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Dolce & Gabbana discuss their adventures in men’s tailoring – WWD




Long before Fashion Weeks started to explode, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created their own haute couture ecosystem in Italy, immediately spying on the potential of male customers.

Six years after their first Alta Sartoria collection paraded at Palazzo Labus in Milan, the designers claim that men represent half of their couture clientele, more than 200 people in Asia, the United States, Europe, India, in Russia and South America, especially Mexico and Brazil.

In addition, they described a close and collaborative relationship with their clients, providing them with a family and immersive experience exhilarating all that is Italian. The designers have hosted lavish couture events in Florence, Portofino, Naples, Monreale and Agrigento over the years, in addition to stops in the United States, Japan, Mexico and China (where the company’s activity rebounded from a November 2018 scandal when the creators were accused of making racist comments on social media; they apologized and the brand worked to restore relations).

A look from the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Sartoria collection

A look from the Alta Sartoria collection by Dolce & Gabbana.
Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

“It’s not just a fashion show for cool clothes. It’s a moment, it’s history, it’s a relationship, it’s food, it’s Italian, that’s all ”, enthused Dolce de la couture during a telephone interview. “Sewing is more about the lifestyle. Ready-to-wear is more fashion.

While some men order styles straight from the catwalk, Dolce characterized the Alta Sartoria collections as a “suggestion” to open a conversation about their wardrobe for their unique lifestyle or a very special occasion.

“We speak with our customers. We’re trying to figure out what people need, ”he said, describing an exchange of sketches, color suggestions and samples. “It’s a beautiful conversation.…We are discovering many very different ways of life. “

For example, two months ago a client asked if Alta Sartoria workshops could create a ski suit – something Gianni Agnelli could have worn on the slopes in the 60s. Dolce said he and Gabbana relished the challenge of a technical sewing garment and had managed to procure a stretchy wool reminiscent of the time.

Dolce recalled that his father was a tailor, and he always envisioned this role far beyond the mere purveyor. “It’s about organizing dreams for the client,” he said.

The Alta Sartoria workshop stocks mannequins for all of its important customers, reducing the number of fittings required. Tailors are also sent with clothes to places like Singapore, Tokyo, New York or Los Angeles if needed.

Here, Dolce and Gabbana discussed their adventures in men’s high fashion:

WWD: What prompted you to launch Alta Sartoria in 2015?

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana: Alta Moda is a project that we have reflected on for many years, until we concluded that the closure of D&G – our second line – was the necessary condition to embark on this new path. That is why in July 2012 we presented the first Alta Moda collection in Taormina and in January 2015 in Milan the first Alta Sartoria.

History teaches us that man, by nature, has always chosen to mark time, a particular moment, by choosing a special outfit. We have seen it with the upper aristocracy, the princes and the Maharajahs. Likewise, with Alta Sartoria, we want to satisfy male hedonism with a proposal consistent with the DNA and values ​​of Dolce & Gabbana. With Alta Sartoria, we satisfy men’s desire to feel unique.

WWD: Did Alta Sartoria take off right away?

DD and SG: Yes, we got a great feedback straight away. A few important ready-to-wear clients approached Alta Sartoria, our Alta Moda clients’ husbands started ordering for themselves and word of mouth was no doubt helpful.

A look from the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Sartoria collection

A look from the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Sartoria collection.
Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

WWD: How important are couture shows?

DD and SG: For us, the events of Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria tell the story of Italy. It is not only a moment of showcase, but of sharing and exchange. We love to communicate a lifestyle, a feeling and living it with the clients – now friends – who attend our events and who after years like to meet. With Alta Moda events we talk about Italy, its art, culture and excellence, from craftsmanship to gastronomy, the places we choose. Each event has its own narrative, which represents the added value of the experience we bring to life.

WWD: Has couture shopping become a couple’s activity?

DD and SG: Many are couples, but it is interesting that many young people are fascinated by the world of Alta Moda. Often the sons and daughters of our clients ask to participate in our events and we are happy.

WWD: How do you explain the growing popularity of men’s tailoring and how is it different from the bespoke suit of yore?

DD and SG: We have a critical attitude towards made-to-measure because we believe that it often leads to a product that is well made, but always industrialized. Alta Sartoria is a very different project based on the relationship, the dialogue between the client and our team – from the workshop to the tailor. It’s an intimate connection, almost a confession, through which we get to know the client and their world and they learn something new about themselves. He is very fascinating.

WWD: What are the most popular men’s high fashion clothing or clothing categories?

DD and SG: Usually, men approach Alta Sartoria to ask for a traditional costume, perhaps characterized by special details, but still a classic. But when they relax and feel comfortable, their personalities and hedonism come out and they really start to appreciate the project and ask for clothes, or accessories, in line with their passions often related to the world of sport. So we find ourselves working on projects that are not really trendy and that represent a challenge, which leads us to constant technical and creative research.

WWD: Are there any special techniques used just for men’s tailoring or skills you needed to bring to your workshops?

DD and SG: Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria are synonymous with experimentation. This has led us, over time, to have to expand our workshops and acquire highly specialized employees. With the Alta Moda project, we want to give visibility to the artisanal excellence of our country and, in each place where we choose to exhibit, we go in search of a manufacture, a particular technique to work on.

A watch from the Haute Joaillerie collection by Dolce & Gabbana

A watch from the Alta Gioielleria collection by Dolce & Gabbana.
Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

With the Monreale fashion show, for example, we worked on the mosaic technique, weaving different fabrics and materials – leather, brocade and sequins.

For the collection presented at the Ambrosiana library in Milan, we have rather focused on the technique of point-structure and small dot to recreate the emotion of the paintings that we have chosen to reproduce on the clothes.

WWD: Do men order tailoring mainly for special occasions?

DD and SG: Exclusivity is the concept behind the Alta Sartoria project. We only make unique, non-reproducible garments.

Unlike the woman who approaches Alta Moda for a special and unique occasion, the man tends to want to build a personal wardrobe made of clothes that satisfy and tell his lifestyle, his dream.

See also:

EXCLUSIVE: Demna Gvasalia thinks tailoring can change fashion

The main trends of Paris Couture Week: celebrities, mushrooms and men

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