Luca Avitabile shirtmaker

 
Customers of Luca Avitabile – the superb Neapolitan shirtmaker introduced on this site – will already be aware that he has split from Gabriella, his partner at operating company Satriano Cinque.

As per usual, any back-biting should be largely ignored. Gabriella and Luca simply wanted different things – the former to pursue women’s fashion at home in Naples, the latter to cater to male bespoke customers abroad. Any payments due on orders made with Luca before September should be paid to Satriano Cinque – it seems all customers have received emails to that effect. Any made since then can be done with Luca individually. 

It has been a pleasure to see Luca develop a customer base in London, and to meet many of them on the way to or from appointments. He is, from my experience, the best value Italian shirtmaker currently visiting London, and it has been interesting to see customers explore materials they wouldn’t normally have access to from RTW – jersey, pique, linen mixes. 
 

Luca Avitabile shirtmaker naples

 
Luca and Luigi (Solito, Neapolitan tailor) are visiting London again on October 23-25. This will be a particularly special visit, as Luigi’s father, the master tailor Gennaro Solito, will also be coming from Naples. 

The two are now camped out in the Traveller’s Club, on Pall Mall. A jacket and tie would normally be required to enter the Club, but because the Italians are located in the basement the rule does not apply – rather ironic, given this is one group of men that would likely take pleasure in the application of such a rule. 

All communications with Luca should use the address [email protected] If anyone has any questions about the service or my choices with his shirts and materials (about a dozen so far) please let me know in the comments below.
 

Luca Avitabile shirtmaker bespoke

 
Photos: Luke Carby

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Michael

How much do shirts typically cost? And what are the outstanding features that make Luca’s shirts distinctive from, say, Turbull and Asser or other UK shirtmakerts?

Thanks

mike

does Luca require a minimum order?

Rob o

Hi Simon, may I ask if they will work CMT with customer-supplied linen? Is there a minimum order quantity and what is the price range please?

Anonymous

Simon,
I’ve recently commissioned Luca for a few shirts to start, with a view to ordering more at a later date. Since you have several shirts, are you able to share your experience with respect to shrinkage? I know this question may not be straightforward as he does use a variety of cloth bunches but your thoughts would be appreciated.
Best regards and keep up the good work on the blog!

BespokeNYC

Really hope this means Luca will start doing New York visits now – it’s surprisingly difficult to get high quality, good value shirts made here!

Jackson Hart

Hi Simon, I am deeply sorry for opening up this thread, but do you launder your own shirts? As I pay more and more for shirts, I am hesitant to using a cleaners – as we called them in the US. Eventually, something will go wrong. It’s inevitable. But the time it takes to iron is causing me to take chances I’d rather not take. Many places in NYC will hand wash and fold them for $8US. But that’s exorbitant. What do you do?

R

Simon,

What would be your recommendations for some interesting winter shirts to go with grey and blue odd jackets – any particular style, fabric, colours you’d recommend?

R

Thanks, Simon. How about Luca’s polo shirts for winter – albeit in a heavier cloth than those for the summer?

luca

Hi Simon, i would like to thanks readers for their interest in my work, yes me and Luigi Solito would love to visit NY for few bespoke events but we need to reach a minimum number of customers to do that.
Thanks again
Luca

Mohammed Hussain

Please jot my name down as a customer for both Luigi Solito and yourself if you gentlemen decide to come to New York.

J

Hi Luca,
I’m based in Manhattan and I’m certainly interested in placing an initial order of 2-3 shirts if you plan to visit.

Anonymous

I believe Turnbull & Asser have a beautiful store in New York matter of fact I know they do.

David

When will your next book be published, Simon?

Sir Fopling Flutter

I wonder if you could write a little more about their bespoke polo shirts. You have mentioned them several times, commenting on them as part of an outfit, but I don’t believe you’ve ever given many details on them.

J

Be careful about America though, I have heard of many horror stories with small traveling tailors where people don’t bother to turn up for appointments.

Apparently this is not so much a problem in the Far East and Europe.

