UPDATE: A few people have asked for contact details to make appointments. The event is being hosted by The Armoury – it’s [email protected] and [email protected] (Zach is taking appointments and measurements for Saint Crispin’s.)
I got to know Salvatore Ambrosi a lot better in Beijing earlier in the year, when we were both at the Brio store for events. He had a strong response among customers there, which was good to see – including the odd customer ordering a full wardrobe of trousers, which we know is often what keeps bespoke makers going.
I admire Salva’s work ethic. He was coming off three weeks of travel around Asia when we met in China, and it was starting to show. Being away for that long is never easy – even if you’re effectively visiting friends.
More importantly, Salva is also trying to improve what he does. His reputation took some big knocks early on, with deliveries often late, but he seems to have learnt from that and got better. (My first order was perfectly timed, although that doesn’t mean everything was right – more of that on another, more detailed post.)
I’ve met enough second-generation Italian artisans, taking over a business their father created, to know that Salva’s work ethic is not the norm. He reminds me of Elia Caliendo in that way, who if anything is taking the quality and ambition of the business to another level than his father’s generation.
It’s also an Italian thing, and particularly a Neapolitan thing. I can say that because Italians say Italians they’re bad, and Neapolitans say Neapolitans are the worst.
Ambrosi trousers are expensive, starting at £800. But believe it or not I think that’s cheap for what they are. A good bespoke suit (say £4000) will effectively cost £1000 for the trousers. It’s one reason that good RTW or MTM trouser options, such as those at the Anderson & Sheppard haberdashery, are often so popular.
None of those trousers will be made with as many hand details as Ambrosi ones either. Those details are, admittedly, largely decorative – no trousers need quite that many tack stitches, no matter how hard you wear them. But as with many things – like Cifonelli suits or D’Avino shirts – it’s about buying the finest of the genre.
Salva is in London for a trunk show at the end of this month – July 31 from 11am-7pm, and August 1 from 11am-6pm. He will be at the Drake’s Harberdasher Street location, below the factory in east London. (As will Saint Crispin’s, represented by Zach Jobé of the Armoury.)
Pictured at the Sciamat stand at Pitti Uomo earlier in the year. Wearing flannel trousers from Edward Sexton, grey shirt from Luca Avitabile and burgundy silk tie from Loro Piana
Valentino is either listening very intently or trying to sell you on Sciamat – did you commission anything Simon?
From Sciamat? No
What’s your opinion on Sciamat? Their cut is very original, and their pieces have great handwork but…the cut?
Yes the shoulder is pretty dramatic. If I ever did, it would be for a more dressy outfit – like a dinner jacket. I look at Edward Sexton and Chittleborough & Morgan in a similar way (though to a slightly lesser extent)
I agree with Nestor – would love to hear your thoughts on Sciamat. I’m a big fan of their aesthetic, especially their (Kent-style) DBs: close fit, large upswept lapels, and usually with a spalla camicia.
Also, can you further explain this passage: “It’s also an Italian thing, and particularly a Neapolitan thing. I can say that because Italians say Italians they’re bad, and Neapolitans say Neapolitans are the worst.”
I was referring to the lack of work ethic, which many Italians admit to and Neapolitans admit to being the worst among Italians (even if it’s usually OTHER Italians/Neapolitans)
I do like your blog even if my personal style preferences seem to differ dramitically from yours. But that is not important and keep finding inspiration while following your work.
However, your statement about italian work ethic is not even a stereotype it’s worse. It’s humiliating and a disregard towards the big majority of italian artisans. I do have personal experience with lots of them, tailors as well as other artisans and I have experienced and enjoyed highest level of work ethic and noble humility with many of them.
I am an Italian living in Austria and Germany and work ethic in those nice countries is surely not superior to that in Italy.
Your additional statement about “many Italians” admitting their own lack of ethic makes it even worse for me. I am not sure I would write down all stupid things I might hear when listening to “many Germans” or “many British”.
You can do better than this. Keep doing it.
Thanks Pietro. It should perhaps not be taken that seriously. I would freely admit that most Brits lack passion, which is a stereotype. I am also probably less passionate than most Italians I know. But I am also passionate at times – these are all small differences, taken from big averages
I thought Simon was commissioning a Sciamat item there for a sec but read the comments.
It’d be interesting to see your final commission on Ambrosi.
That should be ready in a couple of weeks
Funnily enough, in the past weeks I had been thinking about what you might say of Salvatore Ambrosi’s trousers. So I’m delighted you have decided to send a post dedicated to this House. From my perspective, I think their trousers are most effective for those who are not suits wearers, but who are interested in high end trousers that could match equally high end jackets (blazers).
That’s a good call – one point I didn’t make was that Salva has a real sense of style, which of course most tailors don’t. That is particularly helpful in picking cloths for odd jackets
If Naples were like Turin (Northern industrial) the artisnal tailoring culture may well have disappeared. Geography aside, I love Salvatore’s herringbone coat, could you provide any detail Simon?
Yup. Forget the trousers, that herringbone jacket is pretty sweet. I’d like details too, just to know. I wouldn’t be able to wear it, doesn’t get cold enough here, but really just wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
The coat is from Sartoria Formosa…
Do you have any experience with Sartoria Formosa?
The only sad thing to me – and this is purely a matter of taste – is that each picture i see of Ambrosi is not a positive advert for his trousers which is why i take to task Simon’s opinion that he has a real sense for style.
Most trousers i see in pics he has made for others are works of art and fit their wearers exceptionally; on him ( at least most of the internet pics i have seen),they are the antipodean of that with their high-waters, pulling at the calves and ankles, awkward shapes etc
Amrosi is overpriced and not better then Pasquale mola or anticosartoria leonardi.
Try them Simon. They have no name but VERY good Napoletano
Thanks Timofey, I will.
I presume they don’t travel? (That inevitably, and for me acceptably, puts up the price)
Simon, they travel. 90 % of my orders was actually made in Japan and Moscow during they trip
His trousers used to be around 400€ , later 600€ back in Napels, then he went on the road and charged 800€, now 1200€. 50% increase over 2 years, whish my salary increased this fast. Shows what iGent-popularity can do for you.
Absolutely agree. The same pantalone or even better you can order from Napoletano Sarto for 400-500 euro. These Sarto are also travel.
I heard a lot of things on styleforum that put me off. Seems like a lot of unhappy customers
Yes as i said that was a problem and continues to be to some extent. It has improved though
A completely off topic question:
I am thinking about buying a document case from Swaine Adeney (http://www.swaineadeneybrigg.com/store/swaine-adeney/document-cases/westminster-2 – in Dark brown, with a round lock). I am going to have my initials embossed. I think it would be best to have the initials on a place that is hidden when the case is closed. What do you think is the best positioning taking this into account? I would ve really happy for any input!
Good call. I would do it on the front of the case, but underneath the flap, just above where the lock is
Thanks! That’s a great spot. Quick follow up question: gold or blind embossing? The lock is going to be gold-colored.
I like blind embossing. It’s subtler
Is there a final article on the Ambrosi trousers?
Yep, coming next week…
Hello simon i am thinking bespoke pant at hongkong i know ambrosi is very high rises pants and i prefer standard but little high rise pants in this case would you recommend it?
Ambrosi can do a good mid-rise too, yes