Tailoring Talk with Sciamat

LUXOS talks with Nicola Ricci, co-founder of menswear brand Sciamàt, on tailoring the bespoke experience in Milan.

Italians have an innate ability to create masterpieces ex nihilo. Home to craftsmanship and an envied lifestyle, it’s no surprise that the simplest collection of recipes equated to become one of the world’s most beloved cuisines. Much like the mouth-watering dishes comes the sense of style; mastery in the stroke of a needle and thread. With the focus on menswear, creative visions are at the click of a ’follow’. With few artisans able to remodel men’s tailoring, Italy remains eternally influential amongst bespoke tailors.

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The Ricci brothers, along with Valentino’s wife Silvana and friend of the brand, Pippo set out on a creative voyage inspired by a lack of new ideas in sartorialism. Their notion was to create unique pieces that can be worn everyday; and so Sciamát was born in 2002. Sat with serenity at their Milan showroom on a dusky afternoon, Nicola Ricci wears a blue, double-breasted two-piece with a contrasting rust check. In one glance, I understand it’s more than clothing; it’s art. “We work with clients from all over the world. Each one is different. Working as a tailor isn’t just about the fabrics and style, but also working with characters. An American has ideas that someone from Japan doesn’t, this is a challenge but something we embrace.”

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Despite a bold aesthetic that menswear connoisseurs are in awe of, Nicola has an excitement to be innovative, like a young pilot on his first flight. He talks with the client about the style, fabric and form; he takes all the measurements at the showroom and conducts all the fittings. Valentino, his brother, lives in their hometown of Bitonto, Puglia, and manages the tailoring house, doing all the cutting of fabric by hand.

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Born from an extraordinary vision, the Sciamàt experience isn’t there to tell you how to dress. Said with enthusiasm, “Our passion is what drives us. We use craftsmanship to create what our customers want. We propose our ideas, and produce the garments together without losing our DNA. It’s like Frank Sinatra singing ‘Yellow Submarine’; the performance is original and evokes a certain sentiment.”

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“Our trademark is our style of patch pocket, known as a ‘sciabolata’. It is the bucket pocket at the hip of a Sciamàt jacket,” explains Ricci. The bespoke maestri are renowned for extreme lapels and British draping, making their details hard to imitate. “We create designs and cut without a canvas, this gives our suits the ability to be rolled, well dressed, folded and even when stowed away, come out relatively crease free.”

A Sciamàt suit is light, and when worn, gives the illusion that it’s structured; however, it is made with no structure at all. Their distinct shoulder is created without any padding. The fabric is, instead, beautifully formed through heating, stretching and shaping. Sciamàt’s garments goes beyond suits and include coats, ties, shirts and shoes, all featured in their portfolio, including a ‘ready to wear’ collection available at exclusive boutiques around the world.

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With a name as exclusive as it’s shouldering, Ricci elaborates, “We understood there wasn’t a future for a traditional ‘tailor’, nor ‘fashion’, and we didn’t want to be wearing what everyone else was seen in. In Persian, Sciamàt (‘The King is Dead’) is used at the end of a chess game. This was our model, to start something new.” Sciamàt is just a segment of the brand’s revolutionary disposition. This in mind, when asked what he would like to see in menswear, Ricci says with an intrigued grin, “Passion and curiosity, men want to dress well and I would like for them to understand the art behind tailoring, increase awareness.”

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Reaching fearless success means a number of pressures come with the territory. Nonetheless, Sciamàt’s roots stem from authenticity, a story with humble beginnings, now globally identified. “Our garments are all ‘Made in Italy’ with Italian and English textiles. We love to use British fabric for our flannel suits, such as Fox Brothers and Holland & Sherry. A customer that wants Sciamat, that’s happiness. Everyday we’re filled with the same passion we had when we began.”

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