'Twenty-Five- Years Later, I Should Say I Made The Right Decision...'

Stefano Canali took the plunge and joined the family business — an Italian legend — in 1998. Now, as Chief Executive, he is responsible for it. It’s been a ride so far...
'Twenty-Five- Years Later, I Should Say I Made The Right Decision...'

You might think it inevitable that Stefano Canali would have joined the company that bears his family name, but as I listen to him, he insists it was his choice alone. It turns out it was a good one, as the third-generation family member has helped steer this legendary Italian tailoring house through some difficult times. Stefano was able to join the business as treasurer in 1998 thanks to his experience in the financial industry in New York. He went on to become the chief financial officer and, in 2008, the general manager — just in time for the global financial crisis. In 2018 he was elevated to C.E.O., giving him less than two years in the role before the Covid pandemic arrived. He can joke about his timing now. “I’m knocking on wood,” he says. “Apparently, whenever something important happens to me, a major event is around the corner.” Stefano has helped transform the brand. Canali have always been visionaries in luxury, but mostly with regards to formal tailoring — think sharp pinstripe suits and stiff-collared shirts. That has changed in the past five years, with Canali now best known for their soft separates made from innovative fabrics and relaxed tailoring that looks appropriate in the boardroom or at the bar. As the house approaches its 90th anniversary, The Rake caught up with Stefano to chat about his career, his sustainability goals, and his vision for the Canali of the future.

Read the full interview with Stefano Canali l in Issue 89, available to purchase on TheRake.com and on newsstands worldwide now.


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