Some special places give birth to stories… Schio and Leogra Valley (North of Vicenza, Venice area), this ancient land of woollen-mills (as described by G.L. Fontana in his good book Acqua e Lana, edited by Sogema-Marzari, Schio) arose and grew the passion for good fabrics and the vocation for tailoring in Silvio Zanella, our founder.
At the beginning of fifties Silvio Zanella -only twelve years-old- became the tailor’s-boy at the tailor’s shop of his small village at the foot of the mountains. He learnt from his master how to draw, cut, sew and also took care of the home service, walking on the paths through the woods to reach even the farthest lonely hamlets.
In 1957 he went to Schio to work with one of the tailors of the town, where he could improve his technique. In 1960 Silvio started as a tailor and received his first order from a customer, a black and white hound’s-tooth check jacket. He hadn’t a tailor’s shop yet and he sewed that jacket at home, giving it the whole fondness of the craftsman who creates his work. He was very excited and a photo witnesses it.
In 1966 he got married and opened his tailor’s shop, Sartoria Silvio Zanella: two rooms inside his house in Schio. He had few means but so much enthusiasm! In those years most of men trusted the skilful hands of the tailor and visited his tailor’s shop at least for their special occasions. In 1970 he attended a course for pattern-makers because he really wanted to meet his customers’ different requirements.
The business expanded and in 1976 Silvio moved into a real tailor’s shop. In the meantime his two sons were born, Dario in 1969 and Luciano in 1975: they grew up playing among fabrics and buttons and they had already chosen what their job would have been.
In the late seventies and in the eighties habits about dressing changed and most of people used to buy ready suits; nevertheless elegant men kept visiting Silvio in his tailor’s shop, since they knew the value of a tailor made suit. So in 1988 Sartoria Silvio Zanella expanded again and moved to its current place. Fairs, fashion shows… the tailor’s shop started establishing a reputation outside Venice area too.
In 1990 Dario, the elder son, entered Sartoria Silvio Zanella to work with his father: he was a young of ideas (thanks to fashion exhibitions he used to attend) and it was time to realize them. He took care of measuring, cutting, refining and home service too.
In 2000 also Luciano, the younger son, joined his father: after attending tailoring and pattern-making courses, he became the pattern-maker of the tailor’s workshop. Luciano too started his home service for customers.
In the same year Silvio was rewarded the title of “Master Craftsman Meritorious” by Associazione Artigiani of Vicenza, in recognition of his forty years of tailoring.
Time is a great healer and at the beginning of the new millennium people rediscovered made to measure suits. Silvio, Dario and Luciano Zanella, who had never lost their passion for beautiful and well manufactured suits, were rewarded by the confidence and the appreciation of old and new customers.
In 2003 Sartoria Silvio Zanella started offering home service abroad too: in the USA (San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, New York) and in the following years in Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany, Luxemburg, France, Switzerland. And as years go by, our suits arrived also furthest and were chosen by customers in Moscow, Dubai, Cairo, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing.
On February 2007 Silvio sewed his last suit: it was a pinstriped blue suit, enriched by hand-made buttonholes he was so skilful in manufacturing. He was supposed to wear it during Luxury Fair in Verona, where Sartoria Silvio Zanella had its booth. He could hardly wear it.
From then onwards his sons Dario and Luciano, his wife Clarita and the six ladies working in the tailor’s shop, helped by the passion inherited from Silvio, would have had a duty: transmitting the precious family tradition, the real Italian tailor made suit.
But now there is also someone else ready to receive this heritage, the third generation is coming… July 2015, Federico Zanella, measures his father Luciano. And the story goes on.