The story of Canali is one of perseverance. A man’s life has its ups and downs, and so have we. The
company was established as a consequence of the failure of the cotton mill my grandfather used to work at in the
early thirties. He was without a job and decided to set up an artisan with his brother, a tailor. The business was
successful until the second world war, but they didn’t give up. They rebuilt from scratch to offer raincoats and
overcoats. But these went out of fashion during our second generation, who again were forced to rebuild; [to
Our Anthology project hopes to share this side of Canali. This is what it came down to after
reaching our 85th birthday. It’s the optimistic message of our Anthology project: as long as you hang tough, you
will succeed in overcoming the difficulties you face today. This will encourage us, and our industry, to deal with
the times in which we are living, and help us tell our story and values in a straightforward and positive way.
Last year we decided to expand our unique offering. We decided that two capsules we’d been
developing would evolve into our unique collection. Therefore, we created three segments of the Canali selection,
all Made in Italy: with Canali Black Edition, more technical urban warrior; Canali Exclusive, for sophisticated
garments at the height of luxury; and Canali 1934, for someone seeking the icons of menswear with a softer
At Canali you feel the responsibility of the previous generations. We need to respect our DNA while
keeping it up-to-date. If you move away from what makes you consistent, you will alienate customers and find it
harder to reach new ones. That’s the difficulty. So these three segments preserve the same DNA, the same founding
values, but are effectively addressing the customer in three different moments of his modern life.
Classic tailoring will never go. This is a good thing; we don’t want to get rid of it, even as our
offering evolves into a more casual segment. It’s in our history, our renown for crafting suits, and that’s a big
plus to me and the customer. Tailoring itself is something that will always last, but it will have to adapt. From
the details, fits, materials, it will be easier to mix and match and exchange with casualwear; like drawstring
trousers and an unlined jacket.
The new London store is more than a store. We needed more visibility and modern infrastructure in a
prestigious location. It has an outstanding facade, with three-storeys, and is truly, truly innovative — whatever is
inside has been fully rebuilt, which allows us to leverage all technology available to us in a retail space. A
building sometimes has many surprises within!
My father taught me to always show respect. Whether it’s the customer or my employees, it’s
important to show respect to people — to listen to them, engage with them, and be sincerely nice to them. This was
something my father taught me, and it’s the most important piece of advice. Respect for people informs and shapes
other values, like our passion for detail and stubborn search for quality. This, in turn, becomes a form of respect
for the customer’s expectations.
What’s my golden rule? You must be humble enough to realise that — no matter how successful you have
been — there are always better goals to set and achieve.
Innovation has always been a part of what we do. Take our cutting department. In the 1970s we were
the first in our industry to introduce an automatic cutting technology that allowed us to save cost and deliver
cleaner and sharper pieces of fabrics. In the past seven years we internally developed a new cutting process aimed
at addressing a more complex and diversified demand. Pattern and defect recognition software and scanner, on-site
automatic nesting, interruption-free cutting process — even the most traditional piece of garment may be the output
of highly sophisticated technology.”
What I’ve learned over the years is that people make the difference. Computers are efficient in
executing tasks, but they are programmed by people. They will never have our creativity. In an era of AI, it’s
important to understand that while they will help us do better things, a company is successful because of its
people. Even now, these tools we have, while great, cannot substitute physical interaction.
We have many nieces, nephews, sons, and daughters. This is the fourth generation of the Canali
family. We make sure to instil within them an idea of what the company means, our values, while letting them follow
their own paths in life. It’s not an obligation, but a choice! We’ve set some strict rules for the
fourth-generation, so that if they decide to approach a career in the family business, they will be ready.
My advice to anyone interested in the industry? Come work with us. I’m not joking! We’re
well-positioned to overcome and achieve anything (it’s part of our history) and we want as many brilliant minds to
join Canali, rather than start from scratch… Wait — you’re going to print that, aren’t you?
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