As the renowned family-run brand Isaia celebrates its 60th anniversary, president Gianluca Isaia is honoring the legacy of his father, Enrico Isaia, who passed away earlier this year. Enrico was the second generation to lead the menswear company, in the process expanding the brand globally and becoming an icon in the Neapolitan tailoring world. In honor of Father’s Day, Gianluca has penned an essay for The Window reflecting on his wonderful relationship with his father and the memories they shared working together.
Everything I know about our business, I learned from my father. He was a risk-taker and pioneer in his field, taking over as a second generation from my grandfather. When my father first started working, he’d travel to New York, bringing garments along to sell out of the trunk of his car. When I was only 6 or 7 years old, I had my first “business” trip with him too. We traveled together from Napoli to Milan by car, making stops in the middle to visit with customers. That was the first time I saw how hardworking he was—truly unforgettable.
Throughout my career, I had the great fortune to travel across the globe with this man, and he taught me every aspect of the brand. One piece of advice he gave me was the latin phrase, “Etiam capillus unus habet umbram suam,” which means even a single hair casts a shadow. It’s amazing to see the evolution of the brand and how far it has come firsthand by working alongside him.
My father had a great sense of style and was one of the first members of Pitti Uomo, which he attended many times throughout his lifetime. He was always there! He loved the Neapolitan classics and took styling references from the elegant Neapolitan man as well as from Toto and the other Italian film greats. Ultimately though, my father taught me to define my own sense of style.
His legacy will always be a part of everything we do at Isaia. Every stitch and every garment are part of what he built. We carry on his legacy by working hard and never compromising who we are and our own identity—made in Napoli. We honor him by furthering the brand and business.