Jose Maria Reillo was one of the tailors I visited recently in Madrid. As elsewhere in the city, I was impressed by both the standard of work – which rarely gets any attention – and the innovative attitude.
The Reillo style can be seen from the side-on picture of Jose Maria below: soft shouldered with a large sleevehead but minimal drape. I love the sweep of the collar up his neck.
As to innovation and versatility, there is a pretty stark contrast between the formality of the morning coat on display and the half-lined sports jacket next to it – featuring a ‘spalla camicia’ or shirt shoulder. The waistcoat of the former is delicately made, with the inset in the corner of the hip pocket giving it that touch more prominence. The feel of the latter, with tab collar and loose-weave fabric, is of a knitted cloak about the shoulders.
Reillo also does ready-to-wear, all made to the same specifications as bespoke, and there are other innovative touches there, such as the patch ticket pocket below. RTW starts at €1500, compared to €2500 for bespoke, though the RTW line may be stopped when Reillo moves location shortly. “The future is definitely in bespoke. People are starting to understand,” he says.
The innovations are particularly appreciated by English clients – he travels to London occasionally to see them. The Spanish tend to be too conservative. And younger clients are pushing the presumptions of a tailor that has been working for over 40 years. “They want to raise the gorge, to work with lighter fabrics and have casual jackets for Fridays,” says Jose Maria.
“But it’s all good. You have to change, you have to provide what the new generation wants. That’s how you establish a relationship, the most valuable thing about bespoke. You can’t do that if there’s no conversation.”
A warm man, quick to smile, and a lot younger than his years suggest.