Matt

As this is bespoke as opposed to MTM do you know when Luca will be returning to the UK to conduct a fitting?

Many thanks
Matt

Matt

I didn’t put that very well, I meant when was he returning after the October trip? Does Luca intend to return in 3/6/12 months?

Thanks again

edouard

I am in NY and i’d be interested in meeting Luca and his friends if they show up (and yes, i do show up at previously made appointments…)

TC

Have they every failed to keep an appointment (I don’t get the last post)? How many fittings does it take/what’s the turn around time like?

S

Simon,

As regards prices I suppose you should clarify that the EUR180 figure is without VAT. When I first saw Luca in June and ordered my first shirt, and when I saw him again in November and ordered more, both times I was quoted prices starting at EUR220 (incl VAT).

Thanks,
S

Michael

Hello Simon,

following your advice I had a shirt made by Luca when I was in Naples a few years ago. The result was a bit ambivalent, the collar is fantastic, it looks very good but the fit on the body needs to be worked on. However I would like to give it a second try. But how do I find Luca now in Naples? Does he have a shop?

Regards

Michael

Anonymous

Simon,
I’ve been trying to contact Luigi Solito on the following email address:
[email protected]
I’m having difficulty in corresponding via email with him. Never seem to get a reply. Are you able to assist by confirming his email if that is possible? I have no such problem with emails being returned from Luca.

Yevs

I’ve met Luca on my travels to Napoli last year a d commissioned a couple of summer shirts to see how they turn out. A very nice and friendly guy to deal with, speaks good English; turn-around time has been somewhat terrible – the first shirts took almost 4 months to arrive, and I had to do a refitting on an ad-hoc trip to Napoli later in the year as my measurements were lost. Both shirts turned out excellent in the fit, much better than I expected. One shirt, however, had quite a terribly fused collar that split after a couple of washes and had to be sent back in January for repairs. Awaiting for it to come back, still, will be interesting to see how the replacement collar will work. Luca has been keeping in touch via whatup so I am not worried about the shirt, just slightly upset that the workmanship was sloppy and I had to go into the expense of covering the return courier and waiting time…on the balance, I’d recommend trying, as if all works out, you will get a very nice shirt for quite a good price. Just be realist info about hiccups that do happen in this business quite often, from my experience.

facebook_Vincenzo Cariello.477566852428663

I had an appointment with Luca but he did not show up .
The following week I again meet with him and when I went to him , he told me to come back later .
But this man is a serious and professional ?
I only lost valuable time.
I do not recommend him.

DKP

Simon – it’s been some time since this article was originally posted so wanted to ask if Luca still has no minimum order and if pricing has vastly increased. Many thanks

Moez

Hi Simon. One quick question about Luca, vs. other shirtmakers. I’ll be in Napoli in a couple of weeks, and i wondering whether to try out Luca or Salvatore Piccolo. Any thought/advice about both, differences in quality, pricing (though, my understanding is that they’re roughly at the same price range). Thanks much. Moez.

Jonny

Hi Simon,
I was wondering if you still used Luca for shirts and if you had any new thoughts on him or if any of your previous thoughts have changed? I think I’m going to book an appointment with him when he’s in London next month but wanted to check if you had any updated opinion or information to offer!

Jonny

Hi Simon,
Thank so much, I’m booked in with Luca in Pall Mall and very much looking forward to it. This will be my first bespoke shirt. Would you have any interest in writing some pieces along the lines of ‘what to expect in your first bespoke visit’, be it for shirt/suit/shoes. I understand from reading your blog and others that there are a lot of options and variables (from collar fusing, to button thickness, to shoulder shirring etc), but am not sure which of these are for the customer to specify, or simply applied as ‘house style’.

Jim Moreno

Approximate price of bespoke Luca Avitabile shirt

Anonymous

What should men do about pronounced nipples/man cleavage showing through dress shirts? Little is mitigated with an undershirt and it’s quite embarrassing to wear a dress shirt alone. Do you have any tips Simon?

