By Michael Jeffries
For most of his career, Italian clothing designer Massimo Bizzocchi has been a leader in helping cultivate both taste and appreciation for Italian luxury menswear. He’s brought the sophisticated clothing name Kiton to North America’s leading retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman, Wilkes Bashford, Louis Boston, Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York. In the process, Bizzocchi has brought to the states an inherently Italian practice of hand-craftsmanship and a generations-old tradition of family ownership and management.
“I have been very lucky to work with visionary retailers whose love of beautiful things is rare,” Bizzocchi says. “It’s a select list of individuals with great taste who take fashion risks but who always want the best for their customers.” Part of his success, no doubt, owes not only to his painstakingly crafted product, but to Bizzocchi’s own ability to romance the fashion items he represents. An individual with his own incomparable style, he is thoroughly devoted to what he does. He often works individually with one store owner or a single customer at a time, sometimes logging thousands of miles traveling between his native Italy and New York to get the job done.
He has designed and marketed his signature line of ties for 10 years. The result of a collaboration with mills in Como and a small cutting and sewing atelier in Sarsina, Italy, Bizzocchi’s ties have a number of signature elements, including a braided silk thread that holds them together and a button hole on the back loop to affix it to the shirt. Both the button hole and braided silk spine give the tie extra life.
Bizzocchi builds his sport and dress shirts with fabrics from Pontolambro. Shirt details include flap pockets, hidden button-down collars and hidden button cuffs. Shirts are cut shorter and tails kept to a minimum so they can be worn as dress or sportswear. Bizzocchi’s signature clothing line combines the best of contemporary Italian style and old-world New York tailoring.
Brooklyn-based tailor Martin Greenfield is in charge of cutting and sewing the Massimo Bizzocchi suits, sportcoats and outerwear to the designer’s specifications. “The clothing is wonderful,” says Greenfield. “It’s the best intrinsic value for the dollar because it has Italian styling and real quality stitch by stitch.”
Coats have distinctive two-tone linings and multiple pockets, while jackets have a locker loop and working buttons. Trousers have lap seams and some are styled with side tab waists.
Photo: Courtesy of Massimo Bizzocchi.MySpace Art Chat