Thursday, 26 June 2014

INTERVIEW // Master Tailor, Simone De Pizzol

By James Lourey

Having witnessed the rise and popularity of commercial fashion in the Australian market over the past couple of years I’ve been able to recognise the traits of default sense of style that Australian men have in the way they dress. Compared to European and American standards, the concept of male fashion for both business and smart casual in Australia is fairly conservative. Sometimes to reiterate this point it takes an outsider’s point of view on the matter; enter Simone De Pizzol. 

Simone is a true symbol of authentic Italian style; his emphasis on attention to detail in every aspect of his appearance has and will continue to be my aspiration. Simone currently resides in Sydney having had a great background in the fashion industry. After coming to Australia from his hometown of Treviso just outside of Venice, he was involved with the leading luxury mens store in Australia, Harrolds; with his area of expertise extending into the suiting departments of Tom Ford and Brioni. Simone not only is known for his level of class and undeniable Italian charm, but his salesmanship skills which soon earned him the nickname at Harrolds, Simone Brioni. Simone is now well known for his style tips and tailor made suiting expertise for Australian suiting label Herringbone. 

We were lucky enough to be able to sit down with Simone and hear his thoughts on men’s fashion sense within Australia and which direction it’s heading. Simone also explained the thorough process of the made-to-measure suit and the concept behind creating a unique and specified outfit for all gentlemen. 

The XY Venture is proud to present our exclusive interview with Simone De Pizzol. 

James wearing a double breasted jacket tailored by Simone. 

Mr. De Pizzol,  you’ve dressed some of the most well presented men in the world. Some would say you're the brains behind some of the best outfits around. Is there a specific formula behind a fitting look for the modern day gentlemen?

“First off, I like to think that my skills go beyond fashion. Of course every client and customer is going to be different. When I first see my customer I mentally x-ray the gentlemen to evaluate what would suit him the best... see what stage of fashion he’s at whether it’s conservative, daring or anything in between... I start from there. I need to be able to explain to him the colours and combinations that would work with his raw appearance, taking it step by step.”

How do you find that style for men in Australia differs from that of back home in Italy?

"The European market is much more colourful and fashionable than the Australian market. You would see people from Italy, even my father of 60 years of age, walking around with yellow pants and a green shirt; here it's more a conservative state especially in the older generations. However I’ve definitely noticed in the last three years in Australia that the cliental is changing... Australia is stepping into a new stage of fashion that goes with colour in terms of smart casual wear with different combinations of for example chinos and a colourful matching shirt, no matter then print or pattern."

"However I’ve definitely noticed in the last three years in Australia that the cliental is changing, Australia is stepping into a new stage of fashion."

A look inside Simone's Herringbone Store within Sydney's QVB. 

You’ve played a part in selling some of the most prestigious labels in the world including Tom Ford and Brioni. How do you go about explaining to your client the features and benefits of purchasing an $8,000 suit?

"Not everyone can afford an $8,000 suit, and those that can need to understand the concept behind the suit. The first thing is quality - made in Italy; big plus. When a suit is hand crafted there is a greater attention to detail, when you stitch with a machine it’s very precise but also tighter, so when you require more flexibility in a particular area, it must be completed by hand. Also when the client realises the amount of work and passion a tailor dedicates to creating their unique suit, it certainly covers the suit's worth. A tailor-made suit will differ from a ready-to-wear in the way of the emphasis on the textiles and materials used. The suits I sold were more fairly detailed, patterned and sophisticated rather that a straight thread down wool”. 

Simone reviewing each step of designing a made to measure suit

What’s the biggest fashion mistake you see the common man make time and time again?

“A constant headache for me is reiterating to my customers the importance of matching their belt colour with their shoes. Also many gentlemen wonder about combinations of shirts and ties... they need to aim to look more sharp than over sophisticated".

“It’s definitely difficult to match the right suit, shirt and tie for those who do not pay attention to contrast and combination. Just keep a simple mindset, if you’re wearing a busy shirt, you’d benefit most from a plain colour tie, yet if you're wearing a fairly conservative or light coloured shirt you may want to look into darker coloured ties with a pattern for basic contrast. All in all you need to see the outfit all together and consider your main style goal when going through the steps of putting an outfit together. I unfortunately see alot of very ambitious guys trying to create a style with no cohesion and what ends up looking like a mess. Just remember, simple but classy.”

"Just remember, simple but classy"

The tailor for Pal Zileri stated that “If you buy it from the rack you are really just covering yourself, but if you buy it made-to-measure you are truly getting dressed”, is this true for you and your work ethic?

“That’s true but not true at the same time. The thing you have to realise is that a ready-to-wear suit is still something that a tailor has taken time to build and create; it’s doesn't come just like that. Of course the made to measure process is more complicated and high handed, most men however can wear ready-to-wear suits and look very sharp. The stages of a tailor made suit is a very complex and fine process and of course it’s going to give specific customers extra detail to look stylish and unique. Think of buying a car, you’re going to want the detail to match your interests, persona and lifestyle; made-to-measure suits are no different”. 

As you’ve progressed your own idea of personal style throughout the years, who has been your fashion icon?

“David Beckham. He’s got style, he’s got class, he’s got everything. He’s one of the most successful gentlemen I’ve ever seen and continue to follow."

A regular man comes into your store seeking fashion advice and two outfits, one business orientated and one smart casual, what’s your approach? 

“Okay so every guy is certainly different, let’s say he’s 25-35. At the beginning I need to determine his level of understanding of the fashion concept. I would start with a dark grey or dark navy suit, something with a bit of texture, for example a sharkskin suit. Then a white or pale blue shirt, something stylish. He has the option for stripes but again nothing too busy for his first step into fashion mixed with business. For smart casual I would encourage him to go with a pair of light and colourful chinos, a checkered shirt complemented with a knitted tie and a navy wool sports jacket. This look is acceptable year round, it’s classy, it’s sophisticated, it’s flawless”.

Simone emphasises the importance of the right outfit for the right occasion. 

If there’s one thing you could change about Australian fashion, what would it be?

“I wouldn't necessarily change anything, I would rather continue to guide, to show and to encourage. I want to be able to communicate to the Australian gentlemen the basics and the process of creating the well dressed man, step by step. I think wearing the right clothes help you, it helps you in what you’re doing and helps make your day better.”

Simone continues to be the anchor behind Herringbone’s most successful store within the Queen Victoria Building in the Sydney CBD. Herringbone offers an outstanding made to measure shirting and suiting services with convenient lead times for the busy gentlemen. I strongly encourage all gentlemen who are able to visit Simone in his element. His warm and professional client relationships have resulted in the utmost loyalty and trust for his assistance in all aspects of male and female style. 

Photographs by Madeleine Lourey 

1 comment:

  1. The good old dark suit and a few other classic pieces of apparel have been the staples of men’s fashion for decades, and the changes tend to be somewhat slower and less radical than in women’s fashion, but there are tons of different ways to stand out from the crowd. This year looks pretty promising, as there are some bold and exciting trends coming our way. If you are a fashion-savvy man, or just want to make an effort to look more stylish this summer, be sure to check out these new fashion trends.


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