That fabled Made-in-Italy sartorial excellence, tailored to order, online? Click Lanieri (here). Lanieri today is the immensely successful evolution of an e-commerce startup founded by a couple of Italian business students just 4 years ago. Their idea was to make the superior textiles, styling and craftsmanship of bespoke Italian tailoring available to polished gents the world over (we’re talking strictly menswear here), applying digital technology to deal with design preferences and those fussy measuring and fitting stages. How does it work? Let’s say your heart desires a seriously sleek suit (but it could be trousers, a blazer, shirts and/or accessories). First choose an exclusive fabric from well over a hundred illustrated online, all produced by venerable blue-chip textile giants like Reda (which threw its weight behind the brand new start-up in 2012), Cerruti, Loro Piana, Zegna, Vitale Barberis Canonico etc. If your shortlist won’t get shorter, send for swatches, five of them for a small fee to be deducted from the price of your order.
That sorted, create your style. There are collections online to inspire you – but only that. For this is where you get to play with the online configurator, to personalise your garment down to the finest detail: down to the number of buttons on your jacket sleeve, the colour of the stitching where the lining meets the shell, or the application or not of buttons for your braces/suspenders, for example. See as you go. It’s such fun you should beware of getting carried away. Then, of course, they need your vital statistics. No use cheating. First your height, weight and age. Then there’s an engaging video tutorial which patiently dispenses instructions on how to wield your tape measure correctly and waits for you to feed in all the numbers, step by step, until you’ve created your profile, once and for all or until you need to change it. If something jars, they’ll let you know. If you need to ask, there’s an online chat. A click or two more and your customised suit is ordered. Then you only need follow its progress back there on your profile until it’s delivered to your door. With the Lanieri promises of free shipping planet-wide, 100% Made in Italy, and if the fit isn’t perfect it’s their fault and they’ll sort it one way or another. Magic!
Simone Maggi and Riccardo Schiavotto have never looked back. And looking forward? You’ll never guess. They went offline. Or rather – beg your pardon – omnichannel. That is, they began opening ateliers, physical sartorial workshops-cum-showrooms with real live people in them called style advisors. Perhaps to convince those doubters who still need the human touch, at least for their first Lanieri. After testing the water with the temporary variety, they opened the first material atelier in Milan last year, 120 square metres at the top end of Brera. There you can see, feel, smell, all but taste the fabrics, configure your garment with the expert assistance of a warm-blooded consultant, and get your measurements done professionally. Or just get 3D-scanned in a dressing room. No kidding. Between that first in Milan and the latest, still wet behind the ears, in Munich, Lanieri has opened in Rome, Turin, Bologna and Zurich. Paris should be next. Make an appointment – online – for the full, and personal, bespoke treatment.