Very often, successful businesses are born of pure pragmatism. That’s all well and good. It’s certainly admirable when a sharp entrepreneur identifies a potentially lucrative market niche and goes after it. But if he has no authentic passion for the product, it’s merely a matter of commerce, of moneymaking. Something is missing… Spirit, soul — what the Italians call ‘anima’.
Meanwhile, when a business owner is in possession of personal enthusiasm, perhaps even love for the particular goods or services his company purveys, there’s magic in that. The customer can rest assured that what he’s paying for has been painstakingly quality-controlled by a business owner who really cares about the product’s excellence, who is unwilling to let anything but the finest carry his label, and weaves this care through the company culture, passing it on to his employees.
This is the kind of company you encounter with Calabrese 1924. The atelier was established in the year that forms the latter half of its brand name, in Naples, Italy. Its founder was a Neapolitan gentleman called Don Eugenio Calabrese, a great dandy who each morning took enormous pride in selecting a tie from his collection of many hundreds, putting considerable thought into how the choice of neckwear would reflect his mood to those he’d encounter throughout the day.