by Christopher Blomquist

saksfabric1Two Italian fabric mills are being honored by Saks Fifth Avenue.

The upscale retailer has announced Vitale Barberis Canonico and Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti as the winners of its fourth annual Fabric No. 1 award, which is given to makers of what Saks deems to be the season’s best wool fabrics for ready-to-wear and made-to-measure suits and sport coats. Vitale Barberis Canonico, which is more than 350 years old and based in Pratrivero, was chosen for suiting while Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti, which dates back to the 1770s and is based in Biella, won in the sport coats category.

The former won for its Super 120’s wool in a Prince of Wales design while the latter won for its inner Mongolian cashmere that “evokes an artisan feel with a business edge.”

The two will be honored at a ceremony at the New York flagship store on September 17.

“We’re thrilled to announce our fourth year of the Fabric No. 1 competition and celebrate mills with the highest quality suiting fabrics,” said Thomas Ott, SVP GMM of Men’s at Saks Fifth Avenue, in a statement. “With a total of 50 international fabric brand submissions for consideration, it was a tough competition amongst the participants, but these two Italian mills stood out from the rest of the contestants for their exceptional use of materials.”

Each of the 50 brands submitted up to three signature cloths from their fall/winter collections for each category. Ott headed a panel of made-to-measure experts from the store, who examined and voted on the submissions.

The Fabric No. 1 pieces will have a custom number and label and program will be supported by window displays at the New York flagship, in print and on the store’s social media platforms. They will be available at Saks locations in New York and Chevy Chase.