It's not every day that a bespoke tailor makes fashion history - although of course those of a rakish disposition will be well aware of the impact that traditional tailoring has continually made upon mainstream men's fashion for well over one hundred years now. Even so, when a bespoke house does succeed in making a notable mark on the pages of sartorial history, it's the kind of thing that we at The Rake think is rather worth acknowledging.
When it comes to Neapolitan tailoring in particular, the noble house of Rubinacci Napoli is the undisputed foremost innovator for this iconic school of Italian menswear; a multi-generational family business, bespoke tailors and fashion house, which has expanded across the globe over the past eighty years, spreading the gospel of authentic Neapolitan style in all it's glory. All of which goes some way to explain why last week, the house succeeded in passing yet another significant milestone in the history of Italian menswear; as a suit of clothes cut, made and styled by the Rubinacci family, entered the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.
To celebrate this achievement, the Rubinacci family held a rather charming reception at the Italian Embassy in London, hosted by the Italian Ambassador, in partnership with the V&A, with the two fated outfits themselves on display. The great and good of the sartorial circuit were in attendance, and notable guests included undisputed luxury authority Nick Foulkes, and the remarkable musician Brian Ferry.
Why make such a fuss of this, you might well ask? Well, put simply, in having clothes enter the V&A's extraordinary collection, Rubinacci has quite literally secured a place in the history books, and deservedly so. That one of Europe's foremost fashion history museums has seen fit to seek out and retain the work of the house, is an extraordinary mark of recognition and validates the impact that Rubinacci is continuing to make on the landscape of Italian tailoring and men's fashion at large.
This recognition becomes all the more charming once one considers that when, after years spent advising the Neapolitian nobility on the cut and style of their clothes, the arbiter elegantiarum Gennaro Rubinacci founded the family's first tailor's shop in Naples in 1932, he called it 'London House' in deference to London's reputation as a global capital for men's elegance. Now at the V&A, Rubinacci's clothes reside in suitably aristocratic environs - and the family's connection to a great 'London house', has well and truly come good, so to speak.
We at The Rake would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Rubinacci family; long may the house continue to forge its remarkable path.