My professional life has taken me across the world and down many paths. I’ve met a lot of human beings with very different expertise, some more interesting than others. The good ones will always show up in the most unexpected places.
A few years ago I was in London to visit a very good friend, Mark Cho. He’s the co-owner of the excellent menswear shop The Armoury. One evening he took me for a drink at Duke’s Bar in Mayfair. We had 1, maybe 2, of the Vesper Martini’s. This famous delicacy was inspired by the legendary writer and creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming. The process of making the drink is simple and a little theatrical. The only thing I’ll say is that it lives up to the reputation. This is where I first met the Alessandro Palazzi, the manager of the bar, and his crew.
Years later I went back at Duke’s for a drink and we met again. Alessandro welcomed me with his characteristic (when he wants…) friendly attitude and I told him about my new venture — Pommella Napoli. To thank him for his incredible professionalism I offered to make him a pair of bespoke trousers and invited him to our first London trunk show.
As he knows that I have an eye for colour told me to pick something for him. I had been saving something special from Fox Brothers. The fabric was dense and strong. From afar it’s green but on closer inspection the flannel reveals an incredible melange of hidden colours. It reminded me of Alessandro’s Vesper Martini with all its special ingredients so well mixed. I had been planning to use this fabric to make a pair for myself but sometimes you have to make let the best things go. I decided this pair was for Alessandro.
A few months later I was back in London and due to deliver the trousers at Duke’s Bar. This time I invited Douglas Cordeaux, a very special person that I consider a close friend. He’s also the owner of the Fox Brothers, the mill that made the fabric, so it seemed appropriate that they should meet. Well, Douglas had never seen the special green flannel made up into a pair of bespoke trousers. We were all thrilled by the beauty of the garment and its clean lines. There is nothing more satisfying to see the hard work come together and a happy recipient.
Douglas proposed that we make this cloth exclusively for Pommella-Napoli and in celebration of this moment we called it after Alessandro — the “Palazzi flannel”.
To launch the new fabric we invited everyone to a party during Pitti Uomo, the menswear trade show in Florence. Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without a Vesper Martini and the master himself, Alessandro Palazzi. Saluti!
Here’s a few photos of that night…