KITON CEO: NEW GENERATION MUCH MORE PRECISE WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR FASHION WANTS AND NEEDS

by | Mar 11, 2021 | Fashion, Style

“Kiton is the best of the best, plus one,” says Kiton CEO Antonio De Matteis, who leads the Neapolitan-based fashion company which showcased its autumn-winter 2021/22 collection at Milan’s fashion show.

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Granting Regarding Luxury a ZOOM interview, De Matteis, who was elected three years ago as the ambassador of made in Italy by NIAF (National Italian American Foundation) in Washington, remains optimistic about the future.

“In my opinion, everything will return stronger than before because there will be a consumer reaction of wanting to buy a new wardrobe,” says De Matteis. “We have already seen China for example return and in Russia, we are booming.”

Kiton’s secret

Crafting handmade suits that are fit to become your “second skin.” Another winning formula for the 56-year-old fashion manager whose passion for work, creativity, attention to the customer and love for beauty is to grant Kiton’s prosperous clientele an absolute sense of self-identity.

“The perfect suit has to fit in a perfect way,” says De Matteis. “That means that when you wear it, you wear a suit that is not foreign to your body.” As a result, Kiton has been considered one of the most exclusive and loved men’s brands. Kiton is worn by some of the richest men on the planet, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the royals of England, Arab princes and Russian oligarchs.

Family business

De Matteis began working in Kiton in 1986 as an agent under the wing of his uncle Ciro Paone, president and founder of the company and after holding various executive positions in sales and marketing. And in 2001, the Neapolitan manager was promoted as the new CEO of the group.

“We are from Naples but we are from the world. The world is one and especially when you sell to a certain level of people, [the affluent] who need this type of wardrobe. They live more or less the same social life because they are at the top of the pyramid,” says De Matteis. “We are careful to give the right attention to everybody. Kiton is a family company. Behind the product, there is an established family business producing quality.”

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Canadian observations

“Multiculturalism in Canada is very positive. It is a good attitude. I have been everywhere in Canada including Toronto, Montreal and Calgary and I have travelled a lot before the pandemic,” says De Matteis.

“I am impressed by the spirit of the people. They are friendly. They understand quality and they are looking for something very special and unique which is a good point for a company like Kiton. Together with the US, which used to be our first market and I hope soon they will come back stronger.”

Precious vicuña makes its debut

The secret is that vicuña has incredibly fine hairs – finer even than cashmere – and are covered in tiny interlocking scales which trap air. This ultra-lightweight insulating pocket keeps the vicuña fit and makes it an ideal choice for clothing.

Kiton’s 100 percent handmade, textured pattern, brown and violet jackets are made from 100% vicuña. Priced under €7,000 ($10,689 CAD)

Kiton’s cashmere Peacoat

Kiton’s Arzano workshop in the province of Naples is filled with traditional tools including chalk, scissors, needles and threads, which are made by over 150 dedicated craftspeople. Tailored from locally sourced cashmere and masterfully hand-finished with a single vent and shawl lapels, the peacoat is partially lined for comfort and easy layering. It sells at just under €5,000 ($7,633 CAD).

Houndstooths to herringbone jackets and microtextures, Kiton menswear covers all shades of gray and colours that can easily blend into the autumn forests. Kiton attire includes cashmere and raising the collar to give the man a more casual look. Oversized cardigans, quilted jackets and sweaters are common.

Challenges

“I think the new generation is much more precise as to what they want and to what they need,” says De Matteis. “And I think our business will come back very strong in the future. We have no dinners, we have no formals, we have no parties, no weddings, no funerals. We have nothing. That is the reality around the world. And I think when we can travel again, we will want to be very well dressed and very precise for every occasion.”

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