Style / September 2017

Vitale Barberis Canonico: A Sartorial Collaboration

The oldest family-run fabric mill in the world, Vitale Barberis Canonico produces the finest fabrics money can buy, as Karl-Edwin Guerre discovered when collaborating with three maestros of tailoring.

The author in Florence wearing a Hadleigh's blazer crafted from Vitale Barberis Canonico cloth. Photograph by Massimiliano Cervone.

Last season I visited Biella, Italy, which is the home of Vitale Barberis Canonico - the oldest family-run fabric mill in the world. Three centuries of history and the most advanced technology make VBC an unmissable source for many fashion houses, as well as the best tailors the world has to offer. At some point during this visit, I was asked to name my favourite brands. My response focused more on attaining the perfect closet, and given our surroundings in Biella, I thought about how to incorporate the prestigious cloth weavers; what about collaborating with VBC and the brands that fit my ideal closet? The idea was to create pieces that would interpret my definition of comfort combined with elegance, and marrying it with the core of Vitale Barberis Canonico's philosophy, which embodies classic style.

We decided that there was no better place than Pitti Uomo in Florence to reveal the collaboration. Pitti Uomo is regarded by many as a gateway to men's style. It is a place where every season, key players in menswear come to see products before they make it to the stores, alongside garments that may never get to see the light of day. Pitti is where style experts gauge high-end menswear on hangers but also judge what is worn by some of the most stylish men in the industry.

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Karl-Edwin Guerre