During our recent trip to Naples, we had the opportunity to visit some of the world's finest manufacturers of shirts, coats, suits and jackets. One of the highlights of the trip was Vanacore Napoli; known for its typical Neapolitan tailoring style and an absolutely world-class craft.
Vanacore Napoli received an international breakthrough a couple of years ago when they started collaborating with a few selected stores around the world such as Lund & Lund in Sweden, Isetan Men's in Japan, Lamarche in Korea and Gentlemen's Footwear in the USA to name a few. We were welcomed by the young entrepreneur and Vanacore's general manager, Salvatore Nunziata, who was kind enough to show us the factory showroom, working conditions, supplier and production samples and to meet his wonderful team.
Salvatores family runs automotive retail business in Naples for over sixty years, offering both Italian and German cars. His older brother is now heading the automotive company while Salvatore runs Vancore Napoli and two other clothing brands, each specialist in its own right. The common denominator in these companies is the awareness of the importance of quality.
He keeps telling us that Vanacore is a sartoria–tailor's shop, rather than a factory. This way, he says, the team make sure to be able to check each and every shirt, to touch it, and focus rather on product superiority than large quantity numbers. The shirts are produced using only the finest fabrics from renowned mills, resulting in beautiful collar models and a prefect fit, right off the shelf. Every detail counts and their shirt jackets are just as beautiful on the inside as on the outside, often using the most exclusive materials such as vicuña and cashmere.
The factory is located in Portici, a town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Naples, and lies at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. The town was completely destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 1631, but was rebuilt by the Charles III of Spain, King of Naples and Sicily. The inhabitants were historically engaged in fishing, silk-growing and silk-weaving up to the beginning of the 20th century. Later a more diversified economy emerged, with industry and trade as main pillars.
Vanacore, as many other small shirt makers in Naples has been around for years, mainly producing shirts for other brands. When the original owner grew too old, Nunziata family bought a stake in the company and around 7-8 years ago, Salvatore took over its management, not only producing for other brands but rather introducing and growing the Vanacore Napoli brand around the world. He continuously reminds us that the true Vanacore are his co-workers, all of them women. He strongly believes in women empowerment and each of his co-workers is a specialist in her own right.
As Vanacore shirts include nine handmade steps, he has currently six full-time employees plus another ten who work remotely, only doing the hand stitching for Vanacore and his other brands. It is important to understand that the hand stitching alone, takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes per each shirt, and must be done exquisitely. Most of his employees have been at Vanacore for over ten years and they feel more as a family rather than co-workers.
Giovanna, the head cutter, has previously worked for many Neapolitan brands and has been with Vanacore for over five years. Carla, the director of production, is Salvatores right-hand and leads all the creative work. Angela, one of the tailors specialised in hand stitching, was brought over from the Luigi Borrelli company to oversee and ensure the process.
Salvatores main goal is to make Vanacore Napoli a luxury shirt brand, known for its quality, fit, details, and the materials. We asked him about the co-relation between cars and shirts, and he explained that growing up with his father and grandfather who are passionate dressers in classic artisanal Neapolitan tailoring, and how their passion was passed on to him. He made his first tailored shirt at the age of seventeen and has been totally immersed with clothes ever since. Making high quality clothes, just like making high quality cars, should be treated as art, not fashion. It should not only be functional but also exciting.
Travelling and meeting new people to learn about other cultures, he feels, enriches and helps developing his own character and personality. Living in Naples while exporting between eight and ten thousand Vanacore shirts and shirt jackets across the globe, allows him to bring part of himself and the city of tailors to the world, in terms of quality and beauty.
SARTOISM shirts are made in close collaboration with Vanacore Napoli, allowing everyone to enjoy the feeling of a tailored shirt at a great price point.