|Cifonelli opened in 1880 in Rome by Giuseppe Cifonelli. London-trained Arturo moved the botique to Paris in 1926 after training in London. Adriano, son of Arturo, continued the style and craftsmanship handed down by his father and grandfather. The fourth generation of Cifonelli now takesthe helm. Lorenzo, son of Arturo, along with his cousin Massimo, continue the family tradition of tailoring.
Over the years many famous clients have passed through the doors, from Josephine Baker to Francois Mitterrand. Cifonelli has defined the male chic look for over thirteen decades.
Suit Making is in the Blood.
What is disctinctive about Cifonelli style?
Cifonelli was founded in Rome in 1880. Now our showroom and worshop are located in Paris at the 31 st rue Marbeuf, inside the “Gold Triangle.“ We have worldwide clientele and are always travelling to meet our customers all around the world. For Lorenzo and Massimo Cifonelli, the most important thing is to understand how people live. It helps us understand their style. Also, we like promoting the idea of “contemporary couture.“ We seek a good balance between the classic and modern style. That’s the Cifonelli vision: Always thinking to a new way to reinvent tailoring. You can see this spirit on the jacket models featured on our website: www.cifonelli.com
Would you describe your jackets as debonaire?
I think a jacket is not debonaire: only the man who is wearing the jacket who can be debonaire.
Explain the French, Italian, and English influences of the suits?
Our style is inspired by English structure–we are still working in inches!—as well as Italian spirit for softness and breathing, and French quality in the work and finish.
Why is the shoulder cut so famous?
The Cifonelli shoulder quickly became the ultimate signature of the brand. Its forward cut and felted welt, which is a folded piece of material used to finish a raw edge, offers a unique freedom of movement and testifies to an extraordinary style. Karl Lagerfield once said, “I could recognise a Cifonelli shoulder from a distance of a hundred metres.“
Is there a lot of pressure on the team because of the long history and tradition of the boutique?
For some years, we can see that people are going back to the traditional and artisanal work. The authenticity and personalization is now required. That’s why I’m cerain that tailoring will continue to grow and more clients will continue to want quality. Now fabrics are becoming lighter because clients don’t want to wear a suit that is too heavy and restictive. They want to wear something soft and breathable.
Is there a unique material used to produce the suits?
We work with all the best fabric makers in the world, especially Holand & Sherry, Drapers, Loro Piana, Dormeuil, and Scabal.
Was there a collaboration with Hermes?
Yes, we made all their bespoke suits for 20 years. The line was called “Hermès by Cifonelli”. For now we have stopped.
Do your clients have a particular request when they come to you?
In life as in style, it’s important to be proud of your choices, and especially to assume them! That’s the first thing Lorenzo and Massimo tell their clients. They like to have close relationships with customers in order to understand their lifestyle. This approach makes it easier to advise them on the type of suit to have. The clients are also inspired because they become an active part of the suit-making process.
So many politicians have worn your suits over the past 130 years. Is there a political edge to your clothing?
I don’t think so. They probably choose the quality and don‘t want to be too „Showoffish?“ if I may use that term.
What is the history behind the Josephine Baker Suit?
No specific history! We made some suits for her shows and revues. She became a friend of Cifonelli. She was just in love with the style. She also probably liked the atmosphere of the artisanal workshop.
Really! Can you tell a bit more?
Yes, we made some suits for Mrs. Dietrich. She wore our collection in her movies. She also became a good friend of Cifonelli. She really loved the familly spirit and the atmosphere of the workshop in Paris.
What is the allure of a woman in mens‘ tailored suits?
It depends on what the event the lady is attending. But the look is fitted and always modern. The strong shoulders look on a woman is inspired by the classic men style.
Is there a bistro or club in Paris where people can see your suits in action for the full effect?
(Wink) Probably in the luxury places in Paris like the Hotel Plaza Athenee, or the Cinq restaurant at the Hotel Four Seasons.