Florence is the greatest little city in the world. Nowhere I’ve been matches it’s combined features of history, art, architecture, culture, ease of movement, variety and class. It’s a dignified city which has played a disproportionate part in shaping the culture of Europe over the last 500 years… And Sartoria Vestrucci is the men’s store Florence deserves.
As with so many of the world’s famous and tourist filled cities, in modern times they have been accosted by high-street brands and “luxury” houses which offer no local variety and simply carry the same stuff in a different location. Florence is generally the same, with exceptions like Stefano Bemer, Scuola del Cuoio and Liverano and Liverano who fly the flag for Florentine craftsmanship and tailoring.
Florence has needed a high quality men’s store with a variety of local and well-made products for a long time and Sartoria Vestrucci meets a decent part of that need.
The Sartoria is the work of Tommaso Melani (below) whose family has been in Florentine manufacturing for generations (owning the famous Scuola del Cuoio). Tommaso has brought together a number of makers under the one roof, but with the backbone of the business being the tailoring of Loris Vestrucci. Loris (now 78) is the last of the original Florentine tailors (all others came to Florence having learned elsewhere). Winding down his career he was working from home when Tommaso came to him with the proposal to leave a legacy by opening a new sartoria and to help teach his skills to a new generation of tailors. So with the sartoria now bearing his name, he’s training two apprentices and making for a new generation of clients.
The aesthetic of the house cut bears the hallmarks of traditional Florentine tailoring, those being a high armhole, no front darts, long vents and minimal padding. Loris sums up his approach to finishing and aesthetics in a single word; clean. So, take the rear curtain of the trousers for example; they’re always sewn in the same cream cotton used for the lining. This is done because it’s both aesthetically clean and devoid of pattern and colour and it lets you see when the trousers need cleaning. There’s no more cloth than is necessary and it results in a simple and refined look. Additionally, hand stitching isn’t used unless there’s a clear benefit to that stitch having the softness which a machine stitch can’t replicate.
The sartoria offers ready to wear (RTW), made to measure (MTM) and bespoke (see the difference here). Tommaso is a fan of a common sense approach to tailoring, i.e. if you fit their RTW pattern fairly well and just need some small changes (sleeve length, shoulder width etc) then you should pursue that. If you need more customisation in fit or want the freedom to choose cloth and details, then MTM is a good choice and if you have a large budget and want exactly what you want, then go for bespoke. Prices start at 2500€ for RTW, 3000€ for MTM and 3600€ for bespoke. If it were me, I’d pay the (comparatively) minimal 600€ for bespoke over MTM as the fit of good bespoke tailoring is unmatched.
Tommaso is constantly travelling between New York and Florence, taking fittings in New York every month.
In addition to the sartoria’s tailoring, they also offer Stefano Bemer shoes. Tommaso had been helping run Stefano’s business and bring in more structure and process (Stefano was notorious for not being too interested in the business side of things and just loved making shoes) and he put forward a proposal to Stefano’s family to buy the business after Stefano passed away a few years ago.
They also carry a small range of ties, bags and accessories, with that range due to start expanding next year when they release men’s bags, jeans, hats and a cloth loafer in January. Tommaso’s friend, Irina Antipina makes the impressive bags currently in store and will also make the new collection of bags, under the Stefano Bemer brand in January. I don’t really wear hats but am particularly keen to see the jeans and bags when they’re ready.
The only thing missing, really, at this point is knitwear and a wider range of accessories, but that will come as a part of the natural progression of growth in the years ahead.
Sartoria Vestrucci is located at 2 via Maggio 58 Rosso, Florence. Pop in the next time you’re in Florence, what Tommaso is building is worth supporting.