I had the pleasure of last week meeting Damiano Labricciosa, the master tailor of Italian suiting house Brioni, who was in Sydney as part of a global made-to-measure tour he regularly embarks on, in this case with Australian men's department store Harrolds. Mr Labricciosa is passionate about tailoring and, with two decades of experience, the majority of it with the fabled Brioni, he certainly knows what he's talking about when it comes to cuts and cloth.
You have only worked with Brioni. What is the allure of the house?
Well before Brioni I studied tailoring, and then I started at Brioni, first for three years in Spain in their cutting room, and then in Rome for another five years. I travel a lot for trunk shows and special fittings. The brand started around 65 years ago, and it has a nice history. Brioni use all the best materials, the suits are handmade. There's also a school within Brioni, from which you can continue with the brand afterward, so there's constant education.
Do you see the house as very Italian in its aesthetic?
Well, yeah, it's made in Italy, so the Italian mentality is there. And personally, I think it's one of the best companies in the world.
Has the company changed a lot in the time you've been there?
No, not really, not in terms of what we stand for. Of course, we follow the moment, and I think Brioni is now for the young people too. We have suits but we also have more youthful sportswear [ready-to-wear] that's more accessible.
And is it more global since 20 years ago?
Brioni is in a high price point, but that's because of the quality and fabrication, so really it attracts people from the world over, and in a way always has. Some pieces everyone can buy into, others are more personalised...
What do you like about the made-to-measure process?
It takes a lot of experience to do what we do, and our suits are usually 95% right from fitting through to the final [product], sometimes it just takes a little alteration at the end. It's a good system that we have, which is ours that we have built.
Do you see the company changing much in the future?
Not really, Brioni is conservative. As I said, we have a younger, more ready-to-wear line, but our core remains in the classic suiting line.
If you missed Mr Labricciosa last week, Harrolds will later this month welcome Mauro de Poi, the master tailor behind Pal Zileri, for a special made-to-measure event in Sydney and Melbourne. Appointments are essential: 02 9232 8399; 03 8660 7888.