Brioni – Like Thom Browne and Ermenegildo Zegna, Brioni is one of the highest quality brands when it comes to designer suits. Founded in Rome in 1945 by the visionary duo Nazareno Fonticoli, a master tailor, and his business partner Gaetano Savini, Brioni is considered the most prestigious luxury menswear house in the world. In the world of business luxury fashion, Brioni garments are the non-plus-ultra. Also many stars like musicians and actors wear the suits of Brioni. In the following article you will learn more about the history of the Brioni house. If you want to get to know more luxury brands, check out our brand guide.
Brioni: the history of luxury
The fashion house takes its name from the Istrian island, which in the first decades of the twentieth century was visited by the most exclusive European jet-setters. The location in the international capital Rome, the prominent clientele, the increasing interest of Americans and the post-war boom gave an immediate boost to the fashion house. Using the best craftsmanship of Abruzzo, Brioni became the model for the glamorous new continental look and became the benchmark for the world of entertainment, institutions and business in Italy and abroad between the 1950s and 1960s.
The partnership of Fonticoli and Savini was a marriage of technical prowess and creative entrepreneurship that made Brioni’s the premier destination for elite fashion. Society’s most respected and powerful figures, from Hollywood icons to heads of state, lined up to be dressed by the house’s artisanal tailors, and the brand became synonymous with status and the lifestyle of a distinguished gentleman.
Here you can see a branded Brioni suit:
The revolution of the men’s suit
The modern men’s suit was enhanced by Brioni’s use of fabrics and unique colors that also incorporated materials from women’s haute couture. The integrity of Brioni’s range was strengthened by eliminating the superfluous, while maintaining its decorative beauty. Design becomes the new trend, and Brioni is one step ahead with its interpretation of high fashion.
The ability to evolve and the acceptance of change, combining in each collection an almost rigorous classical precision with unique creativity, have ensured the survival of the Roman atelier over the decades and have allowed it to consolidate its leadership in new markets. The completely handcrafted production, the guarantee of uniqueness, the excellence in design and service, the very personalized customer relationships, often combined with the know-how of customization, are the essential and successful principles of Brioni’s professionalism and characterize its work.
The first fashion show of Brioni
In 1952, Brioni sealed its reputation as an industry leader with the first ever men’s fashion show. Presented in the opulent Sala Bianca of the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the innovative silhouettes eclipsed the conventional English style that had dominated the industry and made Brioni the benchmark for Roman tailoring – an effortless ideal of elegance had been created that would be recognized worldwide.
As the brand grew stronger, the founders stayed at the forefront of innovation and invested in a new form of production. In 1959, Brioni opened an atelier in Penne, Abruzzo, to increase production capacity while preserving the art of tailoring. From here, the company revolutionized upscale tailoring as we know it, improving production capacity while maintaining the brand’s signature handmade quality.
Internationalization of the luxury suit
In the early 1980s, Brioni was the epitome of Italian haute couture and an almost 40-year-old brand that operated worldwide. The company maintained a highly exclusive retail business with three stores, two in Rome and a third in Sardinia. However, the company’s suits were distributed far beyond the borders of Italy, supporting the wholesale that boosted the company’s sales.
The importance of the U.S. market for the company’s financial growth increased significantly during the decade. In 1982, a store was opened in New York, and its success convinced executives in Italy to establish a division in the United States shortly after the store’s debut. The store was located a mile from the “Gold Coast” of Madison Avenue, the heart of the city’s upscale European retail district, but Brioni management showed little concern about the store being away from the Gold Coast.
One way to increase sales was to add accessories to the company’s product line and develop a clothing line for women. Another way was to develop a marketing program, which the company did for the first time in its history in the early 1990s, when it began advertising in print media.
The company’s biggest marketing move came in 1995, when Brioni was chosen for the suit worn by Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond film Goldeneye. Designers Hugo Boss, Ermenegildo Zegna and Giorgio Armani competed for the job, but the film’s costume designer chose Brioni after reading an article about the company in a London newspaper. The attention attracted by a James Bond dressed in Brioni did much to promote the brand name and was a marketing bonanza, the value of which increased when Brosnan wore Brioni suits in subsequent installments of the James Bond series.
Brioni summarized – From the origin until today
- 1910 master suits on the island
- 1950s Brioni becomes the benchmark of suits
- 1952 first fashion show
- 1959 Studio in Penne
- 1980s international sales
- 1982 first store in Ney York
- 1990s first advertising in print media
- 1995 the first Brioni suit in the James Bond film “Golden Eye
Brioni: steps for the future
As Brioni prepared for the future, the brand name’s esteem was as strong as ever. Although Angeloni repeatedly put the brakes on the growth of the company’s retail network, stressing that the development of a retail chain was not part of the company’s future, the number of Brioni stores grew nonetheless. In 2002, the company opened its first freestanding women’s store in Milan, followed by a second women’s store in New York the same year.
In 2004, Angeloni organized a polo tournament on the island of the same name, flying in players from South America to relive the glamorous times that had marked Brioni 80 years earlier, in what would become an annual event. Angeloni planned to build guest villas to accommodate the wealthy participants in the event. The attendees of the first event were typical of the exclusivity of a Brioni client. The guest list included Count Alvaro de Marichalar, a brother-in-law of Princess Elena of Spain, Winston Churchill III, and real estate magnate Oliver Rothschild.
Frequently asked questions about Brioni
Here you will find the most frequently asked questions on the Internet.
Who owns Brioni?
Brioni is an Italian luxury men’s fashion house and is internationally known for its handmade men’s suits in the top price segment.
When was Brioni founded?
Brioni was founded in Rome in 1945 by the visionary duo Nazareno Fonticoli, a master tailor, and his business partner Gaetano Savini
What does Brioni do?
In the world of business luxury fashion, Brioni garments are the non-plus-ultra. Also many stars like musicians and actors wear the suits of Brioni.
Brands like Brioni
Here you can find brands similar to Brioni.
Thom Browne / Thom Browne Videos
Luxury suits of extravagance. Thom Browne is also one of the top places to go in this area. The story and much more in our articles of Thom Browne.
Also a competitor of the most popular designer suit brands is Ermenegildo Zegna. In our article about the brand you can learn the history in detail.
Fashion brands: list
Are you excited about Brioni and want to get to know more brands? Then check out our fashion guide here and get to know the top fashion brands in the world. Extravagant haute couture. Sophisticated prêt-à-porter. Fine sportswear and innovative accessories. The world’s most luxurious fashion brands delight millions of people and fashion lovers every year with their exquisite collections. They camp out in front of stores to snag limited edition specials, stand on the streets of Paris during the highly coveted Fashion Week, and sit wide-eyed in front of TVs to watch the latest and hippest runway shows. Here’s the ultimate fashion brand guide.