Image of Luciano Barbera photographed by Bob Krieger provided by Luciano Barbera. All rights reserved.
This exclusive interview with Luciano Barbera was conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö in Biella, Italy September 2010
Your father had a passion for fine Italian made fabrics and from that passion grew what we know today as Luciano Barbera. How do you work to maintain the quality of your brand?
Carrying on the tradition of a “religious” commitment to the production of fabrics that are made with the finest fibers in the world and result in garments where quality is certainly a very important pillar.
You stress, “Made in Italy” which is a significant factor in an item’s perceived quality this has become a major issue in the Italian manufacturing industries. What does “Made in Italy” mean to you?
“Made in Italy” for me simply means that an item, any item, is made in Italy, which means entirely manufactured in Italy. This concept must be absolutely implied in any item final consumers can purchase. “Made in Italy” is a “passport”, an “identity card” for any product which should guarantee the consumers worldwide that they are in fact purchasing something truly made in Italy. This would also favor the respect for what is made in Italy: Italy in this way should become the “boutique of quality” at an international level.
What small details should a man think about when purhasing a suit?
Small details: a suit cannot be purchased considering small details which can even misdirect the purchase itself. In my opinion it is important instead to consider the softness and the wearability and performance of the suit which should fit like a second skin; the lightness of construction, which is particularly guaranteed by traditional workmanship without any seizing or coating inside the lining; buttonholes and seams should be particularly accurate and especially in high price clothing should be hand-made and sartorial. All this in addition to and taking for granted a fabric which is guaranteed of high quality and with declared traceability and country of origin.
Can you describe the natural balance between innovation and tradition?
Very easy: following and living and perceiving everyday the ever changing requirements of our society can provide us with the tools we need to innovate the tradition of quality.
It is an individual stance of course, yet one that also translates to how one man views another, how would you describe a man of great personal “style?”
A man who does not follow the commands of “fashion” in any way but who is aware of what he feels is the best around him to satisfy his personal taste respecting himself before fearing any outside opinion.
What advice would you give your children the day they want to take over the company?
That they should love their job and consider it as an integral part of their life respecting the duties pertaining their positions.
It is 1970 and we are meeting in Rome for a private party hosted by Luchino Visconti. What are you wearing? In addition, whom do you want to meet?
I am wearing my usual woolen charcoal flannel double-breast hand-made suit, a white-cream linen shirt, buckled black shoes, a dotted dark blue tie and a blue-yellow-burgundy paisley patterned pocket handkerchief. Romy Schneider is there and we are talking about a possible cameo of mine in her last film.
The above interview with Luciano Barbera 2010 © Manner of Man Magazine/Welldressed. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. -
Reproduced with written permission from Manner of Man Magazine and Welldressed. All rights reserved.