Domenico Spano on Men's Style
Domenico or “Mimmo” Spano dresses men from the American business elite as well as those who simply love clothes. His style is a powerful one for men who need to let others know they are in charge. In a conference room full of alpha dogs, this is a tall order. But Mimmo rises to the occasion and his American customers love his style.
His International customers (which include Italians, French, Irish, Japanese and English!) also love his style which is essentially updated American from the 1930s. In his opinion, American style is very assertive, self assured and masculine. Representatives from the old movies which provide a lot of his stylistic inspiration would be such men as Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott and George Raft.
Fabrics are made up specially for the shop. Many of them are woven by Moxon in Huddersfield, England
People gravitate towards men of style and truthfully whether they love or dislike a given look, they are impressed with someone who HAS a look. Mimmo and his staff infuse a sense of personality throughout every part of the things they design without it overpowering the basic items their design is meant to adorn.
And while stylish men may draw the admiring gaze of the onlooker, interesting men are often drawn to Mimmo to learn how to square style with their personalities.
There was a Japanese customer who wanted to replace an old a bottle green herringbone cashmere jacket. Mimmo couldn’t find a like quality fabric anywhere. He told the customer he could get it copied at an English mill but there was a 70 meter minimum required at something approaching $500/meter.
Although only 2 meters is needed for a jacket, the customer did not balk and ordered the fabric. When Mimmo received it, he made the jacket up for the customer.
Mimmo then phoned him up and asked him what he wanted to do with the remaining 68 meters of green cashmere, the customer told him to ship it to his home in Japan so he could upholster one of his rooms. It must be mentioned that the customer did get his name placed on the selvedge.
A billionaire had just finished a new villa in the Caribbean. He wanted Mimmo to spend some time there to witness his lifestyle sand enable him to design an appropriate wardrobe for him. He sent his 737 jet to pick him up and put him up at a hotel with two cars and two drivers (in case one was busy).
Mimmo spent a couple of weeks touring the Island’s pleasures and spending evenings in his host’s wine cellar discussing life with him. $283,000 later the man had a completely new wardrobe for New York, for Europe and the islands.
It included, white linen suits and odd trousers, blazers, an 8oz white flannel suit with a sky blue stripe, morning suits, tails, dinner jackets, suits, odd jackets and suits and skirts for his wife as well.
For a physicist’s with an interesting hobby he made a classical magicians outfit complete with silk lined cape and tails and Top Hat. As a thank you, the Physicist performed a series of deft tricks for the staff including burning a twenty dollar bill in front of Mimmo and then giving the exact same bill back to him from inside a rolled up cigarette!
Owl cufflinks given to Mimmo by his late wife and worn by him almost every day.
Mimmo’s approach with more mainstream clients:
When a man is a customer who is the head of an organization vs working in the middle level how does that affect how you choose clothing for them?
For more junior executives they usually want something more versatile. Medium to dark shades suits, a grey sharkskin, a blue blazer, a grey pair of pants, a muted plaid or an understated pinstripe. They don’t want to upstage their bosses who might think they’re making too much money.
But when the top man comes in, they always need to have navy and charcoal solid suits and then the power stripes with heavier or brighter stripes. Also, double breasted suits show elegance, dominance, individuality. 80% of the suits he sells are double breasted. But if double breasted suits aren’t worn by the vast majority of the population, aren’t they considered odd? Not in the least, they are a positive. One of the reasons the double breasted suit endures in spite of its scarcity is the fact that the heaviest hitters wear them, which reinforces the look as one of success, prosperity and power; not to mention all around bon vivantism.
Women often comment on Mimmo’s suits both on him and worn by his customers. His opinon about why a well dressed man evokes a comment from the fairer sex is that “Women love a man in a uniform and the suit is a uniform. A suit must be worn precise and neat. Every day is an occasion so why not wear it the best it can be? “
Mimmo’s take on the direction of Men’s style in America:
The Italian influence on men’s tailored clothing is beginning to wane a bit and Americans are rediscovering their own style again. Americans are very elegant people and have no need to copy from anyone. Although the American domestic tailored clothing companies are mostly gone, American’s will dictate that the Italian companies make clothes for them in the American style like Ralph Lauren and Paul Stuart.
Younger men have a renewed interest in dressing up and well that their fathers did not have. Tailored clothes used to be something you HAD to wear and frankly most men had terrible taste whereas, today, young men want to use clothes as a means to look both individual and smart. Greater care is taken in selecting fabrics and cuts of garments. Additionally, bolder, more colorful items are chosen because there is no longer a feeling that the suit is a means to remain unnoticed. It is also true that they are more likely to wear a jacket, even a suit jacket, with a pair of jeans but the renewed interest in tailored clothes is refreshing.
What impresses Mimmo about another man’s style?
The way a person carries his clothes and ultimately himself; his posture. A man doesn’t want to match so much as coordinate.
What is the difference in his mind between a dandy and a well dressed man?
A dandy is a man who likes to change several times a day. He starts the day off with a morning suit, then something different for work, then something different again for the evening. A navy suit with a purple stripe may not be strong enough for a dandy but a well dressed man would look good in it.
Mimmo on elements of his own style:
Mimmo prefers double breasted suits often in navy worsted with a self herringbone or shadow stripe. He also likes Prince of Wales plaid suits which are almost always single breasted).
He wears black shoes very seldom, mostly for formal occasions. Mimmo loves brown shoes from medium to espresso brown which can be mistaken for black and he likes a flat finish and definitely never high gloss finishes He is not a huge fan of exotic skins but doesn’t mind a loafer in a brown crocodile.
He wears braces almost exclusively and a belt actually makes him feel uncomfortable. His clients choose belts and braces in an approximately equal ratio.
He believes that if super 150s and above fabrics are packed with a lot of yarns and woven tightly they can produce a great fabric. However, he personally loves flannels, 7-8oz ones for spring and the heavier 13/14oz ones in winter which yield more depth of pattern especially with the real ghostly chalkiness of the stripes. He especially loves charcoal flannel suits with distinct or wide white chalk stripes.
Thw owl cufflink design repeated faithfully onto a necktie by Drake’s ties.
Mimmo also believes that while brown suits are not popular everyone with a large wardrobe should have one for diversity’s sake. A reddish brown is bad but a nice chocolate brown suit can be elegant.
If you have a desire to dress well, Mimmo and his associates will help you to achieve that style, always with a 1930s sense of elegance. If you do not know what clothes to choose and want to reinvent yourself as a stylish man with a very definite flavor, Mimmo can create this for you.