Italian tailored clothing label Kiton is best known for dressing the men who control the world’s most influential boardrooms, and crafting perfect suits with a definitive Neapolitan flair. The family-run business, founded by Ciro Paone, is expanding its collections to include sportswear and a fashion-forward women’s collection too.
This spring, while in New York in the middle of a season of trunk shows around the U.S., Antonio Paone-Kiton’s CEO–spoke with us about the Kiton style, how women are seeking out the brand now, and what kind of trip he dreams of taking soon.
ET: Did you ever question that you were destined to work in the family business, Kiton?
Antonio Paone: I always knew I would work here. I began at age 18, and really grew up in the factory, surrounded by the beautiful fabrics. From the beginning of the production process through to the final product, the stages of creating Kiton clothing have been a part of my life. I was born knowing that this was for me.
ET: Why is a piece of fine clothing that has been made completely in Italy superior to clothing made elsewhere in the world?
Antonio Paone: At Kiton, it is because we have a big tradition of tailoring. Naples, Italy [where Kiton is based] has the big schools of tailoring, and they have existed as a tradition for 200 years. Tailoring is simply our culture, so all of the best tailors started there. It is important to know that this is not just a matter of quality, but of tradition and culture for us.
ET: Kiton is famous for making immaculate suits. Its collection of fashions for women is less well-known. What are your plans for women’s wear?
Antonio Paone: We began the women’s collection ten years ago. Now it is growing very fast. I am very happy with the collection. Last year alone it grew 50%, and now it represents 15% of the company’s turnover. The Kiton woman is the business woman who doesn’t want to show off too much. She wants to wear the Kiton jacket just for her own pleasure. She is typically a strong business woman who loves glamour and luxurious details, and she isn’t afraid to mix and match all elements of her wardrobe. The Kiton woman is always dressed for any occasion, whether she is at work or out for the evening. She could be the wife of the Kiton man, but don’t think of her as having an extremely conservative look. She has good taste and appreciates sophisticated, quality fabrics.
ET: What are the key trends for men next season?
Antonio Paone: The focus next fall is on suits that can be worn as separates. So a man can travel with just two suits, each made of lightweight fabrics like cashmere with vicuna or cashmere with silk weighing only 200 grams, and be able to wear the jacket with denim if he prefers. For Kiton, there is also large growth in sportswear and we offer beautiful knitwear. In fact, we just purchased a knitwear factory, in Florence.
ET: And when you can take a trip for your own pleasure, where would you like to go next?
Antonio Paone: I really want to go to the Maldives, perhaps at the end of May for a week. I was there before and stayed at the W, and I think it is one of the best hotels in the world.