You’ve probably noticed that there’s a bit of a difference between a master tailor and the guy doing hem jobs at your local dry cleaners. Well, the same was true in the Italian province of Mantova in the 1800s, when Luigi Bianchi’s grandfather and father made a living going door to door in the countryside and making clothing for folks that didn’t feel like schlepping into town. Luigi wasn’t inclined to follow in their footsteps, so in 1898, he struck out for Turin—the traditional seat of expert tailoring in Italy—to learn the secrets of the trade.
By 1911, he’d returned home and set up shop, quietly building a business based on then-revolutionary ready to wear garments that managed to provide excellent fits (a testament to his skill) while keeping prices low (a testament to his acumen). By 1939 the company, now helmed by Luigi and his sons Edgardo and Giuliano, had grown to 500 employees. The newly-named Lubiam—a combination of the tailor’s name and place of birth—was one of the first brands to open a showroom in Milan in the 40s, and gained first national, then international, celebrity over the subsequent decades.
Now in the hands of the fourth generation of Bianchis, the company currently houses multiple lines—most notably the sprezzatura-heavy LBM 1911 and the classically minded Luigi Bianchi Mantova—and services markets from the US to China. Of course, elements of that first shop at No. 11 Via Pietro Forunato Calvi remain. Lubiam is still revolutionizing the garment industry with its well cut wares and impressively efficient production methods, and you’re still guaranteed to look damn good in one of their suits.