I’ve recently become very interested in the work of Elia Caliendo, the head cutter at his family’s firm Sartoria Caliendo. I asked him a few months ago if he ever visits California, or even the United States in general, and he said “no, unfortunately only London and Hamburg.” Which is a shame, because I was really impressed with the jacket he made for Simon Crompton and wanted to see if I could get something similar for myself.
Elijah comes from a family of tailors. His father was born in Casalnuovo, a small town just outside of Naples that’s well known for being the birthplace of many tailors and craftsmen. Isaia’s head tailor, Gianluca, once told me a tale about how the first tailor was born here. A romantic claim, to be sure, but a nice one. In any case, the senior Caliendo trained here for six years before opening a workshop in Naples sometime in the 1960s. It was there that Elijah would spend his after-school hours and summers. Like many sons of tailors, he picked up the trade through his father and now carries on the family business.