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.
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.
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.
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.