Italy’s luxury suitmaker Canali has dressed some of the world’s most powerful men
Italian suitmaker Canali has been the style choice of presidents, prime ministers, and businessmen for over 70 years. Renowned for their fit, fabrics and production quality for both business attire and semi-formal men’s attire, Canali has been lauded for clothing that is rich in looks but understated.
Founded in 1934 by brothers Giovanni and Giacomo Canali, the brand grew from a small suit-maker to becoming the styling choice of men of distinction including George Clooney (who wore Canali in the film Michael Clayton, Michael Douglas and even President Barak Obama and Vladimir Putin).
Canali’s reputation rests on its luxurious sartorial looks made in Italy, and its distinguished aesthetic of quality. Arabian Knight’s style guru Breck Graham spoke to a senior Canali official to find out what makes the brand the choice of successful people...
What is the brand philosophy of Canali?
Canali was founded near Milan in 1934, by two brothers Giovanni and Giacomo Canali. The decades that have passed have seen the arrival of new generations, new ideas, new energy and new visions for the future of the company, but through all this we have maintained the same approach and passion for our work. Today, Canali is an undisputed international leader in the world of tailor-made luxury with its own centres of production, all located in Italy, more than 1,800 employees, 250 boutiques in the world and over 1,000 retail stores in more than 100 countries.
How does Canali evolve its looks and styles?
Canali has always put the client at the centre, and this is continues to be the focus for the future. We are working on new ways to meet our clients’ needs both in terms of stylish excellent quality luxury menswear, as well as in terms of customer relations and service.
Canali today has a number of accessories, especially bags and shoes. Have these items become a part of the brand’s evolution?
The heart of Canali is and always will be tailoring, but over the years, we have developed sportswear, accessories and shoe collections to sit alongside. These are characterised by the same passion for luxurious materials and artisanship and attention to detail as the rest of the Canali collection, and over the years have gained a strong and loyal following among our customers. These now represent an important part of the Canali collections.
Why the understated styles or casual elegance of the ready-to-wear collections?
For Fall/Winter 2016, we have mixed a focus on traditional sartorial style with our ongoing research into new fabrics and construction techniques. We incorporate performance-focused fabrics, alongside new contrasts and textures to offer touches to a distinctive collection that has been designed for the modern-day gentleman.
Obama and Putin have worn Canali suits, does this mean the looks are authoritative?
Our clients are people who know what they want and are able to recognise excellence when they see it.
In Canali they find a unique blend of quality, tailoring and exclusivity alongside style and luxury Made in Italy.
Naturally, among our clientele we do have some well-known individuals, from heads of state to Hollywood actors and entrepreneurs.
What should clients expect with the ‘Made to Measure’ suit service?
This is the highest expression of the Canali experience -– our Su Misura service takes the excellence of Canali craftsmanship and elevates it to a new level.
Our customers love the personalised and unique experience, where time is taken to understand the requirements and specifications of their physique and they then watch our specialists translate this information into a suit that corresponds perfectly to the characteristics of comfort and elegance that are the hallmarks of our tailoring.
How did the Kei blazer, with its soft definition, become so popular?
The key to elegance is comfort. If a man isn’t comfortable with what he is wearing he can never be elegant. With this in mind, we have developed the Kei collection, which includes jackets, coats and now trousers. These garments are characterised by a deconstructed silhouette, making them incredibly easy and comfortable to wear, whilst maintaining Canali’s trademark elegance – outfits that combine fine fabrics, expert cutting and a beautiful design.
Why is the “Made in Italy” label still significant for people looking for quality?
Made in Italy is an all-encompassing concept, it embraces ideas of lifestyle, good taste, elegance, creativity, and quality. Canali made the choice to craft 100 per cent of the products in Italy, without exception. It is a choice we made, which is not without its complexities but which we as a brand strongly believe in, unlike many other ‘Italian’ brands.
Fabrics or cuts – which are the main elements for your suits?
Both – the secret to a Canali suit lies in its construction. We are proud to craft our garments according to the time-honoured tradition of sartorial construction, built by expert tailors on a canvas internal structure without the use of adhesives, guaranteeing a more comfortable, durable and elegant garment.
We also take pride in using fabrics which represent the very best produced locally in Italian mills, choosing seasonally updated pure weaves and blends, over 80 per cent of which are exclusive to Canali.
Some of the designs from the Spring/Summer Collection 2017 are reminiscent of an Italian dandy on the Riviera. Your comments?
We create premium Italian menswear to the most exactly standards and specifications; how these garments are interpreted and the life they live is up to the imagination of our clients.
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