"Cifonelli, a history of elegance written by hand.."
Giuseppe, the craftsman :
At the start of this family adventure was an aesthete, the founder of the famous tailor-made clothing company Cifonelli. Specialising in making suits and clothing, each item aims to reflect chic and Italian elegance. Under the aegis of Guiseppe, the first Cifonelli boutique opened in Rome in 1880.
"Arturo, the genius :
It was later that Arturo, Guiseppe’s son, took over the Cifonelli brand with dignity and a clear desire to extend its influence.
His training at the respectable Minister’s Cutting Academy in London and the transmission of his learning were the bases of an unprecedented technicality.
The Cifonelli shoulder quickly became the ultimate signature of the brand.
Its forward cut, felted wet with an iron, offers a unique freedom of movement and testifies to an extraordinary style.
“I could recognise a Cifonelli shoulder from a distance of a hundred metres”. K. Lagerfeld.
Having grown up in the Rome workshop, Arturo made a historic move by settling in Paris. The workshops at number 31 and the boutique at number 33 Rue Marbeuf, founded in 1926, quickly became part of the of the Cifonelli legend."
Charlton Heston and Arturo Cifonelli 1961
"It was during the 1950s that the Italian style was developed, made widely popular by Cifonelli whose clientele of connoisseurs included several big names from politics and the arts world."
"Adriano, continuous development :
When Arturo died in 1972, the reins of the business were taken over by his son Adriano, who continued his father’s work until the early 1990s. It was during this period that the Cifonelli signature began to be discretely talked about outside the closed circle of the elegant rich.
The company welcomed famous clients including Lino Ventura, Marcello Mastroianni, Josephine Baker and François Mitterand.
In this way Cifonelli gradually became a reference in the world of tailor-made luxury, as its name echoed through a band of lovers of sophistication."
"Massimo and Lorenzo, from tailoring to couture...
After a youth spent between patronages, cutting tables and bundles of material, Lorenzo (son of Adriano) and Massimo (cousin of Lorenzo) officially began their adventure in the company in the early 1990s.
Ten years later, they were at the head of the Rue Marbeuf workshop and launched a true strategic revolution. In addition to a close collaboration with Hermès (1992-2008), from 2007 Cifonelli offered a semi-bespoke and ready-to-wear service at its boutique located under its Paris workshop.
The fourth generation of the dynasty, the complementary duo with a pronounced liking for change redesigned the tailoring profession by combining tradition and modernity.
Development and continuous research, as can be seen from the numerous couture creations which have enhanced an expertise passed down over more than 130 years."
Rue Marbeuf, le souci du savoir-faire
in MODE MASCULINE Mercredi14 septembre 2011
“A la recherche du style français” Le Temps Mode http://www.letemps.ch
Ils ont un nom italien. Ils utilisent le système métrique anglais (les inches) pour prendre leurs mesures et couper leurs patronages. Ils représentent pourtant l’un des duos de tailleurs des plus Parisiens qui soient. Chez Cifonelli, au 13 de la rue Marbeuf, on revendique une identité très française, qu’on est fier d’exporter aux quatre coins du globe. «Nous voyageons beaucoup à la demande de nos clients entre New York, Tokyo, Genève, Londres…», explique Lorenzo Cifonelli, 41 ans, qui a repris les rênes de la marque avec son cousin Massimo. Deux arrière-petits-fils du fondateur installé à Paris en 1926, après avoir appris l’art de la coupe à Londres.
Le style Cifonelli? «C’est un mélange inspiré des grandes traditions sartoriales: d’abord le style italien – la souplesse et la légèreté –, ensuite le style anglais – la structure héritée des habits militaires. Enfin, la tradition française, ce souci du détail, de la qualité des finitions, des points, des surpiqûres aux boutonnières.» Et le maître tailleur d’attirer l’attention sur la qualité du travail rendu: «Le soin apporté aux finitions concerne aussi les points à l’intérieur de la veste, un détail qui est caractéristique du savoir-faire français.»
La coupe Cifonelli à proprement parler est près du corps, avec des emmanchures hautes et une poitrine fine. Les vestes sont très souples, utilisent le moins possible les épaulettes en crin. «La manche est étroite, très haute, travaillée en avant, détaille Lorenzo Cifonelli. Cette épaule a été créée par mon grand-père, à partir d’un travail spécifique sur le patronage. On la retrouve dans toutes nos vestes.»
