Antonio Paone is a man on a mission.
The nephew of the founder of Kiton and head of the company’s U.S. division, Paone has spent two years reinventing one of the company’s under-the-radar labels, Sartorio.
Although Sartorio has been around for several years, it wasn’t until Paone took over the reins that it found its footing.
The brand now has lined up some 40 wholesale accounts including M. Dumas & Sons in Charleston, South Carolina, Harry Rosen in Canada and Saks Fifth Avenue, and operates three stand-alone stores in Europe. And Paone is exploring opening the first stores in the U.S. as well.
Like the Kiton brand, Sartorio is manufactured in the company’s factory in Naples and it seeks to reinterpret Neapolitan sartorial style by updating classic models to accommodate a modern lifestyle. Although traditional suits are offered, the collection is focused more on soft sport coats, sweaters, joggers, jeans and polos. Some of the pieces also feature inspirational phrases such as: “Life is beautiful,” or “Follow your dreams.”
Sartorio’s bestselling piece is a garment-dyed cut-and-sewn cashmere jacket that is offered in 28 colors. It is completely unconstructed, or what Paone calls “empty,” and retails for around $3,000.
Other top sellers include drawstring cargos or flat-front joggers, which are seen as a “more relaxed dress trouser,” as well as jeans and leather jackets, he said.
Since the pricing positions Sartorio squarely in the luxury realm, Paone described the customer as a man who has snagged his first well-paying job and is looking to build a timeless wardrobe. But rather than target the man who wears a suit and tie all day, Sartorio is seen as an alternative for the post-pandemic guy who is seeking pieces that can be worn for both work and leisure.
“It’s for a man who enjoys dressing in a modern way,” he said.
Sartorio operates stores in Vienna, Zurich and Milan. And Paone said he’s hoping to open a store in New York next year and is exploring opening one in Charleston in partnership with M. Dumas as he works to establish Sartorio as a stand-alone business.
Gary Flynn, owner of M. Dumas, said he’s carried the brand for around four years and Sartorio’s “statement” sport coat is both the most expensive — and highest volume — item sold in the store. “We went from zero to over $1 million in sales,” he said, adding that when he talks to customers about the fabric, the manufacturing and the relationship to Kiton, “guys just eat it up.”
And Flynn said although talks are still in the preliminary stage, he’d definitely be open to having a conversation about partnering with Paone on a Sartorio store at some point in the future.