Meet Francesco, one of the expert tailors behind your STPLs
Where did it all begin?
‘I was born in Trento, a beautiful medieval town in the Italian Alps surrounded by vineyard covered hills and majestic mountain peaks. My grandmother Rosetta’s family were all tailors and she was constantly making bespoke pieces for her husband Antonio as well as for herself.
Antonio is the one who taught me the importance of suiting up for the occasion, corduroy trousers and flannel shirts for manual works, suits for everything else.
My passion for design pieces came from my other grandmother Clizia, I cannot remember a single moment when she was not impeccably dressed and accessorized.
I always liked to design and create things with a sort of innate natural attraction towards artisanal works. Once I graduated from design school I tried my hand at an office job but it was not for me, after obtaining a qualification in E-Quality management I left and went straight to garment pattern and cutting school.
What was your next move?
I studied for two years at the Bologna branch of the renowned Carlo Secoli institute in Milan which would prove vital for my understanding of silhouettes, shapes and style.
I then spent over six years honing my skills and developing my knowledge at Casa d’Arte Lo Bosco in Milan.
One day I would have to make the pattern and cut a bespoke suit in the morning and then in the afternoon I would be making historical costumes for the Arena di Verona, other days I could be creating a wedding dress in the morning and a giant mascot costume in the afternoon.
The variety of work was great and I could really test, in depth, all the aspects that concern any creation; how it looks, how it feels and how practical it is.
In Milan I was really able to learn and understand the tailoring art of the Italian styles; the lightweight Neapolitan silhouette and the more structured but naturally outlined Milanese style.
Why did you decide to move to London?
For me the natural next step was to move to London.
Whilst in Italy I had the opportunity to see some excellent examples of English tailoring, moving to London would enable me to understand the English style from the masters of the art themselves.
I spent my first year and a half in London learning the English style whilst working at Graham Brown and Choppin & Lodge. I then joined Cad and the Dandy, a modern tailoring company, first in their city store and then as manager of the flagship shop on Saville Row. Besides honing my skills at a truly world class modern tailor my time at Cad and the Dandy gave me an understanding of the importance of communication and brand image.
When did you decide to start your own Bottega?
After two and a half rewarding years at Cad and the Dandy, I decided I wanted to go solo and work on my own ideas of ‘clothing’. We all have different tastes and styles so why standardize it and then make it ‘bespoke’?
I wanted to really put the client in the driving seat and create pieces that really work for them and their lifestyle.
I started in my living room, I would design, cut and make bespoke suits there and travel to my client’s offices or homes for consultations and fittings. Of course, this was not ideal but the whole concept of the Bottega is based on natural business growth.
After a year and a half, I was able to move the bottega to a space in Angel. I spent a year here, sharing the premises with other professionals in the clothing industry.
I learned a lot from an experienced womenswear alteration tailor and a navigated presser/cleaner, two aspects I was missing from my portfolio and gave me a much greater understanding of ‘after-care’ that I could share with my clients.
When did the Bottega move to its current home?
I needed a more central location in order to be more accessible for my UK clients and clients from abroad.
In 2019 I moved the Bottega to 26 Kingly Street and have been there ever since.
My studio full of natural light pouring in from the huge bay windows and surrounded by artisans is the perfect place to continue my journey.