A messy office is said to be a sign of genius and productivity. For jet-setting tailor Domenico Vacca, that saying rings true, as he describes his office at Giovanni Clothes Inc. as “slightly disorganized.”
“I’m hardly here. It’s literally a stock room,” the Montreal-based tailor told Global News.
Vacca spends most of his time on the move. Having gone on an estimated 190 trips and flown over 300,000 miles in the past year, the well-dressed man travels frequently to provide tailoring services to various athletes on professional sports teams across North America.
You may not know Vacca, but if you are a sports fan, you have seen his work on the backs of players before and after their games.
From the flashy, camouflage suit jackets worn by San Jose Sharks defenceman Brent Burns to the polished looks of players like Erik Karlsson and Marc-André Fleury, Vacca has dressed some of the best athletes from the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball over the last four decades.
Operating out of his Montreal store on St-Laurent Boulevard and primarily dealing in made-to-measure suits, he has changed the tailoring business his father started in 1965.
Now, Vacca’s father Giovanni, founder of Giovanni Clothes Inc., says his son is the one steering the ship and that he has done so successfully for some time.
“He tells me what to do now,” Giovanni said.
Vacca says he started tailoring athletes in fine Italian fabrics in the 1980s when business was slowing down. Since then, the business has dressed players from all 30 NHL teams and up to eight MLB teams.
Over the years of dressing coaches and athletes, Vacca says he has seen the evolution of numerous fashion trends.
“Go back 10 to 15 years, all the guys wore charcoal, grey and black, that was basically it,” Vacca said. “Nowadays, there is always guys that want to be flashy.”
Vacca’s clothes can be loud — his suit jacket linings have featured everything from printed wedding photos to a whole NHL roster sewn into the fabric — but he keeps his list of high-profile clientele close to his well-fitted vest and prefers to stay behind the scenes.
However, Vacca takes pride in the work he and his 15 employees put out every year.
Signed wedding photos and pictures of past clients line Giovanni Clothes Inc.’s three-floor building — memories from the players Vacca has dressed over the years.
Vacca says his business works thanks to the trust he has built in his client relationships.
“I’ve followed some of these guys from their rookie season. That is a relationship that has been built of time,” Vacca said.
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