Ci­fonelli

Get­ting a tai­lored suit is more than just ob­tain­ing a gar­ment, it’s about the story be­hind it and the ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing it made.

The Snobby Runway - - Contents - by An­drew McNair Dis­cover more at www.ci­fonelli.com

There are many ways to ex­pe­ri­ence a tai­lor, and many stylists will­ing to dress you to your best. A lot of world-class tai­lors live on some of the most renowned streets in men’s fash­ion. Lon­don’s Sav­ile Row, Fleet Street and Jermyn Street to name a few. None more though, than the cap­i­tal of men’s el­e­gance, Rue Mar­beuf in Paris.

I’d like to take you back to the very be­gin­ning of this shrine to male fash­ion, Ci­fonelli. The tai­lor­ing spe­cial­ist, founded in 1980 by a man named Giuseppe, was built upon a pas­sion for chic Ital­ian el­e­gance. His son Ar­turo moved the com­pany to 31 Rue Mar­beuf half a cen­tury later, and was the corner­stone for what is today one of the worlds most leg­endary streets in the busi­ness. He stud­ied at the Min­is­ters Cut­ting Academy in Lon­don and re­turned to Paris to com­bine what he’d learnt about the pre­ci­sion of English tai­lor­ing, with his fa­thers’ pas­sion for Ital­ian soft­ness and com­fort.

Today, still ob­sessed with de­liv­er­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence that we all ex­pect from our tai­lor, Ar­turo’s grand­sons main­tain what is one of the most revered busi­nesses in the in­dus­try, with over 130 years dress­ing men in the best cut fab­rics the world has to of­fer. Keen to in­ter­na­tion­alise the busi­ness, Ci­fonelli launched their first ‘Ready to Wear’ col­lec­tion in June last year. But the pas­sion for be­spoke menswear lives on. As you walk up the stairs in Rue Mar­beuf, you ap­proach a large wooden door, which Ci­fonelli say is ‘open to any­one with the cu­rios­ity to open it’. It’s like the store dou­bles up as a mu­seum to his­toric tai­lor­ing.

If you live in Lon­don, it may be a stretch to make the trip out there, es­pe­cially since at least three tri­als are needed on your first pur­chase, but the Ci­fonelli broth­ers travel the world meet­ing clients, so make one trip out there. I mean, and lets be hon­est, you’d like your suit to tell more of a story than what it’s made of so while putting it on, re­mind your­self of the ef­fort you went through to get it, the jour­ney you took, the peo­ple you met along the way, and the stair­case that took you up to the Mecca of suit tai­lor­ing.

Luck­ily, we’ve just such a week­end planned out. Tak­ing the Eurostar from Lon­don to the Gare du Nord in Paris on a Satur­day morn­ing will get you to there in just over two hours. The New Ho­tel is di­rectly op­po­site the train sta­tion and is sim­ple, cen­tral, and el­e­gant in it’s own way. Breakfast is served in a base­ment that looks like a stylish mid-evil cham­ber where you can en­joy crois­sants, toast, cereal and I kid you not, the great­est cof­fee I’ve ever tasted. Served with hot milk of course, this is main­land Europe re­mem­ber. The rooms look out over the sta­tion, and a line of ex­quis­ite restau­rants. A lo­cal scooter hire com­pany will de­liver a Vespa to your ho­tel to al­low you to tour the city in a Parisian way, and col­lect it when you’re fin­ished, for less than £60 a day. Rue Mar­beuf is just a 20-minute ride from the ho­tel, pro­vided you don’t de­cide to take a de­tour around the city; be­cause let’s face it, there’s no bet­ter way to travel around the French cap­i­tal. Once you ar­rive and push open that wooden door, you’re greeted by two of the world’s best suit tai­lors, with an im­pres­sive lin­eage, and your story be­gins to take shape.

Ci­fonelli will ded­i­cate around 80 hours to the mak­ing of a suit, with Mi­lan-style but­ton­holes, step col­lars, half belts, and spe­cial lapels. The link be­tween tai­lor and cus­tomer is un­canny. Get­ting the whole story is what tai­lor­ing is all about, mak­ing that look in the mir­ror as you fix your tie, all the more grat­i­fy­ing, so let your jour­ney be­gin.

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