This is Giovanni Barberis Organista, tailor to the Vitale Barberis Canonico family. The two families are only distantly related (the last two names are both surnames, indicating a split at some point). More importantly, Giovanni’s family have made suits for the VBC family for three generations.


Giovanni has been working as a tailor since 1955. His grandfather started the tradition when he became a tailor in 1875. “It’s wonderful to that living memory, to have worked with someone who made suits in the 19th century,” he says.


Today, Giovanni is semi-retired, making around three suits a week with his wife for help. He trained in Turin, though he says he “should have gone to Savile Row 60 years ago to train with the best, as they were then”.

Giovanni has a collection of old artifacts, including the canvas you can see below, which dates from the end of the 19thcentury. It was for a morning coat – it slims down noticeably towards the bottom. As ever with artifacts like this, the diminutive size is striking.



Giovanni also has a great collection of magazines going back to 1913. Below you can see some of his collection of ‘Le Stile Maschile’, an old Italian series. More on those at a later date.