(All photos: Lieba Nesis)
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The Domenico Vacca Spring 2013 Collection presentation was held yesterday at his store at 59th Street and 5th Avenue. Who is Domenico Vacca and why do so many celebrities choose him as their designer when they have an important event to attend? Domenico Vacca was born in Andria, a city in the South of Italy, where he learned, at a very young age, about designing from his grandmother a top seamstress in Italy. Despite having a successful career in law, Vacca found himself drawn to his roots, pursuing a career in manufacturing clothing for various designers and brand names before designing his own label.
|Interior of store|
In 2002 he and his wife Julie launched a lifestyle collection for both men and women. Vacca was recognized in 2004 and 2006 by the Robb Report magazine for the Best Italian Collection and in 2006 the Best Life Magazine recognized his tie collection as the finest in the world. He has ten stores throughout the world and has three stores located on Fifth and Madison Avenues on the Upper East Side. His lists of loyal customers includes top musical stars such as Kanye West and P. Diddy, top actors, such as Ashton Kutcher and Denzel Washington, and top business men such as Ronald Perelman and Pepe Fanjul. This is clearly a man working his way to the top of the fashion ladder and I was determined to find out why.
|Vacca's pant suit|
Upon entering the store the mood was one of calm solitude - elegant yet cutting edge. The winter storm prevented many from attending this event however, this was an exciting opportunity for me to converse with Mr. Vacca. This is a man who takes great pride in what he does yet is very approachable and humble-a novelty in the fashion world. He said, "the spring summer collection is all about colors. I am using a lot of pastels for both men and women and it is all about leisure and comfort and resortwear." Mr. Vacca, is planning on opening thirty more stores in the next five years. Many of his clients are European and when I asked him what differentiates the European client from the American one, he stated, "the Europeans are more into fashion and they recognize quality but the Americans are more willing to learn and educate themselves. " He recounted the painstaking detail taken to produce every item of clothing which is handmade even showing me the real crushed diamonds he uses in some suits.
|Vacca'sdeconstructed women's blazer|
He uses high end super 180 wool in his collection and is currently using a lot of purple and gray and orange and red for the men's collection. This year he is focusing on the men's collection but not to worry ladies, his bags, shoes and jewelry are breathtaking. Morever, he has a fantastic deconstructed men's blazer fashioned out of the lining of a men's jacket that is now being shown for women in many different styles and colors which is both fashion forward and highly innovative. However, what astonished me the most, and compelled me to quickly call my ex husband, who purchases six thousand dollar Kiton and Brioni suits, was the relatively cheap price for this handmade clothing - $2,900 for a woman's suit and $3,900 for a man's suit.
|Vacca's shoe collection|
I inquired how a suit with such high end materials imported from Italy and Scotland could be so modestly priced (let's not forget the rent on Fifth and Madison Avenues). Since Mr. Vacca owns all the stores himself he has no corporate overhead and does very little advertising as much of his customer base is word of mouth. Now if Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Lebron James, the kings of sartorial style in the sports world, choose you as their designer, and you help them become style icons, and still conservatively price your garments you deserve heavy plaudits from the fashion industry.
|Vacca's "Julie" handbag|
As the precipitation outside became heavier I made my way to the exit yet I felt the need to inquire about the beautiful suit in front of me. What kind of tuxedo was this and why was it receiving such a prominent display in the store. "Ahh," Mr. Vacca stated, " this is a replica of the suit I produced for Daniel Day Lewis for his recent Oscar win." I wondered why in the hour I spoke to Mr. Vacca he never mentioned this to me. I realized then why all the celebrities seek him out- his quest for excellence is obvious yet his desire for subtlety and discretion is equally as great and that is a rare combination in any business environment. On that note, Mr. Vacca and his beautiful wife, Julie, left and I followed shortly thereafter with the answer to my question as to why Valentino Garavani, and so many others, use Domenico Vacca to make their clothing.
- Lieba Nesis