Video: Douglas Cordeaux and Gianluca Migliarotti in conversation

Wednesday, June 12th 2019
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Why did the Japanese spend all day screaming at Douglas? How does Gianluca think Italian artisans are being dishonest?

This conversation between myself, Gianluca Migliarotti of Pommella trousers, and Douglas Cordeaux of Fox Brothers, I think qualifies as both entertaining and informative, which is what I hoped.

Filmed one evening last month at Mark's Club in London, it was intended as a way for both Gianluca and Douglas to tell their stories, and then reflect on what that says about small, craft-based brands today.

For example, mills are finding it hard to adapt the old business-to-business model to being a little more business-to-customer. Being a brand.

And artisans need to to realise that bespoke is a luxury product, which requires luxury service. Professional, with open, honest communication.

Both could benefit hugely from using social media well. And it's free. But they don't tend to.

That's the informative and constructive part. The entertainment comes from Douglas's stories about acquiring Fox Brothers (Jeremy Hackett: 'Whatever you do, don't buy it!') among others.

I also found it very interesting talking to both of them more about their backgrounds, as it's something we'd never talked about before. You tend not to, when you've known someone for a few years.

So we learnt about Gianluca's father, who had clothes made from the age of 13 despite not being rich by any means. And about Douglas's career at Pepe jeans, spending all his time learning how to rip cloth apart.

I hope you enjoy the talk as much as I did, and find it as informative.



You can watch the full film above, or on YouTube here.

Thank you to Pommella for their support, Mark's Club for hosting, and to all the readers that came along.

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nice video thanks to all involved.

Simon, which jacket are you wearing in this video?


something wrong with the sound?


Love it! Not sure about the flashy watch shot at the end of article though… Bit naff.


Great discussion and very funny how everyone except the Italian thinks Italian’s are great at marketing themselves.
All of you look great, but I love Gianluca’s suit. Is it some sort of cotton mix or an olive wool of some sort?


Lovely, thank you.

Jamie Rhodes

A quick note about superblacks. This is feasible with legal and safe dyestuffs by descaling the wool which allows better dye penetration to the fibre. This works better for worsteds than woollens. Most superblack, even for the Italian mills, is done in Japan, sometimes top-dyed, spun and woven, and then piece dyed (ie double dyed) before final finishing. On finer microns, descaling and piece dyeing can work as well. Cost is prohibitive, but worth it, especially for evening wear.


Simon, when I first started reading your blog a few years ago I discovered ‘O’Mast’ shortly after—a wonderful documentary! It’s great that you were able to join Gianluca in conversation. I enjoyed Douglas’s insights as well.


Enjoyable video, especially Douglas from Fox Brothers. There’s no question that the “social/media” world has allowed the supply chain to be revealed…and also to be queried by the consumer. Douglas mentioned certain dying processes that are no longer legal – this kind of information is really useful to explain why (for example) blacks may no longer be quite as black as we’ve become accustomed to. The same holds true for fragrances by the way. More and more chemicals are restricted or banned, requiring the brands to regularly have to update their formulations, often yielding an inferior end product that’s still called Antaeus, Chanel No5 or whatever…..
Anyway specific to mills, people also hunger for knowing more about the process itself – as he mentioned. Hats off to Intel, who decided to make us all aware of computers that are using their chips via “Intel Inside”. Even though noone knows what an Intel chip actually does, especially compared to an AMD or other chip.
Same logic for mills, although I can’t quite see the label saying something like “Fox Brothers Inside”…but perhaps it could show a QR code that will allow the punter to learn more about the material that the jacket is made from, why *that* mill was chosen, why they’re sustainable, why it costs more than off-the-rack etc.etc.

James Cretney

Simon I love your trousers in this, are they the cavalry twill you have blogged about previously?


What is the standard protocol regarding bespoke & fixing issues with bespoke. I think they mentioned the Japanese will send it back. How many times do you send it back & forth, fixing issues like pitch? Also, how do tailors generally handle with a client loses weight?


Hello Simon, very nice video! Would it be possible to know which fabric was used for Douglas suit ? Thanks!