Battistoni never believed in following trends. Instead he believed that “to try to set the trends and dictate the norms, albeit for one single season, in something as fickle and fanciful as fashion, is like forcing a swallow to fly in a straight line instead of letting it follow its arabesques.” Perhaps hidden in these words we can find hints of the creativity that fueled Guglielmo Battistoni and his friends to infuse into Via Condotti an alternative way of being. They are credited with transforming this stretch of land into the destination for its infamous habitués.
It was a gradual and natural procession for this street to be transformed into a place to be, and the Battistoni store became a much sought-after club-house scene. A haven for monarchs past and present, for magnates of industry and finance, for aristocrats, artists, writers, actors, and directors. But, with all due respect to Federico Fellini, it should immediately be said, that Via Condotti never wanted the fame of the Via Veneto of “La Dolce Vita”. They were two different streets with two different ethos. Via Condotti’s public was quite different and far from the impulsive crowds of Via Veneto. Battistoni’s acolytes were focused on turning their (Battistoni clad) backs on the exhibitionism and advertising found on Via Veneto. Because of this, the daily salons of Via Condotti became the natural home for the hard core of Café society and the workshop at No. 61A kept a record of all its illustrious customers, jealously protected, of course.
Worth more than these records are the steadfast certificates of friendship undersigned by the generations of the Battistoni family with their clientele. Started by Guglielmo, then cultivated by Gianni, and now cherished by the new owners these bonds make up a chivalric order of knights of style, with no emblems, decorations, or uniforms. Sustained only by talent, authenticity and personal qualities indicative of the true aristocracy.
Pietro Consagra, Fontana, Modigliani, Guttuso, Matta, Capogrossi, Mušič, Cocteau and Gentilini, all left their imprints within our rooms. Their talents adorn the walls of the Battistoni workshop-cum-boutique. Their gifts and words are laid bare for every guest who takes the time to look around our rooms, to be inspired and awaken a grain of greatness inside themselves.
And what of elegance? you may ask… At Battistoni elegance is taken for granted. Like culture, it is a constant companion. A collection of ties, as Alberto Moravia (one of the many writers that became a habitué at Battistoni) knew well, can express emotion and feeling as well if not better than the most elaborate of sonnets.
Battistoni, today more than ever, remains a reference for the elegant man. Whether he dresses casually or sportively; be it when he rides horses or plays with his children. When he holds court at a business meeting, at an elegant lunch or attends an important ball with an impeccable Battistoni dinner jacket. This man can rely on a House that kept its original residence since birth and that never swayed from its mission statement, a credo of classical elegance.
The modern man- be he in Rome, Los Angeles, London, Paris or further afield- has in Battistoni the most reliable and inspiring style partner, one that will never let him down, no matter what the occasion is.
At the same time, we at Battistoni know too well that to be and remain conservative is a challenging task. It requires open-mindedness: true tradition never stays equal to itself but slowly evolves around its main axis, absorbing, from turn to turn, all those new elements and influences necessary to preserve itself in ever changing times.
But Battistoni is more than just an exclusive sartorial House. In a beautiful dedication to the House’s craftmanship, poet and friend Jean Cocteau once wrote that his shirt was not made-to-order but rather “made-to perfection”. Battistoni is a style Principal and a total-look Demiurge of sorts.
Rightfully so. For which other contemporary fashion name, you may wonder, boasts of the exposure and constructive mingling with so many of the cultural, political and aristocratic influencers of its time? Our Cashmere, knitwear, leather goods, shoes, hats, umbrellas, wallets, shirt boxes and treasure chests, and perhaps above all, our renowned tie collection, have been worn and cherished by the giants of our time, whose privacy Battistoni has always rigidly respected.
From the start, the House has adopted a markedly different strategy than the one chosen by most commercial Fashion Brands. Battistoni regards the moment of the conception of the designs to be sacred, an occasion worth all of its resources and attention. Consequently, while our lines of Bespoke suits and shirts are rigorously produced internally, the items requiring large scale manufacturing are designed internally but deliberately directed towards external production.
To accomplish this, we chose the most dedicated and skillful artisans, all rigorously Italian, with whom to collaborate with without ever compromising their culture. Battistoni provides them with our fabrics while scrupulously working alongside them until perfection is attained. Everybody focuses on what they excel at. This is the underlying principle that has successfully inspired our House from day one.
Picture a turtleneck sweater made from the lightest, softest, warmest, off-white, 3-ply cashmere. It is woven continuously from the top to bottom in one piece, not one seam in sight. An indefectible garment created without flaws: a Battistoni collaboration in body and soul. These garments along with our “made to perfection” bespoke creations leave a everlasting legacy… an imprint on its owner perfectly captured by Jude Law in the clip from The Talented Mr. Ripley as he names and expertly pronounces “B A T T I S T O N I” to his friend Matt Damon as the sartorial mecca to be visited while in Rome.
Yet, no complacency is ever tolerated. Guglielmo Battistoni abhorred it so much that when his employees announced to him that the Italian Royal Family had awarded the House with honors, he immediately ordered them to go back to work and do it even better! Even perfection is always questioned and each time… perfected.
Perhaps, to fully understand all this, a man should simply slip into the quintessential and iconic Battistoni’s garment: our Blazer Max. Handmade by the superior talents of our House Master Tailors, from the legendary Roman sartorial school, this double-breasted Blazer, cut and sewn from our baby cashmere twill, exemplifies the spirit of the Battistoni name. It perfectly embodies the House sprezzatura, that mix of relaxed self-assuredness and timeless elegance, inexpressible in words that must simply be felt... A feeling which the Battistoni man likes to aspire to.