When Lino Pommella was just a 13-year-old boy in Naples, Italy, he began learning the craft of trouser-making from his father, a local tailor. He eventually landed himself a plum gig at the famed Neapolitan tailor Rubinacci in London, where he spent the last decade as their main cutter specializing in trousers before jumping ship to launch his own eponymous label with filmmaker Gianluca Migliarotti—known for his films on tailoring O’Mast and I Colori di Antonio—last year. “I’m very passionate about this business. I’m passionate about tailoring and menswear in general,” says Migliarotti. “I’ve been a bespoke customer since I was 18. My father was a big bespoke guy, and I would go to the shops with him when he was doing fittings and I developed more passion than him. But one thing that never really worked for me were the trousers.”
After meeting Pommella at Rubinacci, where Migliarotti had a pair of trousers made, all of that changed. “When I tried Lino’s trousers, it was the first time that I found a trouser I liked. They were super comfy. It’s like I don’t even feel the trousers when I’m wearing them. And can I say this stupid thing? I feel cool. They’re tailored enough but not too much.” Not long after, Pommella’s eponymous label Pommella Napoli was born. “There are not many good trouser makers around, so we said, ‘That slot is open. Let’s go.’”
Pommella’s signature style is a one-pleat trouser that has all the expertise of Neapolitan tailoring without being too short or too tight. These are classic trousers, tailored to perfection but with wearability and comfort in mind. “You need to feel comfortable and look comfortable in your clothes, but also not too large,” says Migliarotti, who helps direct the fittings as Pommella doesn’t speak English. “The trouser that Lino makes is very consistent and comfortable, yet stylish. We try to be a little smarter, too—not just classic. You can play with a choice of fabric and the cut and something smarter comes out.”
The bad news: If you want to try a pair, you’re going to have to wait. Pommella’s bespoke trousers are only available in the U.S. when its founders are stateside. The duo was in New York City last month when they briefly set up shop at The Armoury for two days before heading to San Francisco and Chicago. They come to the U.S. just four times a year, but they will be back in New York City on November 15, 16, and 17.
The good news: “When Lino is in town, a customer can come in and be measured for trousers and he cuts them that night, and the customer can be fitted the next day,” says Jim Parker, shop manager of The Armoury NYC and its resident style expert. “The process is essentially cut in half from months to just weeks.” On top of that, Parker and The Armoury’s founder, Mark Cho, worked with Pommella to create an exclusive collection of ready-to-wear pants that up the ante on the label’s signature style. The trousers come without belt loops and instead feature an adjustable D-ring closure, inspired by Frank Sinatra’s off-center way of wearing belts with the buckle situated just above the pocket. Each pair is cut slim with a clean line throughout the leg and finished with handmade details like hand-sewn buttonholes and bar tacks. “We want to define our own style, and you can do this with the one pleat or the higher waist, but also playing with colors and fabrics,” says Migliarotti. “But still classic.”
While Pommella started its ready-to-wear line with The Armoury and is currently developing ready-to-wear for the South Korean boutique, Testoria, its full ready-to-wear collection is slated to be available on its website sometime next month. “We’re global, but not with too many partners,” says Migliarotti. “We try to pick the few good ones and that’s it.”