Vitale Barberis Canonico, the Origins of Elegance


Excellence and pride signify the authentic Made in Italy: Vitale Barberis Canonico brand, and since 1663, they have been the producers of fine fabrics for men’s clothing. Discover our interview below with Francesco Barberis Canonico, Creative Director of the woolen mill.

Vitale Barberis Canonico is the oldest woolen  in the world. From their physical dedication to the well- made and instinctive passion for elegance, unique fabrics are born, and milestones are made for a gentleman’s male wardrobe.

A truly important story exists behind this brand, starting over 350 years ago in Pratrivero (a province of Biella, at the foot of the Piedmont Alps) which today stands out for a clever balance between heritage and innovation.

© Vitale Barberis Canonico

Thanks to many years of experience and a very precious fabric archive (with over 2,000 volumes of ancient fabrics from Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany and America dating back to 1860 and up to the present day), Vitale Barberis Canonico creates fine and sophisticated fabrics that will become the basis for achieving the most sophisticated and elegant clothing for men.

We have interviewed Francesco Barberis Canonico, the creative director of Vitale Barberis Canonico, who among anecdotes and curiosities, told us how Vitale Barberis Canonico’s fabrics are able to turn naturalness into elegance.

What is the secret for a multi-centennial company like Vitale Barberis Canonico?

To have great respect for the past without ever taking it too seriously.

© Vitale Barberis Canonico

The 6 fabulous fabrics in a gentleman’s closet:

1) Blue Saglia (twill) blazer
2) Gray flannel suit
3) Gray or blue grisaille suit
4) Tweed jacket
5) Prince of Wales
6) Pinstriped suit

What fabric are you most fond of?

It’s difficult because there are many; for the winter I love a twill 21 Micron and a flannel cardigan. In the summer I love tropical wool and mohair wool. I’ll be looking forward to the in-between seasons where you need to alternate summer into the winter. I just love the seasonal nature of the fabric.

Fabrics archive © Vitale Barberis Canonico

Over the years you have created an archive with more than 2,000 volumes of ancient fabrics from all over the world, how do these treasures help you look and interpret the future?

Through the experience of the past, we can reinterpret and re-evalute standards of weight and the sense of touch, which enable us to achieve fabrics that can be current even if they draw from a vintage tradition.

If Florence was a fabric what would it be and why?

Florence is a beautiful city full of history, I would think of our monolithic 4-headed 21-micron woollen cloth.

Is there a place or a glimpse of Florence that represents the concept of beauty of Vitale Barberis Canonico?

The Loggia del Porcellino… It reminds me of the event with our friends at Eredi Chiarini. It was an ancient place that looked modern at the same time.