Good Italian

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Caruso’s new flagship store brings the best of Italy to New York.

Patrons who enter Caruso’s polished new men’s store in Manhattan—even those who might be unfamiliar with the company’s history—will immediately recognize the brand’s origins. A large-scale intarsia work by the artist Giuseppe Amato greets clients, and memorabilia and images of Milan’s legendary opera house, Teatro alla Scala, enliven the VIP room, where staff members pour a variety of Italian wines. The store’s meticulous design reflects the aesthetic sensibilities of the company’s chief executive, Umberto Angeloni, who is best known perhaps for building the Brioni brand into a global powerhouse. Even the shop’s impeccably tailored suits are displayed neatly against the walls like works of art, their duplicates stored discreetly out of sight. “I wanted to show only one piece of each kind,” says Angeloni, “so that the consumer would concentrate on the piece and really appreciate the fabric and the workmanship.” 

Every aspect of the boutique underscores Caruso’s Italian roots—all, that is, except one: its location. Angeloni’s decision to open his first store in New York rather than in his native country was strategic. He believes that American menswear consumers have always harbored a deep appreciation of Italian style—and of the Italian flair for wearing flawlessly fitted suits with casual ease. “The Caruso man is the good Italian,” he says, “a connoisseur, a gentleman, and someone whose style is something to which the rest of the world aspires.” This description might well apply to Angeloni himself, whose passions include Italian opera, fine wine, wild-boar hunting, and malt whisky, the latter being the subject of a book he recently published. 

Although the Caruso name may be new to consumers as a brand in its own right, the company has been producing men’s suits for leading luxury brands since its founding in the 1950s by the Neapolitan tailor Raffaele Caruso. In its busy atelier, artisans hand embroider buttonholes and use the finest douppioni silk to construct elegant evening jackets. Suits made using the brand’s top-quality Super 180 fabric—a textile that combines the heaviness of British wool with the softness favored by Italians—start at $4,850, while a grosgrain white dinner jacket retails for $3,050. Regardless of the type of garment, however, Caruso’s subtle details and dedication to excellence serve to remind its clientele that—in the sartorial sphere, at least—this particular Italian is more than merely good.  

Caruso, 646.757.3041, carusomenswear.com

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