One of the professions that truly make a difference for Italian jeans and casual brands–and a job that not many know about–is pattern-maker. Alessio Berto, owner, The Tailor Pattern Support, is one of the very few left.
Son of a “modista” (a hat pattern maker), Berto learned his passion for beautiful products from his family. He started making humble works from a small Italian apparel company. He did everything–from warehouse managing to developing different size scale and creating patterns–under the guidance of a real tailor. Through the years he worked with the most important jeans brands in men’s jeanswear. “I learned a lot from every experience and personality I met,” he says while remembering when he worked side by side with top designers. “They were my idols. Jean Paul Gaultier, a humble and very kind person, was a true teacher and highly creative. During the trying phase he could transform a shirt into a pair of shorts. It was amazing working with him. Katharine Hamnett? A true revolutionary. Making fitting with her was always a pattern-cultural adventure and a great school of life. Once I met her in her London home where she coked spaghetti for me...Andrew Mackenzie? A true genius! It was great fun for me placing his crazy ideas on paper–all ideas that most pattern makers considered impossible! Also my experience with the Sport Chanel team, my first one in true luxury fashion. I never saw such quality and professional approach, and coherence in taking style decisions.”
During the November 2017 edition of Denim Premiere Vision Berto re-created some men’s uniforms employing M&J garment facilities. At the last Venice Fashion Night he collaborated with IED school for “The Magnificent 7” project by re-creating seven iconic apparel pieces of the ’50s and he is also collaborating with some fashion schools to teach students how pattern-making has changed and needs a completely new approach with globalization.
“Through my studio I offer an actual and trustworthy service because my work is based upon math and geometry,” he explains. “Today young pattern-makers sit in front of the computer, but can only work with a CAD system and use already existing data,” he says, implying that direct contact with great experts and companies teaches an approach that goes beyond pre-prepared databases.