When you think of an Italian brand you don’t think of slub cotton t-shirts, zip front short sleeved fleece with the word “Hippie” hand screened on the front, or do you think of it’s founder Alessandro Squarzi as one of the biggest collectors of vintage American military clothing? Yet, that’s exactly what the foundation of Fortela is built on… Alessandro's love of classic American clothing. To fully understand the brand Fortela you have to explore Alessandro, his love of vintage everything: watches, cars and clothing. He travels extensively finding inspiration in vintage boutiques or flea markets across the US and Japan, both the center of the vintage industry.
I met Alessandro several years ago at the annual men’s show Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. I’d see him on all of the major menswear blogs, and he was a regular on Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist blog and books. His style was cool, casual, and yet tailored. He blurred the lines between vintage and vintage reproduction clothing. A beautifully reproduced t-shirt paired with a pair of Big E Levi's and some classic Alden shoes. On his wrist, a vintage Pateke Philippe surrounded by one of a kind silver/turquoise native American bracelets and rings. The man has taste! He has style, and he is quite the charmer. Now think of all that character wrapped into a clothing company complete with a store in Milan and Florence....you have-FORTELA! Alessandro Squarzi, a fanatic for Italian tailoring, Japanese textiles, and vintage fabrics tracked down with passion from around the world.
Fortela presents a menswear collection featuring jackets, vests, pants, authentic flavor with a soft broken-in feel. All garments are tailored exclusively in Italy with the collaboration of expert Japanese craftsmen.The result is an array of totally unique fabrics and tailoring that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Fortela brings together tailoring at its finest, ultra-Italian style, ultra-Italian tradition, and top-quality fabrics – some of which are especially created on antique Japanese looms, others from genuine army surplus and non-military stock.