First and foremost a suit maker, Kiton proved its ability to maneuver outside the world of tailored clothing when, nearly a decade ago, the company introduced sumptuous cashmere topcoats and refined, rather than rugged, leather outerwear into its collection. Since then the brand has greatly retooled its Naples, Italy-based factory to accommodate production of shirts, casual slacks, and footwear, while buying other prestige companies to allow for expansion into denim jeans and knitwear. Nevertheless, even when it comes to casual wear, everything bearing the Kiton name keeps in mind the sartorial demands of the truly elegant gentleman. Sport shirts, for instance, are works of art made from Irish linen or featherweight cotton that incorporate expensive details like handkerchief-rolled edges and natural mother-of-pearl buttons. Slacks are cut in fine wool, cotton, or cashmere/cotton blends and softly dyed in colors exclusive to the label. Meanwhile, hand-tailored jackets and other lightweight toppers continue to be a specialty. Of note this year are the company’s new fully unconstructed leather blousons in a multitude of colors that Kiton president Antonio de Matteis calls “a cross between a sport shirt and a blazer.”
Kiton’s owner, Ciro Paone, was one of the pioneers in the development of Naples as a epicenter of handmade clothing. Working with Attolini founder Cesare Attolini and Isaia founder Enrico Isaia, the three originally were partners whose creative differences drove them each to start his own respective fashion businesses.