A few words with Gianni Cerutti of Passaggio Cravatte
1. Who are you?
Gianni Cerutti , a young man with an eternal love of the bespoke tie and vintage fabrics. Gianni Cerutti is close to 26 years old and lives in Robbio, an hour’s drive from Milan Malpensa Airport. And in Robbio we have our small studio, directly in our house. I love to bring my family, my friends and my customers there.
2. What is your background in the clothing industry and how did you come up with the idea to start Passagio Cravatte?
Passaggio Cravatte came to be from passion and discontent of what was previously offered. Passion because I have always loved quality ties, and dissatisfaction because I saw the same old designs and colors. I could never find the tie I dreamed of. Then - thanks to my partne Marta Passaggio, we in 2010 created Passaggio Cravatte. I had the idea for many years before actually starting the company, as early as twelve years old I would call tie makers and ask them to send me small pieces of silk. I just made sure to hide all those calls from my parents!
3. Where are your ties made, and what materials and techniques are used?
Our ties are made in Italy by our seamstresses, who were already working in the best tailors of Naples. In fact they still work in their homes as they did more than a century ago. We have no machines because everything is handmade. The ties are made entirely by hand according to the old Neapolitan tradtion, you won’t find a single machine made stitch in any Passagio Cravatte product.
4. What do you think sets Passagio Cravatte apart from other makers?
I primarily think there are four things that set us apart from other makers. Firstly, we have no readymade products at all, it’s all bespoke and made to order. We use genuine vintage silks, that are very limited. At the most, we can make about 4 ties from some of these fabrics, so we really offer something very unique. We also pride ourselves in taking care of our customers, hosting them at fine hotels in Milan or even at our house. But we also offer ordering via email, for those who can’t travel. This is essential for our business, since we don’t have any retail locations.
5. What would you say is typical for a Passagio Cravatte customer?
Our clients are individuals who define themselves with great personal style. They are dandy-elegant. People who like to dress that, with elegance, arenoticed and appreciated. Most of our clients are experienced and know what they want, and they are lovers of the artisanal aspect of a handmade tie. But most of all they all seem to gentlemen on the inside as well. In fact, I find my clients to be some of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
6. How would you describe your own style?
I would call my style rather dandy-like. Classically elegant but in a fun way. I like to experiment with colours, patterns and details to express my inner self. I cannot stand the idea of just wearing blue suits, with white shirts and blue ties.
7. Where do you find inspiration? If you could name one person who has had the most influence on your style, who would that be?
I often find inspiration in what our grandparents wore, they had a lot more colour in their outfits than we find today. Besides daring to wear more colours, I am also very inspired by the tailored look of that era of fashion. Every man had a tailor, and the streets were like a catwalk 365 days of the year. Just look at old magazines and movies, and you see how elegant they were!
8. What is your number one advice for men who want to dress better?
The best advice I can give is to be on the outside who you are on the inside. In other words, true elegance is to be yourself. It takes time to develop your own personal style, but you need to make sure to enjoy yourself along the way. Style should always be fun, and not an obligation.
Tailor: Mimmo Pirozzi of Via Chiaia 197. I love the fact that he is the only tailor in Naples who make jackets exactly as they were made in the late 1800’s.
Shoemaker: I only wear shoes by Riccardo Bestetti, who I find to be the most talented shoemaker in the world. A real Italian talent.
City for shopping: I really couldn’t specify a best city for shopping. I only wear bespoke products, since ready to wear can never reflect my personality and my style in the same way. I have taste, my dreams and my ideas. These are things you can never find in a store.