Sacco: NON-STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY
Sacco jackets are crafted in Naples, designed to combat tropical heat, and available now in Europe, via THE RAKE. In fact, these effortless, ultra-light jackets might be the most relevant garment around this spring, so we thought it apt to offer special introductory pricing for this exciting launch.
Alexander Hascher’s mission has taken him on an epic transcontinental journey and resulted in the creation of one of the most innovative garments in men’s classic style: the lightest jacket the world has ever known. “My family is German but I grew up in Singapore,” the founder of Sacco tells The Rake. “From an early age I loved tailoring, and in particular jackets. I adored the style of men like Porfirio Rubirosa and Gianni Agnelli, who looked so immaculate in their Caraceni jackets, even at the height of summer in the south of France. As a teenager I would go out in the evening with a blazer or sports coat, which was not compatible with the tropical milieu of my home city. But for me a jacket is about manners — respecting myself but also respecting others. “I always had certain items in my jacket pockets… a sterling silver cigarette case and my grandfather’s Dupont lighter, to offer a beautiful woman a restorative smoke.” Hascher laughs and adds: “At the end of the night I would be soaked through, but I was so determined to remain elegant that I always kept my jacket on. I started thinking to myself there must be a way to make a lighter jacket. Something that breathed, dispensed with all the superfluous lining, and just kept the outer shell of the coat. The idea of the Sacco jacket was inspired by my desire to reconcile classic style with the need for comfort in the warmest, most extreme climate.”
To say a Sacco jacket is light is a profound understatement. Through the magic of Hascher’s experimentation, the jacket looks crafted with superb shape and substance. But lift it with your finger and you almost think it is weightless. “The hardest thing to achieve was something that looked stylish and had the perfect fit yet at the same time felt like wearing nothing more than a shirt,” he says. Of course, Hascher was not the first to pursue lightness in construction. After all, there have been numerous sartorial disciplines, most famously Neapolitan tailoring, that have focused on removing lining, padding, horsehair and canvas to create jackets “as light as the winds over Vesuvius”. Says Hascher: “I tried many of the most iconic tailors from Naples, and I agree, the jackets are light. They are perfect for the climate of that beautiful city. But they are still not anywhere near light enough for the tropics. A Sacco jacket is another thing all together. While worn it has the aesthetic codes of a handsomely styled sports coat. In reality, it has taken the concept of lightness to the farthest extreme imaginable, resulting in the only coat that is genuinely comfortable in the 35-degree heat and 60 per cent humidity that is the daily reality in Singapore.” Yet the appeal of the Sacco jacket goes beyond its capacity to combat the heat: it also appeals to the frequent traveller who needs a jacket that can be folded into a document bag yet will magically spring back to impeccable form with a simple shake. And it appeals to those of us still enamoured of tailoring but who, as a result of the casualisation of the past year, seek to wear our garments with a softer, more relaxed nonchalance. Christian Barker, The Rake’s founding Editor, who is also based in Singapore, says: “The Sacco jacket is to my mind one of the most relevant tailored garments on the market, because I’m able to keep it on even when outdoors in Singapore.
“At the same time the entire world has shifted towards super-soft, ultra-light garments because of the comfort, adaptability and style they provide, and in this regard, Sacco, being by a large margin the single lightest jacket I’ve ever worn, is perfectly positioned for today’s audience. The softness of the jackets makes them supremely adaptable, and they look great dressed up and even better dressed down with a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.” Hascher adds: “That’s the magic of wearing a jacket in the summer. You’ve just elevated your style game that much further. You can be in jeans, a T-shirt and espadrilles, but throw on one of our jackets, even with the sleeves rolled up, and you look perfect for the most elegant restaurant or bar. I have a client who keeps a Sacco jacket in the glovebox of his vintage convertible Porsche. He explained that when he’s driving along the Amalfi coast, he never knows where he might want to stop for a Negroni or a meal, and with my jacket he knows he’s always prepared. Also, because of the construction and the choice of high-twist material, you can actually fold it to the size of an A4 document or roll it up and it will spring back to life looking perfect and without a single crease.” The pathway to creating Sacco jackets has not been without its challenges. Hascher explains: “Finding a factory that would be able to make what I wanted in terms of quality and construction was a journey. I wanted it to be made in Italy, but after going to visit innumerable workshops I kept being redirected to Naples. People kept saying, ‘Speak to the Neapolitans. They are the only ones with the know-how to make something so light.’ I must have toured every jacket maker in the region when I finally arrived at the last one. Amazingly, I noticed sitting on a rack ready to be shipped an array of jackets labelled Rubinacci for The Rake. I knew I had lucked into someplace special. It wasn’t easy to convince them, but I am a very persistent person, and after several months we finally achieved a construction I thought was perfect.”
Hascher takes one of his jackets, turns it inside out, and gestures to it. “The Sacco jacket is all about controlling the cloth, which is shaped with pressure and heat,” he says. “That is because there is not a single piece of canvas, padding or wadding anywhere. But there is one other secret to the jacket. This is the choice of cloth. I use exclusively Vitale Barberis Canonico hopsack, which is a high-twist four-ply wool. This is an expensive cloth, but the idea of a totally deconstructed jacket wouldn’t work without it. This cloth takes shape incredibly well, it has a natural elasticity and it drapes beautifully. At the same time it is highly breathable, so it is the best of both worlds. “We are at the moment experimenting with flannel for a autumn/winter jacket that feels like a cardigan, but the point is not all cloths are suited to my construction. I have even left the sleeves of the jacket intentionally unlined so you get an incredible lightness even in the arms. You can turm up the sleeves of the jacket without showing unsightly lining.” As with other brands The Rake has chosen to feature this season, Sacco is well priced. Hascher says: “I wanted Sacco to be a tremendous value proposition. My jackets at 486 Euro are essentially the same as shirts from other brands, because I wanted people to not hesitate to buy one and experience the Sacco magic. I think as soon as you wear it and realise how stylish you can look while remaining so incredibly comfortable, even in the hottest weather, there’s no turning back. “I’ve made the jacket in 12 different colours of the Barberis high-twist hopsack cloth because I want men to have fun buying them and trying different colours. Maybe they wouldn’t normally buy a pink, red, burgundy or aqua-blue jacket, but at my price they can afford to have some fun. There is a nice uplifting effect when you put on a vividly coloured jacket. It puts you in a great mood. It was also very important to me that Sacco jackets be within reach of a younger audience that is passionate about style but has a budget, and you can see this reflected in the generous introductory pricing for this launch - as after the year we've all had, I think everyone has become sensitive to value.” Photographer Assistant - Derrick Kakembo Senior Stylist - Veronica Perez Stylist - Amelia Hudson Grooming - Luka Watabe using Chanel