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With Mr. Luca Leonardi (Arca) and the project manager Jesse Marsh, yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting a prestigious pilot candidate in Palermo: the men’s tailor Crimi. Although the sewing workshop made me travel few decades in the past, this enterprise seems to have made a perfect innovation in its business model, simply not changing anything in the men's suits traditional manufacturing, in which the Sicily has always been an excellence. Slow and silent production: almost everything is hand-stitched, except for some seams made with antique pedal sewing machines. Marking the fabric with tailor’s tacks, understitching by hand with silk thread, even over darts and around the armhole (the latest rigorously round to ensure full movement of the arm), chest handstitched to horsehair lining, steam iron 6 pounds heavy. They use the best English and Italian fabrics with a cut that accompanies every contour of the body, still drawn on paper, hand-embroidered eyelets, and custom buttons. To this, the last descendant of four generations has added a personal touch. After several years of leading positions in some of the best Made in Italy brands, Crimi returned to the family enterprise with Mom and Dad. He organizes an annual event during Pitti Uomo, where he offers Sicilian food, attracts wealthy buyers from the US and Japan, and takes care of his local clientele. Foreign customers are offered different options at different prices: you can have two tailors come to you for a week of, in the USA, the UK, Russia or Japan. Otherwise, you can come to Sicily and alternate sightseeing with fitting sessions. You’ll be shown the districts of the Palermo’s historic centre, tasting local street food, visiting local craftsmen and of course visiting our monumental heritage. How much does a men’s suit cost? Exactly what it must cost to ensure dignity to those who sew and cut it, how much it used to cost in the past: a medium-high salary. But who can afford a such expense? Many more people than you’d think, just consider it as an investment in time to wear ten years and more: Crimi’s many clients do. Life is made of priorities!

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  • One of the issues Crimi mentioned was his difficulty in finding high-quality buttons; in fact he personalises the one on the inner jacket pocket to bear his or the client's name engraved.

    The day after our visit, I had a phone interview with Ubaldo Concilio, to discuss his 3D printing company Opera Fabri. He suggested to print buttons in gold, silver, titanium, or resin, on-demand and made to measure.

    Perfect example of a "natural" TCBL value chain.

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