One of menswear’s most incontrovertible adages is that – when it comes to suiting – bespoke is best. Having clothes that fit, rather than fitting into clothes, is one of life's simplest yet most underrated joys. It’s something about the loving embrace of well-made fabrics – the way a seam crests your shoulder, or the snugness of a perfect waistline – that is both soothing and empowering. So it’s curious that the joy-bringing logic of bespoke is rarely applied outside of the tailoring arena.
This is where Sartoria Melina comes in. A small family brand based at the foot of the Apennine Mountains in Sarno, just outside Naples, Melina has made it its mission to revolutionise the iconic leather jacket, by using traditional techniques to engender a fresh perspective on how leather outerwear can be worn. The ethos of bespoke clothing is at the heart of this enterprise.
“In this industry, where the competition is strong, we think the right strategy is to make something different, something unusual,” Jolanda (one of the founding family members) tells us. We couldn’t agree more. “And bespoke is something many customers from all over the world ask for. Businessmen, lovers of craftsmanship, they all want to wear unique clothes. They ask for exclusivity, they love choosing all details about their own garments. I mean, for example, the colour of leather, the lining, the shape of lapel, pockets... everything!” Clearly, any old sheep can follow the received prescriptions when it comes to getting a suit; but it takes a particular breed of self-confident, thoughtful, discerning ram to take charge of his leather jacket, to stand head and shoulders (and horns?) above the rest of the boxily-attired pack (herd?), and to opt for outerwear that is uncompromisingly unique.