Caraceni Part V: Ferdinando & Nicoletta – The Other Caracenis
Interestingly, Ferdinando was born on May 30, 1923 in Ortona a Mare. Considering that the other Caracenis were born in the same town and Domenico Caraceni was born on May 30, 1880 it is quite ironic that Ferdinando Caraceni is actually not related to Domenico, Augusto or Galliano, and is from a different Caraceni family!
However, Ferdinando was also a bespoke tailor. The story goes, that little Ferdinando spent his afternoons “sewing loose stitches” at Garzelli, a tailor in Ortona a Mare. In 1936, he started an apprenticeship with Alessandro Cavaliere, who was considered to be one of the better tailors left in town after the Caracenis had departed for Rome, Milan and Naples.
Back then, it was difficult for a young person to really learn the trade because the masters would often keep their secrets to themselves, especially when they worked on the armholes. Luckily, Ferdinando Caraceni was very observant and learned the quirks on his own. Eventually he also became a cutter. Although some sources claim he worked under Domenco Caraceni, it seems rather unlikely because Domenico died in 1940, when Ferdinando had just turned 17. In fact, he did work for Augusto Caraceni at Via Fatebenfratelli 16 for many years until he opened his own Sartoria tailoring business on Via San Marco in Milan.
In the 1980’s his daughter Nicoletta joined the business and managed the tailor shop. When Ferdinando died in 2004, Nicoletta took over the business. Today, she employs 8 tailors and cutters who produce about 400 suits a year. Their hallmark style has always been the 6×2 or 6×1 double breasted suit, of which the former was worn frequently by Silvo Berlusconi. Among others, Fernandino Caraceni has made suits for Yves Saint Laurent, Tod’s Diego della Calle, the Aga Khan and members of the Benetton clan.
Surprisingly, they have always used English but never Italian fabric. Nicoletta
admits that there is not real reason why they prefer English but she compares it to wine:
“You can get great Californian red wines, but you still buy Bordeaux or Chianti. Why? You just do.”
Two piece suits start at $4000.FERDINANDO CARACENI
Via San Marco 22/A – MILAN, Italy
Tel. 02 6554284