At the very first sight, I witnessed classic, eclectic Italian style. That casual, but thoughtful elegance. The kind that you see in timeless and enigmatic Hollywood, but not only.
It is that honest nonchalance that draws you, the sprezzatura, originally Italian but notorious worldwide.
Fabio Attanasio's passion for Italian tailors and the craft of tailoring, drove him to create a platform, that grew into a community, to support Italian heritage. Today it has become the voice of Italian artisans and craftsmen. A voice that is unmistakable, authentic, and a cornerstone in the legacy of Italian heritage.
Over 8 years and 150 workshop visits later, Fabio is the epitome of the brand itself. With The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear and the newest launch - The Fleece Milano, his journey is as engaging as ever.
I was engulfed as he shares how it all began.
What made you start a blog on the art of tailoring?
You don't ask a painter why he paints. I was simply passionate about the craft and wanted to know more about it. While in university I worked for free for a magazine because I loved writing and telling stories. The magazine sent me to a tailoring house in Milan and I fell in love. My love story with the craft and craftsmen began there. I wanted to tell their stories to the world, knowing that this would help and support a tailor which resulted in happy tailors! So I visited workshops, and wrote about them. Apart from Italy, I visited workshops in New York, London, Bangkok, Marakkesh and more. In 2012, I wrote the first blog addressing artisans and craftsmen. Now I am writing a book on tailors from all over the world - the French, Spanish, Italian and British.
"You don't ask a painter why he paints."
What is at the core of The Bespoke Dudes?
It is a virtual platform to share a passion for unique, artisanal and quality products; exclusive products which doesn't necessarily mean expensive. To share the stories of tailors, artisans and entrepreneurs who are the 'Dudes' I interview. At the very core it is an ambassador for Italian excellence.
What kept you going even after visiting 150 workshops?
Before I knew it, the platform picked up momentum and the community started to grow. I remember, a Japanese guy went to one of the tailors from the platform, showed him an image and wanted to get it made. It was becoming the young voice of Italian craftsmen, of hardworking craftsmen. Sponsors started to arrive and brands wanted to reach my audience. It was a poetry with tailors and business for brands.
Furthermore, I kept learning. As I learnt more, my appreciation grew.
"It was a poetry with tailors and business for brands."
What draws you to a bespoke suit?
The beauty in bespoke tailoring is truly in the physical presence. The tailor and his particular skill in the details and construction of it, is marvellous. It is an art, and more than anything it is a feeling. There is a masculine pleasure, a few moments where you can relax, be and feel. The touch and feel of fabric is important. There is a certain dignity in this timeless craft. One doesn't become elegant just by wearing a bespoke suit. Elegance is not just in what you wear but in your thought and way of life.
"One doesn't become elegant just by wearing a bespoke suit."
How did you go from bespoke tailors to bespoke eyewear?
The detailing that sunglasses and eyewear undergo in construction, is like tailoring. I had an interesting collection of glasses and I would get asked about the brand or where I got it from. About five and a half years ago, I met a business partner and we started a product, eyewear. The intention is to keep the tradition of classic eyewear alive. They are made in a bespoke manner, just like a jacket or suit. The first batch was 20 pieces, today we make 10,000. It was a bet!
Do you have a favourite suit maker? What was your first bespoke suit?
I know so many tailors that naming just one would be impossible. I love the suits of Sartoria Dalcuore in Napoli for sure. In Napoli, I also appreciate the work of Sartoria Cuomo. My first bespoke suit was a green solaro from Sartoria Formosa in Napoli.
What does luxury mean to you?
I don't like the word 'luxury', I prefer 'quality'. It really is time, the best things in life take time. It is a way of living, a slow appreciation of life. For eg, the way you cook, where the ingredients come from, all this has to do with time.
It is in the discreet and understated elements, like no loud logo. That is how I feel about it and hence it is translated in the brand as well.
I don't like the word 'luxury', I prefer 'quality'.
What is your most prized possession?
My mom gave me a Mont Blanc pen as my graduation gift. It is a simple pen with no frills, and I used that to write as I interviewed tailors. I have that pen and use it till today.
Fabio is a Law graduate who chose not to pursue it, as his passion led him elsewhere. He enjoys writing and has been a contributor at GQ Italy and Fashion Illustrated.
He is from Napoli, lives in Milan, practices swasthya yoga, and is passionate about vintage watches and motorcycles.
In his spare time he can be found reading motivational books and economics newspapers.
His love for Italian cinema from the 60’s and Bossa Nova music is no surprise.
I assure you it's an absolute pleasure to check out
@The Bespoke Dudes
@The Fleece Milano