It might not seem like it at the time, but whenever a country is on its knees – it provides a new opportunity for it to rise again. Economically crippled due to the devastation of World War II, Italy and most of Europe were trying to rebuild themselves. Thankfully for Italy, its capital city Rome has a knack of being the nucleus of a renaissance. The city was the hub of Italy’s new cinema style, neorealism, which captured the economic hardships of everyday life in a shattered nation. Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine and Tyrone Power were just a few members of the burgeoning celebrity culture in the city – as Rome’s Cinecittà Studios became known as “Hollywood on the Tiber”. Documenting austerity on the contrary helped Rome become a mecca of glamour, which would lead to the dawn of the ‘Dolce Vita’ era.
“Every city has a time,” Michael Chow told New York magazine, when attempting to account for his restaurant’s folkloric stature. Listing Berlin in the twenties and Paris and Shanghai in the thirties, he went on to say: “And then in the fifties, everything is Rome”. If there was anyone with the instinctive nous of where it was happening at any given time it would be Michael Chow. Suddenly the passion and creative zeal of the Italian people were allowed to breathe again. Italians have always had a strong adoration for artisanal clothing. Brioni opened in 1945, but later as the country became more affluent, there was an increasing demand for shirts cut from the finest cloth by skilled artisans. Recognizing this auspicious moment, Cordone 1956 was founded by Luigi Cordone Sr. About two hours from Rome in the town of Aielli, Luigi Cordone Jr. now serves at the helm where it all began alongside his sister Virginia. He says: “For us, it is a great responsibility to conduct a company with more than 60 years of history - a history made of people and passion for our job. We still produce our products as in the past, our co-workers are people who started this job with my grandfather and that makes our company a great family.”