Peter

Hi Simon,

I finally decided to try bespoke. My first order will be a shirt with Luca. Before doing so I want to be as prepared as possible. Can you please address my questions?

1. Does Luca explain all available options like collar styles, cuff styles, button types, front placket types, shirt shoulder (spalla camicia) et cetera?
2. To what extent does Luca guide you through all available options?
2 a) Does Luca advise which collar style suits best?
2 b) I do not wear a watch yet. Should I ask Luca to take into account a future dress watch while choosing the right cuff size?
3. I am looking for a relatively slim fit shirt. However, the fit should definitely not be too slim. It is difficult to explain in words what I like. How can I best explain my preference? Is this usually done in the fitting phase?
4. What should I pay attention to during the first (measurement) and second appointment (first fitting)?
5. A friend who tried bespoke several times advises me two things:
6 a) to never pay until the product is finished as I want it. Do you agree?
6 b) to write down what has been discussed and decided and give a copy to the tailor. It feels uncomfortable, but he stresses it keep things clear. Do you agree?
7. What other tips do you have?

Peter

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your reply.

I have not read or watched what you have done before on shirt fittings. After reading your article and watching the excellent video some of my questions were answered. I noticed DKP posted a reply as well. His answers are very comprehensive and really helped me. I am going to make an appointment with Luca soon.

DKP

Peter – I don’t know if you’ll find this useful but I had my first bespoke experience with Luca so can offer some perspective. Firstly, I think it’s completely understandable to be a little nervous and perhaps even a little worried you’re going to do something “wrong”. As much as you can, try to let go of that. Luca is very good at putting you at ease. He very much wants to make sure you’re happy and he’s a craftsman who takes his craft seriously. To try to answer some of your specific questions:

1. Luca didn’t volunteer all available options to me but that’s because I arrived with a fairly clear idea of what I wanted but if I really didn’t know where to start, all I would have to do I suspect is ask. Ask him what collar styles are available, ask what he thinks might suit you. Tell him how you’ll wear the shirts most often. As an example, I ordered a button down and a spread for my first order (there’s a two shirt minimum for your first order). I explained that the spread would mostly be worn without a tie but I’d like to be able to wear it with one as well. The result, was exactly what I’d hoped.

2. With regards to fit, I think I know what you’re describing and in my experience, it’s what you’ll get with Luca. The shirt was “tailored” but not tight. That said, once I received the shirts, I did feel one of them could be a bit looser in the middle and so Luca is adjusting it for me.

3. During your fist appointment, I wouldn’t say there’s much to “pay attention to” exactly. Try to come with some clarity around what you want. If you find it helps to have some notes of questions, bring them (I didn’t find that necessary but everyone is different). The first appointment was really about me communicating and deciding on what I wanted and for Luca to take measurements. At the second appointment, Luca had a template shirt for me to try on. This allowed him to see how his measurements had translated and for me to get an idea of fit which already very good. He noted some minor adjustments.

4. With regards to what your friend advised, I can’t agree. To begin with, for your first order (of two shirts), Luca will ask for you to pay half. I think this is entirely reasonable. I would also find it quite strange to write down everything that had been discussed and hand a copy to him as though he’s being given a copy of an affidavit. Just have a conversation with him. If you’re concerned about keeping it all clear for yourself, just run through it at the end with him, e.g. “Ok, so I’m going with the white poplin Thomas Mason fabric with a spread collar, single button barrel cuffs, etc.” The man is a professional who does this every day. It really will be ok

5. Bespoke does not equal perfection. At least not in my very limited experience. What it does equate to is a high level of craftsmanship, a relationship with the person creating your commission, the ability to adjust and iterate. This is what should lead to the best fitting/looking shirt(s) you’ve ever owned.

6. Lastly, Luca’s English is very good. His team can and will correspond with you over email if you forget something or have a question. I wouldn’t abuse that fact but my point is, you’re not going to be cast adrift following your appointments. I think you’re making a very good choice in having Luca create your first bespoke pieces. Enjoy the process!

Peter

Peter, I would like to thank your for your kind words and thorough answers!