In the weeks I’ve been living in Montepulciano, I often breeze past the Enrico Crociani menswear shop, wave to the distinguished-looking man perched at his elegantly presented counter, and think, “Yes, tomorrow I will go in and have a look.”
If I didn’t already have a spring in my step residing in Montepulciano, then Enrico Crociani's visually pleasing display window always leaves me feeling treated to something uniquely classic, and I appreciate the Italian quality I don’t need to touch to understand it’s handmade.
It’s yet another week later, on a quiet Thursday evening, and I’ve been to the shops to entertain myself with some browsing. A push of the door to Enrico Crociani, and I announce “Io sono qui!” (I am here!) and the storefront glass no longer stands between us. Soon after commencing in conversation, I learn the man I’ve been waving to is, indeed, Enrico himself.
Born in Montepulciano, Enrico studied fashion design in Florence, until Salvatore Ferragamo hired him, naturally. With invaluable experience under his proverbial Italian belt, Enrico left behind the buzz of Florence to start his own label back home in Montepulciano; a sublime life of small business ownership in a town made for fairy tales, Enrico has been living his dream.
I’m quick to cut to the fabric and inquire about the manufacturing process. Every piece of Enrico’s clothing, down to the buttons, is made in Italy. Buyer beware, “Made in Italy” can sometimes mean that merely the buttons were sewn on in Italy, while the rest of the garment is China-bound, for mass-produced toiling. “Made in Bolivia” labels are often sewn in behind the lining of a jacket, belying its origin.
Enrico and I go on at length about the state of today’s manufacturing and the lost local art of craftsmanship due to cheap labor overseas. It’s not the Italian merchant’s fault, we both agree; designers’ hands are often tied in these challenging times. And so it’s decided I will purchase my gift from Enrico, and contribute to the local artisanal economy of the Enrico Crociani brand.
Enrico is warm, proud, patient, and eager to please in choosing a match that best suits the specifications of the recipient of my gift, a man deserving of the very best quality. We decide on a versatile navy blue half zip merino sweater and an Italian silk gold tie with tiny navy polka dots. Perfetto. Simple. Classic quintessential polished Italian. Bravo!
Via dell’Opio nel Corso, 6
53045 Montepulciano (Siena)
Tel 0578 758823