by Stephen Garner
Stefano Canali

Canali, the 85-year-old brand Italian tailored clothing brand, has unveiled a new virtual journey through its history.

For the first time since its inception, the Canali family has retraced its history by paying homage to the individuals who played a key role in propelling the brand as a top international player, in the world of high-end, Made in Italy menswear.

Called “Canali Anthology,” the new site is a collection of memories and values, featuring the brand’s founding family, masterful artisans, and collaborators credited with building the brand’s identity and heritage. The journey also narrates a new chapter with a strategy marked by retail expansion, digitized sales campaigns, and constantly evolving client services.

The Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana will host a digital preview of the new program as part of the Milan fashion week calendar. The virtual itinerary will introduce seven overarching themes: family, vision, crafts, people, places, heritage, and Canalipedia. All content will be available in three languages – Italian, English, and Chinese.

“We are pleased to launch Canali Anthology, a native mobile digital project that narrates the company’s history, spotlights the people with whom we work, and spreads the love for Made in Italy,” explained Stefano Canali, CEO and grandson of founder Giovanni.

Narrated through videos, interviews, testimonials, and archival images, Canali Anthology chronicles the company’s origins that date back to 1934 in Triuggio, when Giovanni Canali becomes part of the small tailoring houses founded in 1908 by his brother Giacomo. Together, they transform the workshop into a business that eventually employs over one hundred workers, a considerable number for that time. World War II forced the company to reorganize. In the 1950s, Giovanni’s sons Giuseppe, Genesio, and Eugenio joined the company and revived production by incorporating raincoats, one of the top-selling items of the era. The 1970s sparked a modern-day menswear renaissance, strongly led by Canali expanding into men’s suits. In the 1990s, the company further diversified its production into casual wear, a move that initiated a phase of global retail expansion for the brand.

The Canali Anthology brings to light various accomplishments, such as how Canali was the first Italian brand to purchase and install an automatic system that trimmed multiple garments simultaneously, streamlining and accelerating the traditional tailoring process. The dawn of this industrial breakthrough paved the way for a new era of accuracy and precision, in which, even today, expert hands are always used to oversee the delicate assembly and finishing phases that take place entirely throughout the Italian peninsula.

It also expounds a philosophy passed down from generation to generation, further explained by Stefano Canali, CEO and grandson of Canali’s founder Giovanni, in a reminiscent video interview. “Perhaps the best advice my father gave me was to never feel like I had ‘made it.’ I think that it is fundamental, especially for entrepreneurs. It is a principle that still guides all our choices today, motivating us to innovate and set new goals — without ever forgetting that true strength is rooted in kindness.”

In retracing key historic moments, the Canali Anthology serves as a source of inspiration, highlighting the brand’s ability to interpret monumental signs of the times. It also underscores the company’s deft response to market demands, as its various present-day projects, demonstrate.

In 2019, the brand further defined the parameters of its product offering. In addition to the Canali 1934 offering, which is known its reinterpretation of iconic garments from the male wardrobe and the brand’s traditional sartorial patterns, the Exclusive line conveys Italian elegance through details, materials, and sophisticated techniques, and the new Black Edition takes inspiration from a modern, dynamic lifestyle translating into exceptional, functional, and versatile clothing.

Canali has recently expanded its network of directly-operated stores with ten new retail spaces in China, while the inauguration of a new flagship store on New Bond Street in central London, where Canali has had a presence for twenty years, is slated for the final quarter of 2020.

And, the spring/summer 2021 sales campaign will be showcased in a Virtual Showroom, a digital tool designed to aid buyers in the ordering phase, affording them an abundance of inspirational content and technical in-depth information about each collection.