One of the gifts I received over the Christmas was a book entitled The Italian Gentleman by Hugo Jacomet. Wei Koh, founder and editorial director of the noted men’s style magazine The Rake describes Monsieur Jacomet as an arbiter of style which in layman’s terms means that he is a bit of an authority on the subject he talks about, which in this case is clothes.
Publisher of the very brilliant style blog The Parisian Gentleman, Monsieur Jacomet works tirelessly in the pursuit of improving the sartorial elegance of the male gender. Why I like him so much, is that he is very good providing sound advice on how to build a smart wardrobe without displaying a know it all attitude, unlike a lot of style gurus to tend be a bit pompous and full of their own self-important.
The Italian Gentleman took Monsieur Jacomet over took three years to complete and is his second book, following on from his first offering, the rather aptly titled the Parisian Gentleman. If you are buying The Italian Gentleman in the hope that you are going to find a page upon page of global brands such as Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, etc, then you going to be sorely disappointed.
It’s not that Monsieur Jacomet disapproves of these companies that are recognised the world over; it is just that he is just more interested in exposing the reader to the smaller, often family run businesses. He is well aware that these artisan craftsmen and women are disappearing and he is doing his damnedest to make sure that these establishments are kept alive by becoming better known
The book covers everything from the mills of Vitale Barberis Canonico and Ermenegildo Zenga, all the way down to ties by E Marinella and umbrella makers such Francesco Maglia and Mario Talarico. In between he champions a raft of tailoring establishments such A Caraceni in Milan before heading further south to Naples to reveal such enterprises as Ambrosi, Napoli, Sartoria Formosa and Sartoria Sabino to name but three. All of the sections are brilliantly researched and highly informative, but I have to honest, the section on shoes blows the rest of the book away, reading this chapter I was positively salivating at shoemakers such as Enzo Bonafe, Paolo Scafora and Bontoni.
Monsieur Jacomet leaves no stone unturned in quest in his pursuit of excellence and even if you are only slightly interested in clothes you should read this book. You will not believe how many ideas you will get, on how to find ways and means on becoming better dressed . It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is something in here for everyone, so please buy the book.