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Following pandemic casual fashion, men’s suit is back

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When Niccolò Ricci flew from Italy to Vancouver last month for a bespoke event at the Stefano Ricci boutique, he was thrilled.

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When Niccolò Ricci flew from Italy to Vancouver last month for a bespoke event at the Stefano Ricci boutique, he was thrilled.

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Delighted with the number of customer appointments planned for the four-day bespoke costume event – a five-fold increase from previous dates, according to boutique president Manuel Bernaschek – and also delighted with the gradual return to normal that the event in person seemed to have signified.

“It was the first intercontinental flight I have taken in two years,” said the CEO of the luxury menswear and lifestyle brand. “I feel like it’s a new world. It’s like coming back to normal.

Ricci, the son of company founder Stefano Ricci, said the family business was not immune to the slowing effects of COVID-19, adding that the company is recovering from the global shutdown that has saw many people – yes, even one percent – staying at home.

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“The business got back on track from April,” says Ricci frankly. “Until March the tension was high because we couldn’t see the numbers coming back to where we wanted and most countries were still closed.”

Then, Ricci says, China and the United States started to reopen, bringing things back to feel “like the good old days.”

“You could see a lot of customers coming in during the day, shopping like in 2019,” says Ricci. “And, while we’re still a bit behind 2019 by the end of this year, I think next year is going to get back to normal. And we’re very excited about it.

The numbers looked promising for Ricci and Bernaschek in Vancouver thanks to increased interest in both ready-to-wear and bespoke dates. Made by a master tailor from Italy, the price range for handmade clothing in Italy includes pants starting at $ 1,500, while sports coats start at $ 7,000.

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The Vancouver event was so successful, according to Bernaschek, that another bespoke offer is slated for the store on November 8 and 9.

While thrilled, the popularity doesn’t necessarily surprise Ricci who says that after so many months of dressing up, people can’t wait to finally get to dress again.

“Since the COVID days when we wore extremely comfortable things,” says Ricci. “I think there is a big comeback for clothing suits.

“After two years of staying home without parties, going to events, going to the office, it’s time to start wearing stylish clothes. Maybe not like before – less formal, more comfortable – but still elegant. “

Ricci says the shift to more stylish clothing after a crisis is in line with the way people have dressed following major world events in the past.

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“After the great crises of the 1920s and after the world war, if you look at the period after, these are the most elegant periods of the century,” says Ricci. “After something like this, which was an economic and also a human disaster, I feel like the next five years… I think people will be in the mood to be beautiful again.”

The Vancouver boutique event kicked off a sort of world tour for Ricci, whose upcoming destinations included similar in-store sartorial experiences in Dubai, Russia and Ukraine.

As for what the Italian fashion director expects to resonate with customers at these international destinations, well, that’s pretty much the same as what’s proven to be popular here in Vancouver.

“I can see from the numbers,” Ricci said simply. “We sell costumes.”

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