Ever wondered why your Dolce & Gabbana jacket fits you so well but the Gucci just isn’t right? Well, it’s Antonio Bracciani’s fault.
Bracciani is not a designer, a marketer or a manager. He is a fit model. And most of the clothes in the retail collections of Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Z Zegna and Calvin Klein Collection have been made to fit his body. Not yours, not mine, but his.
So if you happen to be 72″ tall with a 33″ waist, have a 39″ chest and 38″ hips, and exactly 18.5″ shoulders with a 15.7″ collar, everything will fit you. (184cm tall with an 84cm waist, 100cm chest and 98cm hips, 47cm shoulders and a 40cm collar.) Otherwise it will always be a little bit off.
These proportions are scaled up to the various chest and waist sizes used to classify jackets and trousers. So the precise measurements are less important than the ratios – if you are that little bit bigger than Antonio in every area, the suit might still fit you perfectly.
Antonio has kept the same figure he had when he was 18, through a steady diet and exercise regime. He spends most of his working days standing very still, having clothes fitted on him for hours on end. A slightly unusual occupation, but one that leaves plenty of time for planning his future – setting up an agency for fit models and other unsung jobs in the industry, like pattern cutters. Because you’re not going to stay the same size forever. (Although Armani’s current fit model is 55-years old – Antonio is only 32.)
Antonio is interviewed in the Spring/Summer 2009 edition of Fantastic Man, which has the best quality of writing of any of the men’s quarterly/bi-annual titles. Unfortunately, little of it is about style, but at least the journalism is good. And the piece in question was by Charlie Porter, probably the most consistently worth reading of British style writers.
The Seasonals section at the back of the magazine, however, deserves mention for other reasons. It is normally an insightful look at the various clothes and accessories that could make up an outfit for the season. This time the model wears tight, mid-thigh denim shorts, with a skin-coloured vest tucked in. Over the top is a cream sweater with a slashed neck and hemline that stops way short of the belly button. Finish it off with a white, shapeless Mac. Apparently.