Mais le maître tailleur ne cultive pas une forme passéiste de son art. Il puise son inspiration dans une curiosité sans fond. «Je voyage beaucoup et je regarde tout, y compris le prêt-à-porter (un segment que la marque occupe aussi depuis 2007, comme la demi-mesure, ndlr). Nous tentons de mélanger les styles et les savoir-faire avec un grand souci du détail. Nous savons aussi dépasser la mesure à proprement parler et tenir compte de la personnalité du client. Nous sommes en constante évolution. Par exemple, nous ne faisons pas comme mon grand-père il y a cinquante ans. Nous ne sommes figés que sur la qualité du travail. Le reste évolue et s’adapte à notre clientèle qui a fortement rajeuni depuis une dizaine d’années.»
La grande mesure
Le Point - Publié le 23/02/2012
Par GABRIELLE DE MONTMORIN
Tailleurs depuis 130 ans, les Cifonelli perpétuent et rajeunissent l'art du costume fait à la main.
Nul besoin de savoir reconnaître un Super 150s - la valeur métrique du tissu - pour passer dans le salon de réception de la maison Cifonelli. Là, au premier étage de la rue Marbeuf, dans le 8e arrondissement de Paris, seule compte l'envie de se faire plaisir. Pour cela, il suffit de se laisser guider par Massimo ou Lorenzo Cifonelli, représentants de la quatrième génération et virtuoses de la grande mesure. Le terme remplace celui de sur-mesure, trop galvaudé.
Tout commence par le choix du tissu. Les amateurs de nouveautés aiment se pencher sur les liasses quand d'autres préfèrent toucher les lés dépliés pour se faire une idée plus précise. Qu'ils soient néophytes ou avertis, les hommes (90 % de la clientèle) discutent volontiers flanelle, cachemire, tweed ou velours. "Quand leur femme les accompagne, elle a toujours le dernier mot", s'amuse Lorenzo Cifonelli. Élevé dans les patronages et les essayages, le tailleur demeure avec son cousin Massimo le seul à prendre les vingt mesures nécessaires. L'opération, on ne peut plus délicate, se fait toujours sur une fiche presque identique à celle imaginée par le fondateur, Giuseppe, qui ouvre son atelier à Rome en 1880. Tel un schéma moléculaire mystérieux, la fameuse fiche consigne la morphologie du client, prélude au patronage à partir duquel les petites mains - 38 personnes à ce jour - vont construire une pièce unique - 70 heures de minutieux travail pour un costume.
Les mesures notées en inches, le pouce des tailleurs anglais, rappellent d'ailleurs le double héritage de la maison. Italienne par ses origines, elle revendique le savoir-faire anglais qu'Arturo Cifonelli, le fils du fondateur, apprend outre-Manche avant de s'installer à Paris en 1926. Aussi passionné que redouté - il n'hésite pas à donner un coup de ciseaux dans un costume dont le tombé ne lui convient pas, et ses ouvriers se signent quand il traverse l'atelier ! -, Arturo Cifonelli fait rimer élégance et aisance. On lui doit ainsi l'épaule Cifonelli travaillée de manière incurvée, vers l'avant, pour faciliter les mouvements de bras. Signature maison, le célèbre montage se marie aujourd'hui aux détails dans l'air du temps : intérieur de col ou de poignet en cuir, rabat en daim, jeu de soufflets, poche passeport, écusson brodé main. Des détails dont raffolent les jeunes clients, mais aussi la gent féminine. "Depuis quelques saisons, la grande mesure attire les femmes. Elles représentent désormais 10 % de notre clientèle", s'enthousiasme Lorenzo Cifonelli
www.cifonelli.com et 01.42.25.48.84. Boutique Rue Marbeuf, dans le 8e arrondissement de Paris. Héritiers Massimo - Lorenzo Cifonelli.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey is a documentary film about the history of film, presented on television in 15 one-hour chapters with a total length of 900 minutes. It was directed and narrated by Mark Cousins, a film critic from Northern Ireland, based on his 2004 book The Story of Film.
The film was broadcast in September 2011 on More4, the digital television service of UK broadcaster Channel 4. The film was also featured in its entirety at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, and it was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in February 2012.
The Telegraph headlined the film's initial broadcast as a television series in September 2011 as the "cinematic event of the year" and an Irish Times writer called the program a "landmark" (albeit a "bizarrely underpromoted" one).
In February 2012, A. O. Scott of The New York Times contrasted the project with its "important precursor (and also, perhaps, an implicit interlocutor)", Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma. In contrast to the Godard project, which Scott called "personal, polemical and sometimes cryptic", Scott described Cousins' film as "a semester-long film studies survey course compressed into 15 brisk, sometimes contentious hours" that "stands as an invigorated compendium of conventional wisdom." He also commended its "refusal to be nostalgic".
