Bespoke or Nothing With Leonida Ferrarese
Based in Francavilla Fontana in southern Italy, Bottega Dalmut is a bespoke tailoring brand known for their handcrafted suiting and accessories for the classic gentleman. Meticulously crafted by Italian born Leonida Ferrarese, clients receive a one-of-a-kind customized shopping experience where no detail is overlooked.
Puglia is a beautiful region in southern Italy, known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline. It is also where Leonida Ferrarese grew up, and the place that continues to inspire him to this day. But Ferrarese’s experiences have taken him to many parts of the world. He first traveled to New York because he was determined to learn English, and it was there where he met the love of his life and completed his marketing degree. Captivated by the world of style, Ferrarese’s first job was for Salvatore Ferragamo on 5th Avenue. When Ferrarese returned to Italy, finding a quality suit proved quite the challenge. Following unsatisfactory attempts of his own, he called on the master tailor who created a suit for him— but the result wasn’t what he had in mind. After almost one month and more than seven fittings, the suit was finally up-to-standard. The final product inspired them to work together, and in 2013, Bottega Dalmut became a brand name.
The business moved faster than Ferrarese was expecting, and before long, he had the pleasure to make a suit for Mr. Lapo Elkann, one of the most stylish men worldwide. Leonida first visited Dubai during 2016, after which he returned for monthly visits. His love for the city is no surprise; as a prime location for businessmen (proven to be one of his biggest markets), he loves everything about it (besides the weather). He has also conducted business in New York, Lebanon, Istanbul, and other cities, but has since discovered the importance of staying focused on the more profitable areas— most of his business today is based in Milan, London, and Dubai. Constantly traveling, he sleeps at home only 3-4 nights per month.
Bespoke tailoring is known as ‘slow fashion’, a reflection of the process required to create each garment. Clothing is handmade, unique, and constructed with careful execution, down to the details on the sweaters and polo shirts, where the Dalmut retail logo is not printed, but hand-sewed onto the fabric. Shape and cut are the most important elements in suiting, but the fabric and subtle details are what get Ferrarese excited every time. Fabrics are sourced primarily from suppliers in Biella, Italy including Zenia and Fratellitare di Delfino, linen is from Ireland, and wool comes from the UK market. Just six months ago, a new selection of 120 unique fabrics was created with Fratellitare di Delfino— it is a timeless collection that will always be available (offered by perhaps 10 tailors worldwide).
Bottega Dalmut offers a private tailor service where the client works directly with Ferrarese, who takes the time to get to know the client’s habits, profession, interests and style preferences. With this information, he has the necessary details for the favorite part of his job: building a wardrobe. The profile and purchases of existing clients are stored in a software program which is constantly updated with each new purchase, thus allowing the brand to personalize the designs for each customer. Creating a wardrobe has less to do with fashion and more to do with classic timeless style, Ferrarese explains. Case in point: yesterday he wore the first suit that he constructed five years ago. Adjustments are only necessary when a client gains or loses weight— and Bottega Dalmut provides these adjustments for their customers for free.
Today, all tailoring is done on the first floor of the Bottega Dalmut showroom, a far cry from the days when both tailoring and selling took place in one small room. With a team of twelve tailors, Ferrarese is hoping to expand this space to accommodate their growing needs.
The greatest inspiration for Leonida’s designs develops from his clients, he says. Conversations lead to new ideas which he tries to execute whenever possible— and the reaction of the customer is the single greatest indicator of the success of a new shape, and guides Ferrarese in his craft. Clients span 25 nationalities, including Saudi, Emirati, Kuwaiti, Brazilian, American, Russian and others, who purchase suits for a range of reasons. Bottega Dalmut suits fall into three categories: for the suit lover- who will wear the suit with a T-shirt and sneakers, for the businessman— who requires a suit for work, and ceremonial suits for special occasions. Ferrarese loves all his suits, but as a self- diagnosed perfectionist, he is constantly noticing details that he wants to change; the work is never done.
In a first of its kind, Bottega Dalmut is currently creating uniforms for a gentleman’s club— a request that Ferrarese always turned down in the past but made an exception for the club owner who is a big fan. As the staff also comprises of women, Dalmut is also creating a women’s line that is unique to the brand.
If you ask Ferrarese, a gentleman is never outstanding, he knows how to behave in every situation and is never too much or not enough. He is polite, cares about himself and the world around him and is impeccably dressed, which lends itself to professionalism in behavior, speech, and interaction with others. Ferrarese tells me about his father who is his mentor and a great man. Through his industrial construction company, he has inspired Ferrarese as a businessman— and although his line of work is different— Leonida sees similarities in the bespoke products they both create.
“Luxury is exclusivity. It’s not about owning a Ferrari or a yacht, but the chance to have something unique, crafted with you in mind”.