Caruso dissects the real cost of a suit
Caruso doesn’t shy away from controversy. At Pitti Uomo, currently underway in Florence, the Italian high-end menswear brand is broaching a sensitive topic: how much should a two-piece suit made with the highest quality Made in Italy craftsmanship cost? The answer: 2,400 euros, or nearly 30% less expensive than the prices charged by the major labels.
With an exhibition at Pitti designed by Sergio Colantuoni, Caruso relentlessly pursues the question of the true value of a suit made according to the rules of the craft.
The suit in question, consisting of a jacket and trousers, has been made using a fabric that Loro Piana produced exclusively for label, the “Quattro venti" using Tasmanian wool made from 2-ply yarn, and took more that 15 hours to produce, with hand sewn buttonholes (15 minutes each), as well as lining, the cuffs etc., without forgetting the 3 1/2 hours necessary for ironing.
The research as well as the value-added for such a suit, the 55 years of savoir-faire and 600 skilled seamstresses and master tailors working under this company from Soragna near Parma, passing through the various stages of handmade production, are all meticulously reported in a video, while a red number above the screen flashes the final price: 2,400 euros. Projected in different cuts (short, medium and long) on multiple screens that are part of the installation at Pitti, the video will be available on the Caruso website.
"I defy any brand to manufacture a better suit than ours with a fabric that’s as high quality," said Umberto Angeloni, CEO of Caruso. "Compared to the other brands, the price of our suit isn’t overloaded with huge advertising budgets or expenses incurred by stores and overblown events or campaigns using Hollywood stars. It’s all additional costs that the consumer ultimately must pay without deriving any benefit.”
Specialized in high-end menswear, the label from Soragna, which produces, besides its own (Caruso e Uman) brands, men's collections for 13 international brands, sold a 35% share to the Chinese investment fund Fosun at the end of 2012. In 2013, it made 57 million euros.
The Caruso brand is currently distributed through 100 multi-brand stores in Italy and 200 throughout the world. In September, it will open its first flagship store in New York, followed in January by a 400 m2 store on via Gesù in the luxury fashion district quadrilatero della moda in Milan.
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