Neopolitan tailoring torch passed to - the Japanese!


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
This is an interesting piece: Young Japanese obsessed with the Neopolitan style apprenticing for years in Naples and then returning to Japan to set up shop, at a time when the Italians can't get their own young people to learn the art:

From the article:

"There are a handful of young Japanese like Ciccio, all under 40, who have aggressively pursued their passion for fine tailoring to the point of apprenticing thousands of miles away at sartorias in Naples, sometimes for years, before returning to Japan to craft handmade suits in that southern Italian city's signature style. Meanwhile, there's an acute shortage of young Neapolitans willing to take up their city's labor-intensive approach to suit-making. Almost none possess the skills or the confidence to branch out on their own, as Ciccio has done, leading to the strange possibility that, in a decade or two, the finest Neapolitan suits will be found only in Japan."

"traditional suit-making has such a strong presence in Japan...with glossy magazines devoted entirely to men's suits...Back issues of 'Men's Ex' provide the most extensive guide to Naples's lesser-known artisan tailors, surpassing anything available in English—or even in Italian."

Ciccio, who's wearing a brown suit he made himself and a white cotton scarf wrapped around his neck, says that he needs to get back to Naples every couple of years in order to recapture that city's distinctive way of seeing. "Technically, I'm much better than I ever was," he says. "But the danger is that here in Japan you get so focused on the small things that you lose that bigger perspective that Italians have."
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Super Member
I'm pretty sure I read that a few months ago, and have read a few similar articles about the Japanese beating other cultures at their own game, such as this one.

Having a direct family connection to Japan, I'm well aware of the culture's commitment to quality and precision. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more Japanese bespoke shoemakers than anywhere else in the world. I did a quick search and found a post on that other forum that must have listed over 50 of them! I am not joking.

Tim Correll

Elite Member
The Japanese should start doing English and French and tailoring, too. Perhaps they have done so already? I certainly hope so.

I agree that the Japanese do Italian (Neapolitan) tailoring better than the Italians (Neapolitans) themselves. The Japanese would do English tailoring way better than the English themselves. At the same time, the Japanese would do French tailoring about as well as the French themselves.

Personally, I prefer French and A&S style English tailoring to Italian (Neapolitan) tailoring. Of course, when I say English tailoring (outside of the previous sentence that I used), that would equally be A&S Style, H. Huntsman style and the 1/2 way point between the 2 (which, IIRC, is Maurice Sedwell style).
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What about young Japanese setting up shop in the U.S.? Not that I have any complaints about certain Indian or Korean tailors! ;)

I think they would have a hard time finding a market. I don't think their business of $4,500 imitation Neapolitan sport jackets would translate that well to the U.S. It's precisely because Korean and Indian tailors can offer acceptable tailoring at much lower prices that they have found a market.


Moderator and Bon Vivant
Good point. Businessmen who want to swank about their bespoke suits probably fly to London or Naples from NY. I can't imagine anyone flying anywhere for a suit from L.A. though they might get clothes made up by traveling Savile Row tailors.

Tim Correll

Elite Member
Apparently this place specializes in British style tailoring.

Seriously...anything you'd want in this world you'll find, and in abundance, in Japan., especially in a place like Tokyo.

Thank you again, Spex. :) The Japanese may be copycats and unoriginal, but they do it best, especially when it comes to bespoke tailoring, electrical systems, electronics and, in many (but by NO means, all) cases, vehicles.

Apparently, it is not only the Italian (Neapolitan) tailoring torch being passed to the Japanese. The French tailoring and English tailoring (again, all 3 types of English tailoring equally) torches are also being passed to the Japanese.
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I just took a closer look at this guy Chiccio's suits, and they're obviously no good! The gorge isn't on top of the shoulder and buttoning stance isn't mid-sternum! Further, his suits actually have a relaxed fit and he looks comfortable wearing them!

Oh, the humanity!!!

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