High-fashion clothing company Brioni was founded in 1945 by master tailor Nazareno Fonticoli and fashion designer Gaetano Savini. They opened their first suit shop in Rome's central Via Barberini after the close of World War II. The company was named "Brioni" after the resort on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. From the beginning, Brioni suits were luxuries only afforded to the privileged few, namely Europe's wealthy aristocrats.
Brioni's first fashion show was held in 1952 at the Palazzo Pitti. The show gained the company exposure to clients worldwide.
Celebrities began to buy their suits from Brioni in the 1950s when Rome became a popular vacation spot for wealthy Americans. Brioni clients include Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Rock Hudson. Brioni suits have appeared in a number of James Bond movies since 1995. Today, Brioni is a favorite of real estate mogul Donald Trump.
In 1954, Brioni held a fashion show in New York City, followed by shows in eight other American cities. That year, Brioni opened new shops on both sides of the Atlantic. Brioni's New York showrooms are located on 52nd Street and 57th Street in Manhattan.
In order to meet the demand of such a large clientele, Brioni opened a factory in Abruzzo, Italy, where expert tailors hand-sew jackets and trousers before adding the finishing touches by machine. Brioni also owns a shirt factory, a leather fashion house and a line of women's clothing.
Brioni's 900 tailors create 200 models in different styles and sizes every year. A quarter of the production consists of made-to-measure tailored suits for an elite of 25,000 customers.
It is rumored that a Middle Eastern sultan once ordered a staggering 100 suits from Brioni all in one month.
Each garment requires at least 18 hours of work, and there are more than 5,000 different fabrics to choose from. Ready-to-wear suits run from US$3,600 to $5,500, and the custom-tailored from $4,000 to $24,000. Brioni also offers a line of clothing sold exclusively through Neiman Marcus.