There was a time when a father taking his son to his tailor was a right of passage into adulthood.
There was a time when a father taking his son to his tailor was a right of passage into adulthood. But that changed once online retailing and jean stores hit the scene, making clothes shopping an everyday experience. However, one ritual remains intact and very much appreciated...the fabrication of a tailor-made suit. Considered the masculine equivalent to haute couture fashion for women. We head to the posh 8th arrondissement in Paris to the fashion House of Francesco Smalto...and sit down with head tailor Daniel Dagah.
Here Francesco Smalto took the young apprentice under his wing. He shaped him, and showed him a passion for the craft of suit making. A passion that thrives in the brand to this day 50 years after it was founded. The company has even received the distinguished label of Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant or living heritage company. An honor awarded by the French Ministry of Economy, finance and Industry created to spotlight artisan know-how and industrial excellence.
So what are the necessary elements for such perfect? Money and patience...and a lot of both. At the first appointment with Daniel Dagah over 30 measurements are taken to smooth out the lines, leaving a clean-cut silhouette
The work then heads from the fitting room to the workshop. Here each piece created is entirely unique. A suit requires nearly 7 meters of fabric. Prices for material vary anywhere from 500 to 300,000 euros a meter. Fabrication of a jacket... the linings, pockets, buttons...requires over 60 pieces to be joined all by hand. 20 craftsmen working in 5 sections of the trade, take 33 steps... and 70 hours after the measurements are taken...the suit is ready for it’s final fitting.
Just as in haut couture, the clientele demands absolute discretion. Very few discuss the privileged relation they have with their tailor. Few expect perhaps former French President Francois Mitterrand.
Daniel Dagah remains passionate as he works with the next generation of tailors, helping expand men’s luxury fashion around the world.