I met Massimo Guglielmi midway through last year to write a piece about his made-to-measure tailoring business, Sartorial Bay. Since meeting we’ve been a little sidetracked with OBLYK, a sunglasses brand we launched earlier this year. With our favourite racing season in session, the quest for adequate Spring Suiting arises, so I thought I’d put together an article about Massimo’s tailoring operation Sartorial Bay, offering both German, and Italian made unstructured suits and jackets.
Unlike the Melbourne made-to-measure scene, which I feel has a host of up-and-coming tailoring services, Sydney seems to be somewhat limited for those looking to explore MTM tailoring. Perhaps limited is the wrong word and my perception of the Sydney market revolves around one man controlling a large portion of it. Of course there’s the famous idiom, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, but how can you truly know about another tailor’s products if you haven’t experienced them for yourself.
Channeling his grandfather’s sartorial flair and his background in architectural design, Massimo himself on Savile Row, training under the best in the business, and his CV certainly reflects his qualifications. Following his training he ran his own business in London from 2005 to end of 2010, before travelling to Australia to head up Herringbone’s MTM arm. Following the restructuring of Herringbone, he returned to London to work for Savile Row powerhouse Huntsman, successfully designing and launching their ready to wear line, before returning again to Australia to launch Sartorial Bay.
His travelling tailor operation specialises in unstructured suiting, with products originating from either Germany or Italy, depending on the client’s budget. His proficiency in finding the best manufacturers in the industry is something I’ve been exposed to first hand working with him on OBLYK. Working with such skilled manufacturers results in a superior product, and that’s evident across both his machine made, and handmade range. In fact, his machine made German product, completely unstructured and coming in under $1000, is as impressive an offering as I’ve seen in this country. Whilst the backbone of Sartorial Bay’s operation is suiting, Massimo also produces beautiful separates including handmade shirts and trousers, sports blazers, and phenomenally impressive cashmere overcoats (keep that in mind for next winter).
My Sartorial Bay suit was created from a tailor workshop in Puglia (Southern Italy), using the Neapolitan tailoring style, with jackets and trousers entirely cut by hand. Massimo’s Italian jackets feature an interlining made of ultra light horse-hair canvas which provides superior shape without compromising on weight and comfort. While it appears the jacket is completely unlined, extremely thin shoulder pads provide the foundation for the traditional Spalla camicia (Neapolitan shoulders), characterised by the unmistakable crimpling folds forming at the shoulder seam.
The resulting jacket appears completely bespoke, with distinctively Neapolitan characteristics including true Tasca a Pignata patch pockets, and a curvy lapel roll gently covering the top button. Complementing the light Ariston cotton I chose Sartorial Bay’s signature Abalone shell buttons, which give the jacket a unique flair and glisten blue/green in the daylight sun.
If you’re after a light weight suit with on-point Italian styling, that will have any keen menswear fan querying who made it, I suggest dropping Massimo a message. His prices start at $960 for machine made two piece suits and $1490 for handmade, with separate jackets starting from $640 and $1070 respectively. I’m about to follow up my Italian suit with one of Massimo’s German made suits so I can discuss the fit and build quality of both his products. Stay tuned. Head to Sartorial Bay for more information.