When tailor Ciro Paone founded the Neopolitan design house of Kiton in 1956, he already had an immaculately honed aesthetic. This was thanks not only to the fact that he was reared as the son of fifth-generation fabric merchants, but also due to a personal love of art and beauty that he’d cultivated during his childhood days spent wandering galleries near his home. This love of art led to him purchasing pieces for his own home and, eventually, to filling Kiton’s offices with his finds. Today, we take an inside look at this eclectic and wide-ranging collection that mirrors the refinement and beauty of the fashion house.
“Working in a place surrounded by works of art educates the sense of beauty and helps every day in finding inspiration,” says Antonio De Matteis, who is both CEO of Kiton and Paone’s nephew. “People say that Kiton garments are works of art themselves, so we believe there is a strong connection between the two.”
Housing both Kiton’s headquarters—its offices, atelier, showroom, and tailoring shop—and the art collection is a gorgeous space on Milan’s Via Pontaccio that was once headquarters of iconic Italian designer Gianfranco Ferrè. As much thoughts has gone into the space itself as the brand that occupies it. “We renovated the space, respecting the nature that was assigned to it by Ferrè,” De Matteis explains. “Then we settled into this building with our furniture, paintings, and sculpture in the most natural way. Thanks to this approach, we realized Casa Kiton, a warm and elegant space open to embrace guests and friends.”
This sense of inclusion and welcoming extends to the pieces of art as well, according to De Matteis. “We love to share these pieces with our employees, tailors, and managers, as well as with friends and visitors. It doesn’t matter if they’re antiques or contemporary pieces—what is important is to share art with the extended Kiton family.”
And ultimately, family is at the core of both the fashion and art collections, since Kiton is a family affair. Not only does De Matteis serve as CEO of the brand, but his cousin Antonio Paone also serves as President of the brand. This connection makes the art collection all the more special. “Each piece of art has a story and means something to me because it’s related to my uncle,” De Matteis says.
Scroll on for a closer look and the backstory of the Kiton Collection, then head to Barneys to see how the love of all things beautiful extends to their garments as well.