When Carla Criminisi assesses a client for a single suit or an entire wardrobe, she considers more than just his size and the styles that already hang in his closet.
She tries to get a sense of his personality, too. That way, it’s not about putting a trending look on the client, she says, but about finding pieces that truly represent that person and what they’re about.
“Yes, you can put a look together and put that on anyone,” says Criminisi, who launched her men’s styling and personal shopping service Charles and Hunt in 2015. “But to be able to get to know that person, have conversations with them about what they like and what they don’t like and the sort of quirks that they might have, it’s fun to dress them the way that they would want to be dressed. A more elevated look.”
Which is why you won’t see musician Tom Wilson strutting the runway at this year’s Glamour in the Hammer in a suit befitting an English prince, but rather in one appropriate for a Hamilton rock legend. His Coppley three-quarter-length black velour top coat “will be very rock ‘n’ roll, very cool,” says Criminisi.
And her collaboration with Coppley to dress Hamilton celebrity models including Wilson, former Hamilton Tiger-Cat and current CEO of the Canadian Elite Basketball League Mike Morreale, comedian Eric Johnston, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Keanin Loomis, as well as others, was a natural fit.
“The fact that they are literally two blocks away is so fantastic,” says Criminisi, who moved her office and showroom into the Lister Block two years ago.
“I’ve been approached by other made-to-measure and custom suit manufacturers, but really Coppley has prevailed over all of them because the turnaround time is seven to 14 business days, which cannot be beat.
“It’s not being sent overseas, you know you’re getting a quality garment that’s made right here in Hamilton and the majority of the fabrics, the wools, are from Italy. So they’re high quality garments produced right here.”