Another Exceptional Tailor
“If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.” You will never guess who said that… Albert Einstein.
Here is the story of another great Italian tailor whom I met just a few weeks ago. I was with a good friend of mine, walking down the main street of Castagneto Carducci, a hilltop town in the Tuscan Maremma. At one point, we spontaneously stopped in front of a tailor shop, unsure about what to do.
“How about going in? my friend suggested.
– To do what? I said. Do you need a made-to-measure suit?
– No. I’m just kind of… curious!”
In fact, I was a little shy of just walking into a tailor shop without having any intention to buy anything. A male customer came out of the store and, thinking we were on our way in, just held the door open for us. We seized this “opportunity” to sneak in.
A second later, a very nice man – Florin Cristea, owner of the charming little boutique – was greeting us warmly. He let us admire for a few minutes his sartorial creations: superbly tailored jackets, suits and coats made in the finest Scottish tweeds, Tuscan wools and Irish linens.
Then Florin told us his “story”. Born in Romania, he worked as a young man – under the infamous Ceausescu regime – in a canning factory, something he loathed doing. He managed to flee to Italy, where, after some wanderings, he found work with some of the best tailors in Milan and Florence. After years of apprenticeship, and having married and founded a family, Florin was given the opportunity to take over the boutique which he is now proudly running in this quiet little village of Castagneto Carducci.
He was also very proud to tell us, during our visit, about some of his most famous customers: Mick Jagger – who drops in once a year, – Brian Ferry, Sarah Ferguson… Yes, ladies are welcome here too!
Florin is very flexible and can work quickly if his client’s schedule is tight. For instance, he can fashion the most beautiful custom-made suit in just three days – two fittings included! He also mentioned that a jacket costs around 2,000 euros on average. A sound investment when one considers the quality of the fabrics and the craftsmanship of the garments!
One of my dreams is to have Florin Cristea make me a coat someday…