Tonie Ong

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Canali Collection

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There’s nothing quite like a tailored suit. The three-piece ensemble is regarded as the finest outfit a man can wear on any occasion, be it an ordinary day at work or in a formal gala. If it’s well-cut and made exactly on the wearer’s measurements, it can transform the man’s bearing, posture, and look. A suit has the power to even change a spectator’s perspective on the wearer, making him look distinguished, refined, and significant. Such are the principles of the suit that Italian brand Canali is founded and works upon. It is one of the premier provider and maker of men’s suits in the entire world.

For year’s Canali has stood for sophisticated men’s fashion, even when the industry has often focused more on womenswear. No matter what the trends are, they’ve stuck to their guns on creating suits and pieces that are for the refined gentleman. Season after season, they offer men an array of elegant looks, constructed by some of the finest tailors and designers from the Mediterranean country. It can even be said that what they offer can be compared to what Paris’ haute couture is for women – a well-made wardrobe of the highest quality.

How the Brand Came To Be

Canali First Flagship Store in Milan
Canali First Flagship Store in Milan.

The label was founded by brothers Giacomo and Giovanni Canali in 1934 in Brianza, Italy. At that time, the area was known for its emerging fashion market, a manufacturing hub of fine textiles and expert tailoring. Within a few years, the company had become a known label for elegant men’s suits, made with the most luxurious textiles and constructed using new and innovative methods. By the 1950’s, the Canali brand had become one of the most prominent in the entire fashion industry, even rivalling the haute couture houses in Paris. It was also at this time that the second generation of the Canali family had taken over the family business.

With new leadership, the brand branched out to further spread awareness for the brand. They began holding fashion shows in the country’s top cities, inviting some of the most celebrated personalities at the time. Their clientele was suddenly becoming international, as the rich and famous from different countries began having their suits made by the brand. In the 1960’s the label began producing outerwear, offering finely-cut coats and jackets to be worn over their well-made suits. By the 70’s the also started offering sportswear and ready-to-wear, giving the gentleman the complete sophisticated wardrobe he needs for all the facets of this life.

International and Retail Expansion

Canali New Delhi Boutique
Canali New Delhi Boutique

Although Canali is proudly and quintessentially-Italian, the brand had been expanding internationally since the 1970’s. They first took their suits to neighboring countries such as France, Switzerland, and the UK, where their pieces were embraced by the bourgeoisie. They also went overseas to the United States of America, tailoring the suits of many American businessmen, celebrities, and other prominent figures in society. In the 1980’s, the rest of North America and the Middle East began getting their own Canali suits, further spreading awareness for the brand.

Although by the 1990’s, they were already a giant name in the men’s fashion industry, they only opened their first flagship store in this last decade of the 10th century. Before that, clients would go to their atelier themselves, or simply send out people with their measurements for the studio to just work on. Soon, they would open stores around Europe, South America, South and Central Asia, and Africa, making the whole world their clientele. Their clothes are now distributed among 200 boutiques and 1000 retailers in over 100 countries. In 2012, it was found that 87.5% of all their pieces were exported to these different parts of the world – proof that the world has embraced Canali.

Celebrity Clientele

Canali Male Models Walk the Runway

As one of the finest menswear labels in the world, it’s no surprise that Canali has captured the eyes of many male celebrities. Beyond the exclusive social gatherings of the world’s elite, Canali suits have also been worn on the red carpet, so that the whole world can revel in the brand’s majestic works. Distinguished actors like Michael Douglas. Michael Fassbender and Luke Evans have worn suits by the label on a number of red carpet occasions. George Clooney even wore the label in his film, “Michael Clayton”, back in 2007. In 2010, Mariano Rivera, pitcher for the New York Yankees, became the brand’s spokesmodel.

One of the most prominent clients the company has ever dressed was former US President, Barack Obama. The famed politician wore a suit of theirs a few months after he was elected as the 44th president of the United States back in 2008. It was a momentous occasion, not only for the brand but for Italian menswear in general. That a powerful player such as the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world appreciated an Italian-made suit proved how acclaimed the country’s craft really is.

For almost a century, Canali has been providing gentlemen all over the world their high-quality suits. They helped establish the man as a fashionable entity, and have dressed multiple distinguished men over the years.

Places to Shop for Canali


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