Francesco Smalto was born in Calabria in Reggio Calabria in November 1930.

At 11, Francesco makes the costumes for his village’s puppet theatre.

In addition to courses taken in his public school, Francesco worked as an assistant for his uncle, a tailor in 1944. That year, at 14, he crated his little suit for men. He undertook an apprenticeship in Turino, where he will later obtain his tailor diploma.

Francesco Smalto went to Paris in 1951, where he is hired for an intership at the Christiani House, before working at Camps, who, at the time, was every Parisian’s tailor. He spent six years at Camps.

In 1961 Francesco Smalto went to New York for a three-month trip, as a cutter at Harris’, Kennedy’s tailor. Dazzled by the cute of American suits, which priorities comfort, Smalto took the opportunity to visited numerous plants, took notes and decided to return to Paris.

In February 1962, Smalto established his company and sets up shop on rue de la Boétie, where he sold only made-to-measure suits. He already has an idea of what the ideal suit should be like: fitted to the body.

Francesco Smalto is a revelation, at the avant-garde of Haute couture with a range of innovations, including the very-famous suspender shirt as well as the white tuxedo.

Francesco Smalto designed the black or white vinyl waders on the suits of the men who will walk on the moon in 1964. He presented this collection at the same time as the Courreges Collection.

A few years late, Smalto had the honour of dressing the astronauts visiting Paris.

In his permanent innovation spirit, Francesco Smalto created original jackets with flower patterns, sometimes without lapels and always fitted.

In 1967, he introduced a luxury ready-to-wear and accessories collection.

The opening of the first Francesco Smalto boutique, in Paris, in 1970.

In 1975 Francesco Smalto created the lightest-weight tuxedo in the world, in black China crepe.

Thirty years of passion for a craft calls for a retrospective show at the Paris Sully Hotel.

In 2001 the company was bought by Groupe Monsieur Alain Dumesnil, Alliances Designers.

Who Wears It

Jean Paul Belmondeo, Sean Connery,

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