The Decadent Neapolitan Style of Isaia
Clad in a maroon-plaid suit, Sean Yousofzoy sorts through fabric swatches at the top of a swirling, two-story ramp inside Isaia’s Maiden Lane storefront. The luxury menswear ambassador is on a mission to bring expertly crafted heritage Napoli tailoring to Bay Area gentlemen – and to educate them along the way. With a cocktail from the store’s vintage Campari bar in hand, I chatted with Sean about Neapolitan style and the elements of the Isaia brand.
SEAN: Neapolitans basically created how a garment should fit and how a pizza should taste. Food references aside, with Neapolitan tailoring, the garment moves with you and should fit like your second skin. It doesn’t constrict you or give you the feeling of “I need to take my jacket off.” It has an agile structure and a small amount of lining inside to make it as light and cool as possible. We put so much love into each garment that if you put on Neapolitan clothing, you will never wear anything else again. Your life will change. Your relationships will change. The way you walk will change. It’s the confidence.
SEAN: Ninety percent of our collection is handstitched and uses a special formula to ensure the perfect fit. We specialize in custom suits where you’ll choose everything from the fabric and lining to the buttons. Our jackets are cut at a high angle and our shirts are cut deep so they always keep their integrity. If you buy something that isn’t our formula, the cut is going to be straight. That’s why after six o’clock when a man takes off his tie, his collar will fall down. With our shirts, no matter if you open all five buttons, it maintains that elegant structure.
SEAN: I don’t wear a black suit. We banned it. No one in our company wears a black suit or even black shoes. We use a lot of colors. Why? Because we are from the Bay of Naples where it’s very sunny and the water is very blue. So, colors are very much a part of our DNA. I took a 7:30 a.m. flight recently from San Francisco to New York and there was a gentleman sitting on the other side of the plane who kept looking at me. Finally, after 20 minutes he said: “I’ve never seen anyone in my life at 7:30 in the morning wearing a suit that amazing.” That’s the Neapolitan way. It’s all about how you present yourself.
THE FINISHING TOUCH
SEAN: We like to show our craftsmanship and we do that with a signature coral pin on the lapel. It’s our DNA. Our heritage. Red coral only comes from one part of the world: The Bay of Naples. We are passionate about our identity and when you’re wearing our clothing, you’re not just wearing a designer, you’re wearing our home.
Isaia San Francisco is located in the historic Frank Lloyd Wright building at 140 Maiden Lane. To learn more about Isaia, CLICK HERE.