Wednesday, March 24, 2010

House of Savoia: Bespoke tailoring on the Lower East Side

Recently I had a chance to visit Michele Savoia in the Lower East Side in New York City. He's a larger than life character who learned the tailoring craft in his Sicilian grandfather's workshop. Savoia has a broad interest in all things related to design and considers himself a designer in all fields, not just a tailor. You can see this when you visit his new store, which opened in November of last year. At the front, you'll see a vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which he rebuilt, as well as the layout and interior which he designed and furnished.

Savoia store

The shop is furnished like a men's club with an executive office in the back for clients, a vintage pool table, a stocked bar at the back and dressing rooms on the left. Although the setting and backdrop is completely different, the shop reminded me of Marc Guyot in Paris. Both embody the look and feel of a private men's club from the first half of the 20th century. I should note the clothes are cut and made in a different location.

Savoia store

If you enjoy theatre, you'll see his suits and jackets in a show or two. For one actor, Savoia described having to create jackets with 5 different lapels – clover, flat peaks, etc. You get the sense he has an encyclopedic knowledge of men's clothing. In terms of cut, he can do a natural or more structured shoulder depending on the customer.

Savoia overcoat

Finally, the store has a wonderful library and collection of books and magazines on men's clothing, film and sundry related topics. I mentioned to Savoia's business partner, Pete, that it's a very nice touch. If you judge a tailor strictly by his book collection, Savoia comes out extremely well. I spotted volumes by Bruce Boyer, Flusser, vintage copies of Esquire from the 1940s, Ian Kelly's and Nick Foulkes' biographies of Beau Brummel and Count d'Orsay and much more. All in all, probably the best library of any men's shop or tailor I've seen.

8 comments:

Gentleman's Gazette said...

What an interesting dressing gown. Do you know what it was made of?

sleevehead said...

When I was at the store, I asked Savoia's business partner (Pete) about this item, specifically the fabric. I originally thought it was a vintage fabric but it's actually contemporary. However, the material's name escapes me!

Gentleman's Gazette said...

Thanks. did they have other dressing gowns on display as well?

sleevehead said...

I think that was the only one they had on display when I visited. But now that I think about my conversation with Pete, the photo may actually be showing a lightweight topcoat rather than a dressing gown.

Anonymous said...

It is a topcoat. I know Pete very well and it is a coat, not a dressing gown. The lining is bright red, and similar to most of Pete's clothes, it was a custom job to his own design.

Also, a bit of a side note, Pete is no longer with Savoia.

Anonymous said...

What's the price of a sport coat there? Friend of mine got one custom made. It's gorgeous and now I want one. What do you think ballpark?

sleevehead said...

I don't have their latest prices. But if it's made in NYC, then it will be priced accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Michele Savoia donated a bespoke cashmere jacket to a New York charity poker game as a grand prize and the value was $6500. So, I'd imagine you are looking at $4k at least.