For The Discerning Few is proud to present an exclusive interview with Italian tailor Andrea Luparelli from Sartoria Ripense (Roma, Italy).
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For The Discerning Few: For those who do not know you, could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background?
Andrea Luparelli: I am Andrea Luparelli, owner of the Sartoria Ripense, tailoring house in the very heart of Rome, a little cradle of “Made in Italy”, dedicated to men’s clothing and where everything is about bespoke, quality and style.
FTDF: When did your passion for clothes begin?
Andrea Luparelli: My passion for clothes started when I was very young. As a matter of fact, my grandfather was a tailor and I used to admire his "creations". I couldn’t help falling in love with such a noble craft. How could I not keep that tradition alive, reviving his precious heritage? Later on, I had the chance to meet Gian Luca Bocache and Roberto Salvucci (specialized in handcrafted production of men’s shoes) and the combination of our passion, expertise and projects gave birth to Sartoria Ripense.
FTDF: What was your ambition when you created Sartoria Ripense?
Andrea Luparelli: I wanted to create “A world apart”, between tradition and present that was the goal. Furthermore I aimed at being an ambassador of Italian craftsmanship by taking our product where it can be deeply appreciated, for instance in France; so exporting the Italian taste into a reality able to enhance it.
FTDF: Every bespoke tailoring house has its own style. How would you describe the style of Sartoria Ripense (High Armholes, slim-fitting, natural shoulder, etc.)? Is it more influenced by traditional Roman tailoring or by Neapolitan tailoring?
Andrea Luparelli: I’d say inspiration comes from both traditions which we mesh up, adding a hint of our personality. Those features are certainly ours : we love jackets with harmonic cut, high armhole really close to the natural underarm; slim-fit jackets but comfortable and without any shoulder pad. The precision of cut, the tailor’s manufacture, the ergonomics of the structure are able to make up for all those devices, as shoulder pad, to confer the item that natural effect we aim at.
FTDF: Sartoria Ripense not only makes bespoke suits but also coats, shirts, cashmere sweaters, bespoke shoes and even umbrellas! Did you know you were going to offer such a wide range of products when you started your business?
Andrea Luparelli: I did! Since the very beginning, we had a 360° vision of this tailoring house. Our aim was to create a complete "wardrobe" and not only for the clothes but up to the slightest detail. And the accessories follow the same "bespoke” concept… Even a belt buckle can be customized. No trace of the word "standard" in our dictionary.
FTDF: You work with Gian Luca Bocache, a true gentleman whom we interviewed, can you tell us a little more about your partnership for Sartoria Ripense?
Andrea Luparelli: Gian Luca Bocache, Roberto Salvucci and I started as good friends, sharing a strong affinity, and lots of interests and activities; then naturally the business partnership came. The suit and the shoe live in synergy as an indissoluble pair.
FTDF: How would describe your personal style? What is your typical outfit? What are your favorite cloths? What are your favorite shoes?
Andrea Luparelli: “Sartorial” is the right word for me. Even if I can wear “jeans and sneakers” too… always with style of course! I like to wear suits but also blazers and slacks. My favorite color is definitely blue; I’m not so much into grey. My favorite outfit is a pinstriped suit, single-breasted, with highly rounded hems and sober lapels (no more than 9cm). My favorite shoe is the classic francesina (oxford shoe), rigorously black; not discarding the easier moccasin and brown color.
FTDF: Did you have style icons when you were young? If so, who were they and what so special about them as far as you were concerned?
Andrea Luparelli: If I say James Bond (both Sean Connery and Roger Moore), I guess I don’t even have to say why! But I’d also add Steve McQueen, totally different figure and icon. Just like my style, swinging between these two moods.
FTDF: Do you have any personal rules or codes when you dress?
Andrea Luparelli: My wardrobe is the rule! Nothing is casual, impromptu; style and taste rule. But I could never wear brown shoes with a blue suit.
FTDF: According to you, what is the key to being elegant?
Andrea Luparelli: Never overdoing it. I’m not for excess, extremes. Chic but not radical, that’s my moto. I believe it is essential to feel natural and comfortable in what you wear. You should be yourself in your own clothes.
FTDF: You often travel for your work. In which city do you think people are the most elegant?
Andrea Luparelli: I’d say that all of my clients are always elegant, regardless of the town they live in! I often appreciate elegance and taste while traveling abroad. But a bright spot goes to Paris, a town exuding elegance.
For The Discerning Few wishes to thank Andrea Luparelli for his availability, his simplicity and his kindness.
This interview was conducted by Virgile MERCIER and Pierre-Antoine LEVY for For The Discerning Few. Paris, May 2011. All rights reserved.