The Story of Film, cinematic event of the year
Mark Cousins's 15-hour television series is an epic journey through the history of cinema, says Sukhdev Sandhu
The Story of Film is the cinematic event of the year
By Sukhdev Sandhu 02 Sep 20115 in The Telegraph
There have been many terrific films this year. Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, Lee Chang-Dong’s Poetry, Darren Aronofksy’s Black Swan, Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids, Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams: in their very different ways, all of these have entertained, provoked and bewitched. Yet it’s entirely possible that the most important cinematic event of 2011 is actually The Story of Film, an extraordinary 15-hour television series written and directed by Mark Cousins, that More 4 will begin screening tomorrow evening.
Subtitled ‘An Odyssey’, it’s a suitably epic journey through the history of cinema that features interviews with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Baz Luhrman and Singin’ In The Rain director Stanley Donen, spotlights technical and artistic innovations that transformed the grammar of film, and champions the critical importance and aesthetic brilliance of directors such as Yasujiro Ozu, Youssef Chahine and Benjamin Christensen, whose achievements are often ignored by Anglo-American cinephiles. The Story of Film is quite some achievement too: visually ensnaring and intellectually lithe, it’s at once a love letter to cinema, an unmissable masterclass, and a radical rewriting of movie history.
“The film industry would have us believe that money drives movies,” says Cousins early on in the first episode. At the end of another summer of mostly witless blockbusters, cynical remakes and demographic-pandering fodder, how could anyone disagree? Cousins though claims the true genesis of cinema lies in ideas. Isn’t that a bit romantic I ask him just before he flies to Telluride to attend the festival premiere of the series? “I don’t think so. To see the DNA of the medium, how it grows, you have to look at the innovations. Tarantino brings Travolta back to life because he gives him a new way of talking and a new postmodern identity. The Batman films die, then Chris Nolan revives them with new ideas. Scorsese is brilliant in part because of the ideas he draws into his work. To look at box office and money is to see a truth about the movies, but a plastic truth.”
"Our goal has never been to be the biggest, only the best."
Paul Stuart is a men's and women's clothing store in the United States. Founded in 1938 in New York City, New York, USA, by haberdasher Ralph Ostrove, who named the company after his son Paul Stuart Ostrove. This retailer has remained a privately-held family business.
Paul Stuart is often compared to Brooks Brothers and known for its traditional suits and colorful accessories.
Today, the company operates additional locations in Chicago, Seoul, South Korea and throughout Japan. The original New York location is still located at the corner of Madison Avenue and 45th Street. It has grown to 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) and remains the company's largest store.
In the Fall of 2008, Paul Stuart relocated their store in Chicago from the John Hancock Center on Michigan Avenue to Oak Street. Paul Stuart's Oak Street location is known as "The Townhouse", supposedly for its more "intimate" environment. In the Spring of 2011, Paul Stuart opened a second Chicago location in The Loop at the corner of LaSalle Street and Adams Street in the historic Continental and Commercial National Bank building.
In the Fall of 2007, Paul Stuart launched Phineas Cole, the first new brand in the luxury clothier’s 70-year history.
In the Spring of 2009 Paul Stuart opened a 700-square-foot (65 m2) Phineas Cole shop-in-shop at the front corner of the flagship Madison Avenue store.
Clifford Grodd at Paul stuart 350 Madison Avenue (East 45th Street), New York, NY . in the year 2000
In Memoriam ...
Clifford Grodd, the Driving Force at Paul Stuart, Dies at 86
By WILLIAM GRIMES
Published: May 26, 2010 in The New York Times
Clifford Grodd, who brought a subtle flair to classic men’s wear as the president and chief executive of the private-label retailer Paul Stuart, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 86.
Enlarge This Image
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Clifford Grodd in Paul Stuart’s Madison Avenue store in 2000.
The death was confirmed by Michael Stone, his son-in-law.
When Mr. Grodd began working at Paul Stuart in 1951, the store, at 45th Street and Madison Avenue, was regarded as a budget alternative to Brooks Brothers, the temple of East Coast establishment men’s fashion.
Under Mr. Grodd’s direction, Paul Stuart concentrated on selling its own label and made inroads on its chief competitor by developing a style that one fashion writer called a blend of “Savile Row, Connecticut living and the concrete canyons of New York.”
The Paul Stuart look won a devoted following among American executives — Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York is a longtime customer — and a long list of celebrities that included Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman.
