditional cut that has its roots in a style that was popular in 19th-century Naples. Jackets made at the Liverano atelier have unstructured shoulders and a soft, lightweight construction.
Liverano and his assistant Takahiro Osaki hold trunk shows around the world, giving lectures about their bespoke approach to tailoring, as well as on a gentleman’s style.
“These trips are a way of introducing new people to our sartorial culture. What many men don’t seem to understand is that money does not guarantee elegance. You don’t need to come to Liverano e Liverano to be elegant. If you have €300 you can be elegant,” Liverano says.
‘Money is not a guarantee for elegance’
“Even with a pair of trousers that cost €60, the right person can find the best trouser for that price and combine it with the best shirt and accessories he can afford and be very elegant. It’s all about balance, and finding a good fit, as well as buying the best quality you can afford,” he says.
“This is what we are trying to teach the men that we meet. We are like sartorial missionaries.”
Three fittings are required
All appointments at Liverano e Liverano start with an in-depth consultation with Antonio Liverano, so he can get an idea of the type of use the client will have for the bespoke garment being ordered.
Using the client’s list of requirements, the team then helps select appropriate colors, fabrics, buttons, and linings. Once those decisions have been made, measuring can begin.
If a client is coming to the atelier for the first time, three fittings are required to ensure a perfect fit. It then takes around 70 hours for the tailors at Liverano e Liverano to make a jacket.
‘I put my heart into the garments, I don’t need any other gimmicks’
“Bespoke tailoring is like a church, it’s like being in a different world,” Liverano says.
Starting prices for a tailor-made jacket are €4,300, while a bespoke suit starts at €5,000, depending on the type of fabric chosen.
But even those unable to afford a bespoke suit can still be a part of the Liverano world.
“We started making ready-to-wear suits about 20 years ago. While it’s not the same as having a bespoke suit made, it is still Liverano.”
“I am still cutting fabric, and if you are looking for me you will find me at a cutting table here in my workshop, from 7:45am to 7pm every day, Monday through Saturday,” Liverano says.
“Many tailors nowadays do this for the money. Of course we need money to put into investments and many of our investments are in fabric. We have fabrics from mills that no longer exist, which have been very difficult to buy. It is a sacrifice to keep these stocked but there really is no other way.”
“I put my heart into the garments, I don’t need any other gimmicks. My heart is enough. I have done this with my whole heart since I was a boy. This is my life!”
Text: Tsemave Opubor
Published: May 20, 2017