If you've ever seen La Dolce Vita, you know Brioni. The dark, elegant, powerfully shaped suits worn by Marcello Mastroianni's character throughout the iconic film are beautiful, but not over the top. They impart a strong sense of masculinity without feeling like a costume. They're elegant, understated, and undeniably Italian.

A now legendary tailoring house—one of the finest in the world, let alone Italy—Brioni began as a humble boutique in Rome. In 1945, tailor Nazareno Fonticolo opened the shop alongside entrepreneur Gaetano Savini on Via Barberini 79. They named their store after the luxurious Brionian Islands (then part of Italy, now part of Croatia), in the northern Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy. One of several players in the burgeoning Italian tailoring scene, like many contemporaries they drew heavily on British tailoring, the pre-eminent style of the era. While the heavily structured, military-inspired suits with strong shoulders and stiff canvassing were fitting of English nobles, the staid style was not an adequate reflection of the Italian way of life. As Italian tailoring grew into its own, though, different styles began to develop. In Naples unstructured whimsical Neapolitan suiting took hold. In Rome, where Brioni was born, the style evolved more subtly. The structured British style was made more voluminous, body conscious, and free-flowing without losing too much of the signature Saville Row shape.

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