We met and talked with Denis Frison, a modern style icon and one of the foremost bespoke menswear designers currently working in the U.S. A few years ago, Denis moved from Milano to the L.A. to pursue his dream. Today, he creates truly bespoke garments for such clients like Tommy Hilfiger, Al Pacino, Leonardo DiCaprio, and a legendary composer Mr. Ennio Morricone before he sadly passed away. Denis has a long passion for vintage clothing, memorabilia, and watches and it all began with collecting vintage Ralph Lauren. Here's his story.
How did you manage to get Denis Frison brand to such an A-list of customers in the U.S?
I was working in the menswear fashion industry since I was 16 years old and my biggest dream was moving to the U.S. Six years ago, after a successful career as a designer in Italy and Europe I decided to launch to relocate to L.A. and launch my own brand.
Believe it or not, my first client in the U.S. was Al Pacino. From that moment on, a word of mouth among clients, stylists, and also through my business partner, a famous photographer who wore my creations at the large events where celebrities asked about his outfits. The list of my customers is growing continuously and I'm privileged to work with and for such legendary people like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Colin Firth, and Leo DiCaprio to name a few. It is truly a coronation of my dream.
You are known for mixing different fabrics and attitudes, many of them vintage. What are your own three style rules when putting an outfit together?
Honestly, I believe there are no written rules. The only real advice is to feel good about what you’re wearing and to be able to focus on your personality instead of your clothes. Only in this way will it be possible to get value from any garment you’re wearing. My job is to try to make people feel good in what they wear, to give them a piece of my own dreams.
We know you as a passionate collector, what is the most valuable piece of clothing that you own?
As you probably may know, I'm a motorcycle rider and I used to collect motorcycle jackets. Today, I have a huge archive but the most valuable piece I own is a vintage NOS Barbour international made only for the Royal Family police.
You are a great admirer of Ralph Lauren brand, what are your other favourite brands?
Ralph inspired me all my life, and in 2010 when he launched Ralph Lauren Vintage, I was selected among the top collectors of the world to show my passion for history, heritage, and unique stories behind my own collection. He decided to promote me and my upcoming brand on his website and nicknamed me "The Collector of Dreams". He is still my No.1 but my other top five brands are:
Italian style, luxury, and speed Icon. What more can you say?
I believe they are the symbol of classy style and love the fact they're family-owned for five generations.
This is my favorite brand among all major Swiss watch manufacturers, with distinctive design and amazing quality.
Late Sergio Loro Piana was a true connoisseur of style and implemented this in everything he and his brother ever produced.
A 200-years-old French brand is the ultimate status symbol, my favorites are obviously their vintage bags.
Denis Frison offers both bespoke and Made-To-Measure. Tell us how did you develop MTM for your brand and why should some of your clients choose MTM instead of bespoke?
Being a designer and a tailor I first developed Denis Frison as a bespoke brand, for customers who wanted something truly distinctive. I use mostly 40 or 50 years old dead-stock cloth, woven in England and Italy — from which I can make one or two pieces. At some point, I decided to offer MTM service to a younger generation of gentlemen, such as lawyers or young professionals, and enable them to approach our world without any fear of failure. MTM it's an easy way to try and learn about the unique pieces we can create, which makes it easier to move to the next level, which is our bespoke service. Many of our customers don't want to wait and MTM is faster to produce and deliver. On the other hand, our MTM is a full canvas made in Italy and has a great selection of fabrics and quality work included. What it doesn't give you is access to the vintage fabrics selection, which is only available through our bespoke service.
In your opinion, where is menswear going right now, and what can we expect from the Denis Frison brand in the future?
Personally think men's clothing in the last few years has experienced a moment of deep crisis. With the advent of "streetwear," the rules have changed and the world has given a strong focus on that front, often forgetting that culture of design and manufacturing are always been the true value of any brand. The Covid-19 and the quarantine that followed has led people to think about what really has value inside their wardrobes and to search for high quality and handmade personalized garments, in order to dress better. For me, true luxury is synonymous with uniqueness and individual expression of personality. This is, in my humble opinion, why good taste will be coming back soon!!! In regards to Denis Frison bran, I worked a lot during the quarantine and I developed some new products, whereby the first capsule of "Casual Chic" is soon to be released.