I would have never thought that I’d ever see tailoring and sports together outside of gimmicky campaign shots. The two after all appear to be diametrically opposed: the first a staid symbol of modern urban living, the latter a cultural activity originating from a more physical past. Then one day, scouring the deserts of tumblr for style inspiration, I discovered Eidos Napoli.
Under the direction of Antonio Ciongoli, former deputy creative director at Michael Bastian and designer for Ralph Lauren, Eidos Napoli is the new custodian of sporty sprezz. With an attitude that’s more easy going and approachable than its famous older brother (the Italian luxury house Isaia) the design-oriented brand is the next big thing to hunt on the sartorial savannah.
However being design oriented doesn’t mean being derivative: Eidos creates innovative sartorial standards that don’t succumb to the temptations of aping avant garde revisionist aesthetics from the designer runway.
A softly-tailored Eidos garment can be immediately identified by its sportswear inspired visual lexicon. Details such as raglan sleeves add a utilitarian edge to gentile garments and the use of lightweight tactical textiles imbue them with adventure and versatility. These garments are as much at home with a tie as they are with jeans and kicks so you can throw them on when running late to that date night.
Even at its most formal, Eidos still retains that casual sporty edge. My personal favourite Eidos garment is a Shantung raw silk tuxedo from their most recent collection which injects a sophisticated classic with a healthy dose of primitivism.
The calling card of an Eidos jacket however is its lapels. Whereas most lapels have a bit of a belly as they curve out from the lapel gorge, Eidos’s arch in the Neapolitan style emphasizes an understated athleticism in the chest profile. A softly defined pleated “spalla camicia” shoulder, also helps to create an active silhouette that gives an Eidos jacket its “la bella figura” – my way of achieving the ‘beautiful figure’ that I’ve not been blessed with.
However it’s rare to find something this good-looking with this much substance (even on Tinder I haven’t had much luck). Their fully-canvassed garments are made with integrity and honesty: manufactured in the same factories that produce the Isaia main line and another halfway between Rome and Naples in a small commune called Frosinone. However their excellent value for money proposition at a more affordable price point than its older brother makes it a little easier on the wallet and the conscience, especially for something at this rare level of quality.
The Southern Italian ethos runs through an intelligent colour palette that evokes the sun-kissed Mediterranean and fantasies of abandoning the reality of responsibility. Obsidian greys and coastal blues in mildly eccentric fabrics married with assertive detailing allow the wearer to throw together discretely different combinations that manage to avoid monotony. Their rustic toned jackets are also perfectly compatible with our own Aussie habitat and are my undisputed choice for camouflage if tomorrow the war began.
The active youthful aesthetic championed by Eidos has even enticed some of my favourite designers, like Christian Kimber, to join forces with the cool kid on the block. The teasers from the Christian Kimber x Eidos Napoli shoe collaboration have me as hysterical as the Batman v Superman trailers (2016 can’t come soon enough).
But my meandering blather is pointless if you can’t take me for my word, so check out what all I’ve fussed about with Cionigi’s most recent collection featuring skater Gino Iannucci. The campaign perfectly captures the essence of the brand: a refusal to conform to the oppressive pedantry that runs too rampant in the sartorial world, while still paying homage to traditional and time-honoured Italian craftsmanhip.
(photos via. Eidos Napoli, GQ, tuqote.se)