“Fashion is peripheral to us,” Mr. Grodd told The New York Times in 1978. “Our clothes are our own thing — classic and traditional without a style but with an attitude, perhaps a dash of salt.”
Mr. Grodd is credited with popularizing the deconstructed jacket without a lining and the chambray dress shirt. He championed the two-button suit and, regardless of the ebb and flow of fashion, kept faith with the bow tie. He also committed the store, which originally carried other designers, to selling only its own labels.
“I felt that if we didn’t know our customer better than someone sitting 1,000 miles away, then we didn’t belong in the business,” he told The Daily News Record, a fashion publication, in 1998. “When you put your own name on it, it’s your signature, and I just didn’t want anyone else’s signature on this operation.”
Closely involved in all phases of the business — he designed the Paul Stuart logo of Dink Stover sitting on the Yale fence — Mr. Grodd personally supervised every detail of clothing design, marketing and advertising.
Under Mr. Grodd, Paul Stuart became one of the first retailers to open stores in Japan when it struck a licensing deal with Mitsui in the 1970s. There are now three stand-alone stores in Japan and 70 “in-shop” stores, as well as a store in Seoul, South Korea. In 1995, Mr. Grodd opened a second American store in Chicago. American customers outside New York and Chicago must order through the Paul Stuart catalog or Web site.
“He was the last of the Mohicans, the last retailer in this country to run a private-label business,” said the designer Alan Flusser. “He micromanaged that business from the minute it opened to the minute it closed. He was also the physical embodiment of the look of the store, which completely reflected his personal vision.”
Clifford Grodd was born on April 27, 1924, in New Haven, where his father was a roofer, and he absorbed the vocabulary of preppy style while working as a caddie on local golf courses.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and saw combat as a tail gunner during World War II. He was shot down over Hungary in 1944 and spent the remainder of the war in a prison camp near Munich. He made nine escape attempts, but gained his freedom only when the camp was liberated in 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
After returning to the United States, he resumed his studies at the University of Connecticut, begun before the war. He graduated in 1948 with a degree in marketing.
In 1946 he married Barbara Ostrove, whose father, Ralph, had founded Paul Stuart in 1938, naming it after his son, Paul Stuart Ostrove. She survives him, as does a brother, Arthur, of Westhampton, N.Y.; two children, James and Patricia, both of Manhattan; and two grandchildren.
After graduating, he enrolled in the executive training program at G. Fox, a landmark Hartford department store, where he was assistant manager of the sportswear department when he joined Paul Stuart. He became president and chief executive of the company in 1955, a position he held until his death.
Mr. Grodd made a point of emphasizing Paul Stuart’s commitment to continuity and resistance to trends, but in 2007 the store introduced the first new label in its history, Phineas Cole. Named for a fictitious “errant nephew” of Paul Stuart, it made its appeal to younger men with bold patterns and a slim silhouette.
The style was fashion forward — within limits.
“I abhor dullness and resist flamboyance,” Mr. Grodd told The New York Times in 1985. “That’s a hard line to walk — to be distinctive, subtle, disciplined, with a sense of humor.”
Italian shoemaker Stefano Bemer dies
Tributes paid to 48 year old whose workshop was frequented by celebrity clients and apprentices including Daniel Day-Lewis
Andrea Vogt in Rome / The Guardian
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 29 July 2012
The Italian shoemaker Stefano Bemer has died aged 48 after a long illness.
"A man who incarnated the true essence of the Florentine artisan has left us prematurely," the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, said following Bemer's death late on Friday.
Clients including the actor Andy Garcia, the singer Julio Iglesias and the designer Gianfranco Ferré have visited his small workshop in the San Frediano district of Florence.
Bemer often recalled the day the Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis stopped by while on holiday in Tuscany to ask him about his shoes. The next day – and for the following eight months between 1999 and 2000 – the actor showed up at 8am to work as an apprentice.
Bemer began doing shoe repairs in Greve, Chianti, in 1983 after the town cobbler died. A local aristocrat noticed his work and showed Bemer his collection of John Lobb shoes. Inspired, Bemer moved to Florence to study design and train under a veteran shoemaker. His classic shoes (he preferred calf leather, but also used crocodile, ostrich, stingray and even toad) were shipped with a brush set in a monogrammed wooden wine box.
The London shoe designer Justin FitzPatrick, who did an apprenticeship with Bemer in 2008-2009, told the Guardian: "He was a passionate, true artist and cared more about his shoes than anyone I've ever met.
"In this day and age many bespoke shoe companies are selling out to larger corporations. But he never would. He never shirked on his values."