Design is when form meets function. Ravazzolo, a Venetian tailoring house, is modernizing luxury menswear with their take on subdued elegance, weaving exclusive fabrics that perform with the best in the market. We spoke with CEO Andrea Ravazzolo about the heritage of the brand, his vision of the future of tailoring and what it takes to keep a brand fresh after 60 years in business.
Ravazzolo is my family’s company. When I joined the brand after a degree in Economics I was trained one-on-one by the tailors of the company for 5 years before starting to work officially as sales manager. After 13 years of experience overviewing our global markets and worldwide distribution, I became CEO of Ravazzolo. I think our strength is in our heritage and the loyalty to our standards, the same standards that inspired my father when he founded the company in 1959. Product knowledge and passion, combined with a strong understanding of our target audience and loyalty to our values, are the reasons why Ravazzolo still holds one of the top spots in the luxury tailoring market.
2. The pace of retail is changing as more and more brands move online. What’s been the key to the stability and success of the Ravazzolo brand?
We embrace the current times yet we like to make things the Ravazzolo way. We have a ready-to-wear line that is available also on our e-commerce site, and our Made to Measure program is one of our strongest assets. In more than 60 years we developed strong relationships with key retailers across the world that offer the MTM Program to our consumers. Any client across the globe can go to any retailer that carried Ravazzolo and have a personal fitting that will guarantee the creation and delivery of an impeccable tailor-made suit in less than 4 weeks.
In the last few, years we’ve seen more and more use of techno-fabrics in menswear, even in tailored pieces. Men are looking more and more for multi-purpose pieces that can fulfill multiple needs. Many suits nowadays have performance properties and are often crease free. This works especially well for frequent travelers. Our 7/24 Travel line responds exactly to this growing demand. It’s completely wrinkle-free due to a very special high torsion wool that we weave in our labs in Grumolo delle Abbadesse, near Vicenza. As to the future of menswear in general, I think all product categories across the board will have more and more high-tech features.
4. Do you feel that experience in the craft of tailoring (not just the consumption of it) should be a prerequisite for any executive for a tailoring house?
I think so. I really do believe that hands-on experience is key. The five years of product training I had before joining the company still drives my daily work and my executive decisions. On-going training and research are also very important. I like to be an active part of the creative process, from choosing fabrics from our Biella mills to overviewing production with our team of designers. At Ravazzolo we are constantly striving to improve our standards for excellence.
Originality, new textures and new levels of softness and comfort are usually the criteria I go for. Originality is key as we don’t want to propose fabrics that our competitors may use, while interesting blends are important both from a softness and texture perspective. We like patterns that are a statement while being “under the radar”, a sort of subdued elegance– very Ravazzolo style. Fabrics undergo also major durability tests to make sure they are as long lasting as they can be. Traveling is my major source of inspiration. I go everywhere I can, to worldwide capitals and to major galleries and trade shows across the globe to gather ideas that I can share with my team.
6. You’ve accomplished so much at your age already, what’s left to do (personally and professionally)?
I feel I have a lot to accomplish still. As much as I am proud of where Ravazzolo stands today in the world and what my father did and is still doing for the company, I always think there are improvements to be made. I love pushing myself to offer our customers the best product, season after season.