Every week, some well-informed gentlemen from around the world pay a visit to Florence not to see the David or Uffizi but to have themselves dressed by maestro Antonio Liverano in his sartorial atelier on via dei Fossi.
Liverano & Liverano is a thundering name in the tailoring menswear world. Revered as one the last masters in Florentine tailoring school, Liverano has a strong personal style, which attracts sartorial enthusiasts around the globe.
Italians are known for their sartorial savoir-faire. Two main schools of Italian tailoring are the Roman school and the Neapolitan school. Neapolitan style is worldwide known for its prominent spalla camicia shoulder and the lightness of its jacket. Some illustrious tailoring houses, including Kiton and Isaia, are of Neapolitan school origin. Generally speaking, northern Italy’s tailoring style will be heavier and more structured. And if you go south, due to the hot weather and more laid-back culture, jacket tend to be lighter and unstructured. And then, in the centre of Italy, there is the Florentine school, which is comparatively less known by international audiences due to its rather reserved and harmonious aesthetic.
Fortunately, there is Liverano. Maestro Antonio Liverano has been working in the tailoring business for over 70 years. His first job was to prepare the irons for tailors in the morning when he was only 8 years old. Starting from a humble beginning, he gradually developed consummate skills and a prominent personal style based on the Florentine tailoring school. He has been through many hardships during his career, including the world war and the booming of the ready-to-wear industry, which decimated most tailoring houses in town. However, his sheer belief in the value of bespoke tailoring never waved. He has a strong vision of what kind of man he intends to be since day one. With that strong will, Antonio not only survived the ups and downs but also thrived Liverano & Liverano as a worldwide recognised mecca for bespoke tailoring.
Antonio’s unique style is crucial in making Liverano & Liverano where it is today. People visit Liverano not just to order a new jacket or suit but to have themselves dressed by the maestro. Antonio called himself a “bad boy”. He smiles a lot and makes jokes during our conversations. His character echoes his choice of clothing: He prefers rougher fabrics like tweed over soft cashmere. Besides, Liverano’s penchant for colours is famous among his clients, who would happily adopt his style suggestion and try on brighter colours that they usually wouldn’t choose. And the result the always pleasant.
Six days a week, Liverano would stand in front of his cutting table to do the work and guide young tailors in the house. It is almost unimaginable for someone at the age of 85. But retirement seems to be an idea that never crossed his head. As a man who always looks forward, he told me he is not attached to the past. Instead, what he focuses on are the present and the future. When I asked what drives him to keep going, he replied: “It’s the passion”.
In our conversation, Antonio shared with me his ideas about bespoke tailoring, his source of inspiration, and he offered pieces of advice for the younger generation who are interested in bespoke. I hope you enjoy the interview.