Cesare Attolini: One of Naples’ Best-kept Secrets

After nearly 100 years of quietly creating high-quality Neapolitan men’s clothing, the brand’s third-generation owners are ready to step out of the shadows.

The Cesare Attolini story began in the 1930s when Vincenzo Attolini, a young tailor in Naples, broke with the Savile Row-inspired suit-making aesthetic and developed a new silhouette that eliminated the padding and shoulder pads, resulting in an entirely new light and unstructured fit. His creation would soon come to define Neapolitan style.

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At a young age, his son Cesare Attolini began working next to his father in the tailor shop, learning to cut fabrics and shape and construct the jackets his father had perfected. Cesare went on to study in Turin at one of the city’s most prestigious tailoring schools and then returned to Naples and the family business.

The art of tailoring that the Attolinis defined also passed to Cesare Attolini’s sons, Massimiliano and Giuseppe Attolini, who grew up in the business and today run the company as its president and vice president, respectively, from its headquarters in Naples.

Cesare Attolini tailor
Cesare Attolini creates both ready-to-wear and custom suits and jackets.

Until his death 1 1/2 years ago, Cesare Attolini remained active in the business. Now that he’s gone, his sons, along with chief executive officer Enrico Libani, are ready to take on a higher profile.

In a visit last week to a made-to-measure event at Bergdorf Goodman’s men’s store, where they’ve had a shop since 2023, they laid out their goal to significantly expand their retail footprint. Today, there are five Cesare Attolini stores around the world including shops in New York City, Bal Harbour and Palm Beach, Fla., in the States. The plan, they said, is to expand that number to 20 over the next six years. Cities on their radar include London, which is opening in July; Tokyo, which will open in 2026; as well as Munich, Paris, Amsterdam, Seoul, Dubai and Beverly Hills.

These cities are among the most important markets for the company, they said.

Massimiliano Attolini said that although the company has been approached by other firms offering to franchise the brand, that is a hard no. The additional stores will all be operated internally.

Maintaining a firm grip on the company is as ingrained in the family as its skill in tailoring. Cesare Attolini employs 120 artisan tailors in Naples who are trained in the specific art of creating an Attolini garment.

Each suit can take 25 to 30 hours to complete and only 30 jackets a day are produced. The ready-to-wear jackets retail for $6,500 to $7,500 while suits sell for $7,500 to $9,500. Custom garments start at 30 percent more. Each fabric is exclusive to the firm and no more than 20 pieces are made from each one.

Because of the detail and handwork in each garment, Cesare Attolini keeps its production limited to around 7,000 garments a year. As a result, it can only service a small number of wholesale accounts — around 100 worldwide.

There are no plans to significantly increase production so as more Cesare Attolini stores open, that number will be trimmed to only the most important accounts.

That will include Bergdorf Goodman, which has been a customer since 2014.

The Cesare Attolini shop at Bergdorf Goodman's men's store.
The Cesare Attolini shop at Bergdorf Goodman’s men’s store.

“For over a decade, Cesare Attolini has been an incredible brand partner for us,” said Yumi Shin, chief merchandising officer of Bergdorf’s. “The quintessential Neapolitan approach to tailoring — from easy unstructured jackets to sublime Italian fabrics — is constantly enticing to the Goodman’s customer. When we renovated our second floor, which focuses on tailoring and formalwear, we knew the new Attolini shop would be exciting for our clients who are often seeking out the kinds of refined, timeless pieces the brand offers.”

The retailer carries the full assortment of suits and luxury sportswear. Bestsellers include a blue hopsack which has been in the assortment since Day One, and a deconstructed navy blazer in a super 20s wool, Shin said.

Another key U.S. customer is Stanley Korshak in Dallas. The line was added in 2019, followed by a shop that has since doubled in size.

“Attolini is a Neapolitan brand with the finest fitting garments available for the gentleman customer,” said Crawford Brock, owner of Stanley Korshak.  “Another aspect about the brand is the fact that it is still owned and operated by the Attolini family, so our brands blend perfectly since we are a family-run retailer.”

He added that earlier this month, Korshak hosted its semi annual in-store Attolini trunk show and Giuseppe Attolini attended to meet and work with the clients. “The family develops meaningful and personal relationships with customers who buy Attolini,” Brock said. “Attolini understands how to offer a luxury shopping experience in-store and beyond.”

The Duke of Windsor in a Cesare Attolini suit.
The Duke of Windsor was partial to Attolini suits.

With so many accolades, it’s clear that Cesare Attolini could grow much larger. It currently has annual volume of 100 million euros — a fraction of the size of its luxury Italian competitors. But staying small allows the company to ensure every garment meets the high standards set by its founders.

“We feel we are an endangered species,” said Libani. “Everyone else talks in billions but we don’t believe quality and billions go together.”

Although small, the brand nonetheless has attracted the attention of some well-known men as customers over the years including the Duke of Windsor, Clark Gable and Marcelo Mastroianni. It has also been featured in films such as “The Great Beauty” and the “The House of Gucci,” where Jared Leto donned its suits.

Actor Toni Servillo in Cesare Attolini
Actor Toni Servillo wore Attolini in “The Great Beauty.”

Today, 60 percent of the production is ready-to-wear and 40 percent custom or bespoke. The core of the business remains jackets and suits but the firm also produces trousers, shirts and knitwear and outerwear in a knitwear-focused factory they purchased a decade ago in Umbria. There’s also a small factory in Naples that produces ties.

With business growing and more visibility, Massimiliano Attolini believes now is the right time to focus on trying to bring the Cesare Attolini name top of mind for the luxury male shopper.

Giuseppe and Massimiliano Attolini with actor John Malkovich.
Giuseppe and Massimiliano Attolini with actor John Malkovich.

“The time is right,” he said. “People don’t really know of us and it’s time to tell our story.”

Libani summed it up this way: “We have built the foundation, now it’s time for Cesare Attolini 2.0.”

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