The Man Who Was Brioni: Gaetano Savini

“No Italian tailor is better at creating that ‘second glance’ style for men than Brioni.”

—San Francisco Examiner, 1972

gaetano savini the man who was brioni genteel flair
An arbiter of sophisticated and elegant style, Brioni has been on the cutting edge since the first men’s fashion show in Florence’s Palazzo Pitti in 1952. The break from traditional Savile Row cuts and colors started with Gaetano Savini. And though he passed on in 1987, his legacy continues to drive the innovation that sets the mark in menswear today. The visionary is celebrated in a new book, published by Assouline press, that chronicles his life and influence with sketches, articles, letters, photographs and personal anecdotes, including a preface by his daughter (and Brioni heir) Gigliola.

gaetano savini the man who was brioni genteel flair
‘The Man Who Was Brioni’ is an insightful tour of the origins of the designer, learning his craft during World War II yet challenging any and all conventions about the state of men’s dress, a design ethos that led the Peacock Revolution of the 1960’s.  Under his direction, Brioni was donned by leading men including Steve McQueen, Richard Burton, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Clark Gable, Tony Curtis, Charlton Heston, Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, and the Kennedys. This is a testament to Savini’s artistry, tracing the evolution of men’s suiting from drab, muted uniforms to statements of self-expression as they are today. Legendary raconteur and former fashion editor at Esquire and GQ attests: “All the defining innovations in menswear in the last half century go back, in one way or another –and usually the route is direct—to Brioni.”

gaetano savini the man who was brioni genteel flair
Light weight wools milled from northern Italy and soft shoulders of men’s suits provided a modern, natural drape that created arresting appeal. GATEANO SAVINI: The Man Who Was BRIONI by Fernando Morelli, Lea Della Cagna, and Michelle Finamore captures the essence of a forward-thinking designer and passionate craftsman and thus aptly dubbed the ‘Dior of menswear’.

This is one for the library.

Available for pre-order at Assouline, $85 (hardcover).