Caraceni Three Generations Mario, Carlo & Massimiliano
Caraceni was founded in Rome in 1913 by the father of Italian tailoring, Domenico Caraceni. At one point in the 1930s, Domenico and his family operated ateliers in Rome, Milan and Paris. The Paris atelier was operated by Domenico's brother, Augusto, who closed his atelier when Mussolini declared war on France.
Today, there are several businesses going by the name "Caraceni" in operation. The original shop operates out of a small location in Rome with a very small workforce. This is run by Tommy and Giulio Caraceni, nephews of Domenico. There are three branches in Milan, all founded by offshoots of the clan, one even claiming to be the "real Caraceni." However, the cognoscenti consider A. Caraceni, currently operated by Mario Caraceni (son of Augusto) to be the best of the Milan branches. These suits are what is known as "bench bespoke," meaning they are made one at a time, by hand, to a pattern specifically drawn for each individual customer.
Gianni Campagna, once an apprentice at Sartoria Domenico Caraceni in Milan, acquired the Sartoria Domenico Caraceni label in 1998. Under this name, his company makes expensive made-to-measure suits out of the Palazzo Bernasconi in Milan. This business is separate from and not affiliated with the other Caraceni bespoke ateliers in Rome and Milan.
The various Caraceni "sartorias" have crafted handmade suits for various celebrities over the years, including Tyrone Power, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Agnelli, Sophia Loren and fashion designer Valentino Garavani. The Caraceni label is also famous for dressing generations of The Kings of Greece and Italy, The Prince of Wales, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Aristotle Onassis.
Augusto Caraceni was born in Ortona (Chieti) in 1893 and as a young man, along with his brothers, learned the art of tailoring from their father Tommaso, who had a tailor’s shop in the town, but was known throughout the region. When the eldest brother, Domenico, opened his own tailor’s shop in Rome, he asked two of his brothers to work with him: Galliano and Augustus, and it was here that Augusto accrued much sartorial experience. In the 1930s, Augusto moved to Paris where he was hugely successful, with some of his clients being the most visible personalities of that period. Due to the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Augusto, who was by then married and had 4 children, returned to Italy. In 1946 he opened his tailor’s atelier with a partner at the site in Via Fatebenefratelli 16 in Milan; at his side was his son Mario, who from 1946 to 1972, when his father died, managed the shop. In 1972, after the death of Augusto, Mario renamed the atelier in memory his father, giving it its current name, A. CARACENI From 1972 to 1998, the business continued and thrived, acquiring an international clientele thanks to the determination and commitment of Mario, who held with tradition. Mario received a number of awards, including the Sant'Omobono and the Unione Milanese Sarti (Milan Tailors’ Guild). Mario retired in 1998, leaving the company to his daughter Rita Maria and son-in-law Carlo Andreacchio, who had worked with him for 20 years as an administrator and tailor respectively. Carlo has been a member of the Accademia dei Sartori (the Tailors’ Academy) since 1997 and was awarded the gold medal from the Milan Tailors’ Guild in 2002.
Their children, Massimiliano and Valentina, have been working alongside them since 2004 – although their fascination with the business began in childhood – thus continuing the family tradition and preparing themselves to receive the baton when their time comes!
Carlo And Massimiliano Andreacchio