It’s not often you get to see something entirely new from a brand with over 135 years of heritage behind it. But bespoke tailoring house Cifonelli gave us exactly that when they tasked new creative director John Vizzone with introducing the brand’s first ready-to-wear collections after decades of custom-made suiting.
Cifonelli is renowned for jackets with a soft, fitted shoulder—a feature so distinct that Karl Lagerfeld once reportedly exclaimed, “I could recognize a Cifonelli shoulder from a distance of a hundred meters!” Now, Vizzone’s take on the iconic style has been updated for the ready-to-wear rather than the bespoke client, and the brand has new home at Barneys.
“My responsibility as a creative direction is to interpret the brand’s history and heritage, but to make it current,” Vizzone told us. “Picture me as a costume designer for a movie —what’s the movie that we’re making and what are we trying to say? I become a part of that storytelling, but it’s not just about what I want. It’s about what I can do for the brand and how we can continue it into the future. “
Scroll on for a sneak peek at the pieces you’ll be seeing at Barneys in the weeks to come and to learn more about the brand in Vizzone’s own words.
“When it comes to the guys I send down the runway, I put men down the runway, not boys. This brand has a very strong, masculine sensibility that speaks to a man who’s powerful and confident.”
“Menswear today has all these trends—one season it’s about big, and then small, then skinny trousers, then big trousers; we’re not really interested in all that. We’re interested in being timely and being current, but we also want someone to build a wardrobe and to have respect for both the clothes and for his own personal aesthetic. We’re creating pieces that are both timely and timeless.”
“I wanted to take the essence of the man who’ll wear a double-breasted suit with a strong shoulder for evening, but then create for him for day. He can still take that aesthetic, but be modern.”
“Who is the Cifonelli guy? He’s a guy who knows who he is. Who’s secure enough to wear a suit that’s very close to the body, and who wants something that doesn’t look like everything else out there. As the world becomes more homogenized, something that’s more unique is more appealing.”
“This was the first time we were on the official calendar for Paris Fashion Week, so we wanted to make a statement. So we started with the color palette, which was very important to me. I used the Tuscan countryside as my inspiration—a lot of grey, the color of the stones, the color of buildings there.”
“There are fewer elements when it comes to most menswear, because the things that men like are typically either military-inspired or utilitarian. So, the challenge is finding elements that are strong and that a guy can really feel comfortable wearing. For fall, our answer to that was amazing topcoats and beautiful wraps, pieces with a very movie-star-like quality.”
“We did a glamorous cashmere coats with a turtleneck and skinny corduroys with a bit of stretch, paired with Chelsea boots so that the whole silhouette was very elongated.”
“I took inspiration from skinny jeans, but did them as pants that are really long and narrow. Then I did a really tight cashmere turtleneck that’s close to the body and paired it with a riding S-coat with slanted pockets and very high vents. I took the Cifonelli guy and gave him really sexy daywear.”