Say It Ain’t So, Massimo

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As the misleading and whimsical title may suggest, this is not a Kiton bashing post. On the contrary, this writer is of the opinion that Kiton makes the best “ready to wear” suits, shirts, and possibly even shoes on the market. The brand’s popularity in North America is largely due to the efforts of its U.S. President of Operations, Massimo Bizzocchi, whose hard work not only made the United States the largest consumer of Kiton in the world, but also helped to put Massimo’s own brand of fine clothing on the fashion map. As a result, in March 2005, Massimo Bizzocchi opened his first stateside clothing store in New York’s meatpacking district.

Massimo Bizzocchi’s best known product are his ties. The silk is luxurious to rival Stefano Ricci, the construction is on par with Brioni, and patterns, while on a conservative side, are as interesting as anything made by Nicky or Valentino. Massimo did not stop there, however, as he took the construction of his ties to a whole new level by creating a “spine” stitching system to eliminate the wrinkling problem. By pulling a special string in the “spine”, the fabric wrinkles and then relaxes the tension for a permanent flat look. In addition to ties, Massimo Bizzocchi brand makes suits, jackets and shirts, just to name a few. Extremely satisfied with my Bizzocchi ties, I decided to give his shirt a try. Sadly, it is not as nice as I had imagined.

I bought my Massimo Bizzocchi shirt online at very deep discount – over 80% off the original price of $275 dollars. What appealed to me, other than the price, were the colors: subtle yet vibrant white, orange, blue and light blue stripes (as seen in the picture). After receiving and trying on the shirt, I am happy with my purchase. The shirt, while nice, however, is not on par with the higher end brands like Kiton, Borrelli, or Cesare Attolini. It fairs well with the middle of the road Italian shirt makers like Lorenzini and Zegna.

Those looking for handwork found on Kiton shirts will be disappointed – there is none to be found here, as the shirt is completely machine made. The shirt, however, has sturdy seashell buttons, nice fabric, and a handsome design. It fits fairly roomy, although not as boxy as Zegna. For size 16/41, it has a 48 inch chest, is 20 inches from shoulder to shoulder, and is about 33 inches long. And, while currently not a perfect fit, with about $20 worth of alterations (sides taken in by half an inch), it will fit well.

Massimo’s press release states that the “shirts are cut shorter and tails are not extended so they can be worn as dress or sportswear.” I, however, can’t imagine wearing my Massimo Bizzocchi shirt with a tie, as it is strictly a casual shirt due to its color combination. At around $80, Massimo Bizzocchi shirts are a good deal. Anything higher, and there are better alternatives to be found. His ties, however, are pretty awesome.


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Michael Snytkin grew up in Europe and fell in love with fashion from the young age. Now, an attorney in Florida, Michael balances his wardrobe between traditional and modern, and constantly strives to improve his style.

Comments

  1. Good morning Michael,

    Thank you for your piece on Massimo’s shirt’s and ties. I wanted to point out to you that the shirt you bought was our the first model (full cut) which was used to open the Massimo Bizzocchi Store in 2005. We have since greatly improved the fabric quality and added 2 models. “Traditional” with a spread collar which is more of an Italian cut with a higher arm hole, longer body with full gussetts, and the GIM body which is a shorter body with a pointed collar with buttons underneath. This is closer to a sport shirt since the fit is slightly fuller (but by no means full).

    I would never compare them to Kiton shirts. Kiton is without question the best but is also 3 times the price. Our shirts are not hand made but we do use exclusive fabrics so it is nice to know that every Tom, Dick, and Harry will not be wearing your shirt.

    You briefly mention the Massimo Bizzocchi clothing line which is one of the top selling items in our store. You might be interested to know Massimo buys his fabrics in his hometown of Biella, Italy but has the line hand tailored in Brooklyn at a fraction of what it would cost to make them in Italy.

    We found a factory in Brooklyn guided by Italian master tailors that creates a garment that goes through 108 stages before hitting our store.

    Our suits take 14 hours to make and our sport coats 12 hours and all come with our signature covered functional button holes.

    We are proud to provide a product of great value while helping keep 150 jobs here in New York. Your average Italian suit in it’s price range ($1995) take 2-3 hours to make by machine and fit accordingly. The hand work on our suits allows it to conform to your individual body and personality.

    If you are ever in New York it would be my pleasure to give you a tour of the store.

    All the best,
    Daniel Raymont

    Director of Operations
    Massimo Bizzocchi Store
    433 West 14th Street
    New York, NY 10013

  2. Daniel,

    Thank you very much for your detailed response. I really like my shirt and will be sure to give consideration to other Bizzocchi garments in the future. I have heard that Martin Greenfield’s factory makes Massimo’s clothing line, just was not sure enough to mention it in the piece. Next time I am in New York, expect a phone call. :)

    All the best,
    Michael.