Regular readers will remember the video I did for Harrod’s last year, to help them promote their quarterly made-to-measure events. At the same event this quarter, I took Kiton up on a longstanding invitation to try their MTM offering.
The product – Lasa – is actually somewhere between bespoke and MTM. A unique paper pattern is created, but there are fewer measurements than with any bespoke tailor. There is a fitting with an unfinished garment, but only one. This is somewhat similar to the RTW suits, where each is cut by hand even if dozens are being made in the same material and size.
One significant difference from the RTW suits is that the chest of the Lasa suits is hand-padded. Kiton, unusually, uses machine-padded chest canvasses for its RTW suits, despite all the handwork going in elsewhere (the buttonholes, pick stitching, lining etc).
Following the conversation around Caruso’s MTM suits on a recent post, it’s interesting to note the range of buttons, linings and cloths on offer at Kiton. Many of the cloths won’t be to everyone’s taste, but they are nearly all unique to the brand. And the lining book puts bespoke trimmings suppliers to shame. No tacky iridescence, no union jacks or skulls-and-crossbones, just scores of finely variegated colour tones. Eleven greens; seven yellows; nine reds. It makes you wonder why other lining books are so poor.
My choice of cloth is shown above: grey hopsack with a little silk in the mix; grey horn button; silver lining. Pictured below, with Francesco Trabaldo-Togna (left, tailoring buyer at Harrod’s) and Gabriele Napoletano (right, Kiton’s master tailor).
I like the fabric Gabriele is wearing on his jacket.
I am aware of the Kiton brand (RTW), but it just has always seemed like one of those crazy priced brands where one would be better getting bespoke made from even another fairly well known tailor? (Probably a discussion for another day anyway).
And I am, unfortunately, someone who can comfortably justify “luxury” purchases to myself not the usual sniping bystander.
Thanks J. You might well be right. I’ll certainly have a clearer view of that at the end of this process.
Kiton and similar Italian brands are also usually more expensive in the US than Europe (one of the reasons there are so many that have been there for a while but not in London, eg Isaia and Belvest)
On the subject of jackets 2 questions.
Firstly , although you’ve mentioned many MTM and RTW do half camas (I.e. non fused) construction, can you name those that do a ‘high arm hole ‘?
Secondly , can sleeve pitch be corrected at reasonable cost or is it not worth it as it interferes with the shoulder ?
Look forward to following the Kiton jacket.
High arm hole is often hard to find in RTW or MTM, as it requires a hand operation and more time to get in there. In know the Italians are generally better at it in high-end suits, and I remember Huntsman’s being good, but I can’t give anything like a comprehensive view I’m afraid.
Yes, pitch can be corrected. It shouldn’t mess up the shoulder but it won’t be as cheap as opening up the side seams etc
Are you familar with Kiton’s Sartorio line? I understand that this line has less hand and more machine work and is thus less expensive than the regular Kiton. If you are familar with it your analysis of the quality of the workmanship,fabrics etc would be appreciated.
I’m not Scott I’m afraid, but if I get a chance I’ll have a look and report back
Thank you sir
Hi Simon, any update on this? I’m eyeing a Sartorio by Kiton sport coat with a hefty markdown and would like to know if anybody has an opinion on the quality.
Read the review…. There are different posts on this around the site, as well as on Kiton generally
Can you comment on the price difference between Kiton RTW, MTM, and bespoke? The obvious guess? Not cheap.
Absolutely, not cheap, and this is the biggest problem.
It occurs to me, talking about the cloths etc, that a big reason for the price difference between Kiton and a bespoke tailor is the design involved in creating whole range of new cloths (plus the extra expense of ordering them in small, exclusive runs) and the design of the jacket itself – lapels, length etc.
This is something you escape with a bespoke tailor, but then some bespoke tailors are terrible at design. Kiton, like most RTW companies, has these added design expenses – which you may not want to pay for, but I understand why some guys might. It keeps the same output contemporary, fresh and interesting.
I agree completely with your comments Simon,particularly concerning some bespoke tailors being terrible at design. I’ve seen some garments that were beautifully constructed,but with just awful design,either too short,lapels too wide etc. One area of expense that isn’t talked about much or widely understood is the issue of tariffs. For example, there is a large tariff or tax on italian goods coming into the United States. This adds significantly to the price of a Kiton suit. Simon do you have information about the tariff amounts?
I like the look of that hopsack. Hopsack is something that I want to add to my summer jacket collection. Is your cloth exclusive to Kiton? Can you recommend some good generally available hopsacks that a good bespoke tailor is likely to have access to?
Is this a validation of sorts to MTM process in view of the fact that your columns are usually about the bespoke process?
How is the fit of your first Kiton MTM when compared with your first bespoke commission fromlike for example Liverano, Cifonelli etc.
I’ll post something on the Kiton first fitting in a week or two, but the short answer is no. I wasn’t that impressed with the MTM at first fitting, and it’s obviously far more expensive than similar levels of bespoke
Finally, how is the quality of the Kiton MTM when compared with your bespoke commission from Liverano, Cifonelli etc?
I can’t comment on the fit yet, given it’s not complete, but as MTM (and one done remotely from the workshop) there’s no way it will be the same as bespoke. And the make is not at the same level – certainly on the finishing