A brief history of Kiton…

Ciro Paone was born in Naples in 1933; he came from a family of fabric dealers who had been operating for five generations. 35 years later, this innate passion gave rise to the Kiton project; it had the ambitious aim of affirming the values of elegance and bel vestire – characteristic of Neapolitan haute couture – around the world.

Year after year, from a small artisan workshop composed of 40 master tailors, and with the quality and uniqueness of its handcrafted creations, Kiton grew and conquered the foreign markets: first Germany, then France, the UK and Russia until 1986 when Kiton approached the US market, founding the Kiton Corporation with its head office on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

In the following years, Kiton expanded its horizons toward the Far Eastern markets, paving its way by opening flagship stores in China and Korea.

Starting from the research and the creation of the first tailored garments for men, Kiton then concentrated its efforts on the shirt and tie product lines, made entirely by hand from the finest habrics. It was then a short step which led Kiton to enhance its offer and provide its client with a complete range of products. Indeed, this aim inspired the creation of the shoe, knitwear, eyewear, and womenswear lines.

The suit is made from vicuña. Each strand is about 12.5 microns or 12.5 thousandths of a millimetre thick before it is woven into fabric. It costs more than five times as much as the best cashmere. “In terms of quality, our fabric collection starts where all the others finish,” insists Kiton CEO Antonio De Matteis.

To guarantee that sort of quality, two years ago Kiton bought the Carlo Barbera mill in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. It also owns a knitwear factory in Fidenza, a producer of casualwear in Parma, and is in the process of buying a denim manufacturer in Naples. It is currently in the probationary period, to ensure it can deliver to the Kiton standards. When everybody wants to sell a story of quality and craftsmanship, you need to protect your supply lines and skilled human capital. And the best way to do that is to own them outright. You need to make sure that your story is the best story. And true.

The Telegraph UK

‘Kiton’s business model is unique. Nothing is outsourced, everything is kept in the family.’

‘The way those fabrics are manufactured and employed is familial, too. Everything is made in-house. Apart from the sunglasses and the perfume, every single Kiton item is made by a Kiton factory. The shirts, shoes, ties, knitwear and of course suits, are all made by Kiton employees.’

Simon Crompton in The Rake Magazine.

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