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Mr Luciano Barbera of eponymous tailoring label Luciano Barbera on how to dress with ‘sprezzatura’

Mr Luciano Barbera of eponymous tailoring label Luciano Barbera on how to dress with ‘sprezzatura’

With 50 years of experience in fabricating innovative, quality menswear in Biella, Italy, Luciano Barbera has become a label synonymous with the art of ‘sprezzatura’: an expression of effortless personal style.

Luciano Barbera combines exquisite craftsmanship with Italian elegance and distinct details. The label’s pillars are ‘fabrics, family and future’, with a focus on making its entire wardrobe in Italy, where the story of studied nonchalance began.

You want to express your personality through your wardrobe

Here, Harrolds interviews the namesake man behind the legacy, Mr Luciano Barbera, on the evolution of tailoring, why he “would never wear a black blazer”, and the forces that shaped his way of dressing with a “whole outfit” outlook.

Harrolds is proud to welcome this enduring stalwart of natural style into our family, and we’re honoured to present this exclusive glimpse inside the Mr Barbera’s wonderful mind.

How do you think dressing tendencies have changed and evolved in the last two years? What does this mean for tailoring?

Over the last two years, we have experienced a shift towards a more casual and relaxed way of dressing. As we know, people have spent more time at home. Due to the changes in office environment, we’re globally selling more knitwear and casualwear. As an example, in Europe, we are selling more knit and jersey blazers. In the United States, you have a mix of casual and a return to soft jackets. We predict we will be selling more soft, unconstructed sportcoats and suits going forward. With that we see a trend in bottoms as well.

We are seeing less demand for sartorial pants versus softer, more casual fits, but we have also recently welcomed the return of pleated pants. The difference for us is always made by the materials. We select our collection with only the best and most exclusive fabrics and yarns. We’re seeing that the clients keep coming back to us because of the intrinsic value of our garments.

Tailoring is evolving and the customers have become more intricate in their choices. They are looking for new things, something they have not seen before. So, we work in that direction to develope and promote new ideas. Over the last two years, people have probably realised that they need less garments in their wardrobe, but every garment needs to be very unique and special.

Luciano Barbera

Luciano Barbera

Sprezzatura represents not only a way to dress — it’s the core thought of my style

Can you explain to us what Sprezzatura is in your own words, and how it has influenced your latest designs?

Sprezzatura represents not only a way to dress — it’s the core thought of my style. It’s the capacity to mix and match your wardrobe wisely. The result is always a symphonic combination of items that co-exist harmoniously with an exceptional but distinct result, where everything superfluous and ostentatious does not have space. Simplicity and understatement are the peculiarities of my own personality, and I always communicate this to my team when designing a collection.

Where did your own bespoke style come from? Who or what shaped the way you dress yourself today?

I spent time in England during my younger years, and I learned that there is a way to respect every social or working occasion and at the same time respect the people you interact with by dressing up properly. That means balance. Balance in how you match colors and perfect how dressed up you need to be to look right and to feel comfortable and confident. I tend to dress up more than dressing down. Sometimes, I wear a tie when I play golf with my friends.

What is an outfit you always rely on to look put-together without trying too hard? Something that conveys nonchalance but coolness?

To me it’s the detail that makes the difference. I never wear a sportcoat without a pocket square. I wear my button-down shirts unbuttoned. When putting together a jacket with a shirt a tie and a pocket square, I lay several options of each on my bed and then I let my taste and instinct surprise me. Every time, I come up with a different combination. I suggest everybody to do the same. Let your taste surprise you. Have fun! You don’t want to appear, but you want to look different. You want to express your personality through your wardrobe.

When you’re really dressing up for an occasion, how do you construct the perfect eveningwear attire?

The first thing I need is to have my black shoes perfectly polished and shining. Only black shoes with laces and leather sole in the evening. If it’s a suit or a blazer (midnight blue of course — I would never wear a black blazer), then I add a white pocket square that can be either linen or silk, but never shining. I sometimes add a small, real flower to my lapel. Simplicity and attention to detail are my rules for elegance.

What does your partnership with Harrolds mean? What do you hope Luciano Barbera will bring to Australian style across Melbourne and Sydney?

We are so happy that Luciano Barbera is represented in the beautiful Harrolds stores, the undoubted retail leader in the Australian luxury market. In addition to the quality of purchases and exposuret, Harrolds have have perfectly understood the spirit of the Luciano Barbera world and style. At Luciano Barbera, we never thought of a single product. We have always tried to put together entire outfits and help the clients to build their own wardrobe. From the way Harrolds puts together their buy, we are on the right track.

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