The soaring sound of high opera filtered through the windows of a store appropriately named Caruso, after the famous Italian tenor.
Inside this new shop on Milan’s Via Gesù, the accoutrements of a theatrical backstage were everywhere: rough plaster walls, columns, arches and a stone floor set with crushed pottery.
And then, finally, behind red velvet curtains, a wooden art installation by Giuseppe Amato: a miniature theatre filled with opera-singing so powerful that it made the elegant tailoring and streamlined coats shiver on their rails.
“This is a man’s store,” said Umberto Angeloni, the force behind the newly opened Caruso stores in New York and Milan. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of the consortium turning Via Gesù into a menswear haven, or maybe heaven.
Can Via Gesù challenge London’s famous menswear street, Savile Row, and make itself a destination for the international man who wants the good life and a good hand-tailored suit?
Across the narrow Italian street hang illuminated banners of trilbies and tailored jackets with the words “La Via dell’Uomo” – a declaration of intent for this new menswear destination.
Since its expanded store opened last week, Rubinacci has been offered a powerful position by Via Gesù. The Neapolitan tailor whose masculine interior includes a library topped by deer antlers, elegant drawings from 1814 of riding coats with top hats and canes, and jackets from the Fifties displayed above today’s tailoring.
“And I have not even shown you the workshops!” said Mariano Rubinacci, referring to the rooms where you will find the tailors whose handicraft is at the heart of Italian men’s style.
Neapolitan brand Kiton was one of the early male-focused arrivals to the Via Gesù, and the company has decided to show arresting and touching photographs of its