Innovative bespoke story – a conversation with Andrea Diletto of Sartoria Diletto, Milan
January 21, 2016
I came across a very special artisan lately, perhaps it’s the charismatic charm or the dapper attire that he has that drew my attention, an impeccable peak lapel navy blue blazer contrasting with a crispy white shirt, with a super smart navy bowtie with white poker dots goes with the deep oceanic blue bordered white pocket chief in his upper pocket of his blazer, the smoldering and poetic flair that looks like there’s a story to tell by this gentleman, yes, Mr. Andrea Diletto did have his story to tell.
As the founder and master tailor of his own bespoke house, Sartoria Diletto, based in Milan, the gifted Germany-born fine gent moved to Italy when he was 18 years old, given his enormous passion in hand-tailoring and homage to the legacy of refined craftsmanship by hand, Andrea established his own brand since 2012 after completed his career journey with a renowned Italian tailoring house, Caraceni. His value about bespoke craftsmanship, the aesthetic on how to dress a gentleman, also the innovative idea of bringing conventional tailoring know-how to present days, the fine gent’s story is just like an intriguing story book that ones cannot stop reading after one page to another.
There’s a saying that a designer should be able to sell himself first before their creation, the elegant Andrea certainly meet that particular criteria with his very own and authentic charm, plus his impeccable creation and ensemble that giving the appealing impact of speaking his own aesthetic and style in a contemporary and sophisticated way.
Since the story is barely the beginning, I am very honor to have the fine gent to share with me and our dear readers more about his insight in bespoke culture, style for men and more:
My Modern Darcy: Hi Andrea, can you tell us a bit more about your aspiration to become a master tailor? Is there any influence dated back in your childhood?
Andrea Diletto: Since I was a child, I always felt a great interest towards the fashion world. I was 13 when I saved enough money to buy my first sewing machine. During my high School years, I felt my passion growing stronger and stronger, to the point where I started to approach the fashion world, attending a few conferences at University. I decided to shape my future according to my passion when I moved to Milan, in order to attend Fashion design faculty at the prestigious IED. After my University studies were over, I felt there was something missing, because I had so much creative projects in my mind, but I wasn't able to realize them, due to my luck of practical experience. I was able to fill this gap, once I got a job as an apprentice tailor at one of the most prestigious tailoring Houses in Milan, A.Caraceni. Here I worked and learned almost everything I know from experienced and proficient tailors for five years. They have been 5 intense and very difficult years, which led me to master the tailoring craft and starting my own Bespoke house.
MMD: As I know how much you respect and cherish the conventional bespoke craftsmanship, at the same time, bringing the innovation in your own creation, how’s the challenge to balance in between those 2 aspect yet bringing the very best out of them together to become your creation?
AD: Our creations are elaborated and studied to be unique and to represent a sartorial masterpiece. This would never be possible without keeping the highest sartorial tradition alive. We take inspiration from the authentic artisanal craftsmanship, the authentic one, but since I approached the creation of our Bespoke suits, I felt there was something missing in there, something that could be taken from the contemporary trends. Yet, I wanted to maintain the quality of the sartorial technique untouched. Our style department, with experienced designers and tailors working together was the only way for us to mix different concepts and link them together. Both innovation and tradition find the right balance in our suits because they complete each other.
MMD: How would you describe your personal style? And what are the must-haves in your wardrobe?
AD: I try to keep my daily style very simple and sober. I wear my Bespoke suits on a daily basis, and mix a lot with my accessories, to always create new looks. One of the few accessories I cannot go without is braces, for sure. I also love to wear my Bespoke ties and pocket squares, both realized in vintage silk, always matching my suits. I try to keep the whole look as simple as possible, I firmly value the statement "less is more". I also believe every gentleman should own a proper wristwatch which resembles a little bit his personality, that is definitely something that cannot be missing in my daily life.
MMD: Can you tell us about how the ‘Sartoria Diletto’ man should look like? Do you have any specific or favorite signature silhouette?
AD: A gentleman who chooses Sartoria Diletto is definitely somebody who embodies our values and cherishes the sartorial world in general. We offer a very niche product so the Diletto gentleman is very confident and shapes his style according to his own personality, as there's no limit to what we can create. We face each of our clients requests and do our best to always satisfy them at the fullest. Everything from our point of view revolves around the client. We have a very dynamic style department, where our designers elaborate a specific pattern for each of our clients. We take into high consideration the study of the proportions in order to develop the perfect silhouette. Our suits shape the body, highlighting the strong spots and covering the flaws, but most importantly they are comfortable and they can last a lifetime if treated in a proper way. During the actual crafting of our suits, our master tailors and cutter, apply those little secrets which they keep so jealously unrevealed, and that is what really makes a Diletto suit.
MMD: You have recently partnered up with a renowned mill to create a timelessly classic tailoring collection by using denim, can you share with us more about this and how do you find that evokes you in your creation by using such innovative fabric / materials?
AD: The whole project carried out with Candiani Denim for the participation at the GDA 2015 definitely required a lot of hard work and dedication. It was an amazing experience to work with a fabric unusual to the Bespoke world such as denim. I had an incredible support from Candiani Denim during each of the steps of this collaboration. We came up with a collection, entirely realized in Denim, which brought to light many innovative points, such as smooth and sophisticated denims, specifically for the sartorial process, with a particular attention to sustainability. I'm really proud of the award we were able to obtain, and I'm even happier for the fact that this experience gave me the chance to meet so many special people. It is necessary to point out that none of this would have been possible without the extraordinary support of Candiani Denim and his incredible team, who worked at this project with dedication and relentless determination.
MMD: From your point of view, what are the qualities that a modern day gentleman should have?
AD: There are many qualities I strongly value in a gentleman, qualities which are sometimes taken for granted. In order to be distinguished a gentleman should firstly be honest and kindhearted, somebody who is both confident and generous. No matter how wealthy or educated you are, the attitude you have towards people is what really defines you, that is for sure. It is clear that elegance has a lot to do with being a gentleman, but with the right attitude and a strong personality, I wonder who really needs a Diletto Bespoke suit.
MMD: If you have a mentee that you would like to pass on your knowledge about bespoke tailoring, what would you like to share with him (or her) about becoming a good bespoke tailor?
AD: I personally took the decision to only work with extremely young guys, in order to teach them this sophisticated craft, from a young age. Our master cutter and all the other proficient tailors are not even 30 years old, so there is a very young environment in our tailoring house. To me, it represents a personal satisfaction to see more guys approaching this world, where innovation and creativity is desperately needed. We also invest a lot in the constant research with our style department, so each and every of our suit is always unique and improved in every possible aspect. I don't have many advices to give to youngsters approaching the sartorial world. It's a long and demanding path to become a tailor, but if you are driven by passion, it will not simply result as a job, but a concrete lifestyle!
Special thanks to Mr. Andrea Diletto, Image courtesy of Sartoria Diletto.