Nazareno Fonticoli & Gaetano Savini
Brioni is an Italian fashion house founded in 1945. It specialises in the sale of hand-made suits.
Master tailor Nazareno Fonticoli and his business partner Gaetano Savini opened their first suit shop in Rome's Via Barberini at the end of World War II. The company was named "Brioni" after the resort on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
Brioni's first fashion show was held in 1952 at the Pitti Palace, Florence. The show gave the company exposure to clients worldwide. In 1954, Brioni held a fashion show in New York City, followed by shows in eight other American cities. That year, Brioni opened new shops on both sides of the Atlantic.
Umberto Angeloni took over as Chief Executive Officer in 1990, and started an expansion plan which saw the introduction of a womenswear line, and shops opening in locations such as Mumbai, St. Petersburg, and Baku. He also arranged for Brioni suits to appear in James Bond movies from 1995. However in 2006 the family replaced Angeloni with three joint CEO's : Antonella de Simone, descended from Fonticoli, Andrea Perrone, a descendant of Savini, and finance man Antonio Bianchini. As of at least August 2009, Andrea Perrone is the sole chief executive.
In order to meet the demand of such a large clientele, Brioni opened a factory in Abruzzo, Italy, where expert tailors hand-sew jackets and trousers before adding the finishing touches by machine. Brioni also owns a shirt factory, a leather fashion house and a line of women's clothing.
Brioni's 900 tailors create 200 models in different styles and sizes every year. A quarter of the production consists of made-to-measure tailored suits for an elite of 25,000 customers.
Each garment requires at least 30-35 hours of work, and there are more than 5,000 different fabrics to choose from. An off the peg suit costs about $5,000 at the entry-level; and most custom-tailored suits range from $6,000 to $46,000.
As of February of 2009, Brioni is currently offering a $43,000 pinstripe suit made of the some of the world's rarest fabrics including the astronomically expensive wool of the vicuï¿½a, a rare South American relative of the llama. The suit's pinstripe stitching are genuine white gold.
Tailors must go through a four year apprenticeship; and it is speculated that they must be able to create a suit blindfolded, although no reference from Brioni supports the statement.
As of January 2007, Brioni owned 25 boutiques, which accounted for about 20% of sales. There were a further 13 franchised stores. Six of the boutiques are in the United States, in New York at Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills at Rodeo Drive, San Francisco at Union Square, Miami Beach at Bal Harbour, in downtown Aspen, and Las Vegas at Wynn. Brioni's New York showrooms are located on 52nd Street and 57th Street in Manhattan. A 7th US location is set to open in Atlanta in 2010 at the Streets of Buckhead. In the USA Brioni garments can be purchased at high end department stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Wilkes Bashford and Neiman Marcus. Brioni is also being sold in Pakistan by the "The Mens Store", a brand of Buksh Group.
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