You know those street shots from Pitti Uomo: double-breasted jackets, pin-stripes, double four-in-hand knots, blooming pocket squares, and a serious disdain for buttoning shirts? That’s Italy, that’s spezzatura, and that is Domenico Vacca. The former lawyer (he represented the Italian Trade Commission) and magazine publisher (of a glossy celebrating all things made in Italy) is the Old Country’s biggest cheerleader for the very continental concept that a man doesn’t simply put on clothes in the morning, he gets dressed.
Vacca came to fashion through his grandmother, who operated a clothing company outside of Bari, playing among bolts of fabric and tailor tables when he was a child. As a young man in New York, he learned the business side of the industry through his legal work representing Italian clients, whose factories he visited as publisher of Italia magazine. Then in 2002, with that collective knowledge in hand and a desire to educate the American consumer in his notion of Italian-style luxury, Vacca launched his namesake line with a Fifth Avenue store.
Nearly ten years later, Vacca’s hand-tailored approach and high-quality fabrics keep winning converts—which range from movie stars to our own Gay Talese—over to the Neapolitan side. The 100 master tailors employed in his Naples factory work with velvet, cashmere, wools, and flannels to create impeccably fitting ready-to-wear and bespoke collections with a noticeably Italian flair for color and patterns. Sure, it’s an investment—or as the Italians look at it, just the cost of getting ready for the day.