Education plays a large role Alessio Berto's day-to-day.
In a world of fast fashion, Alessio Berto, owner of The Tailor Pattern Support, is here to remind denim makers about the importance of creating garments with good bones.
Berto cut his teeth in fashion in the late ’80s when he started designing dresses inspired by famous fashion houses. He worked his way up in small companies learning size grading and pattern making alongside senior designers before becoming an expert in his own right and producing patterns for Jean Paul Gaultier Jeans, Chanel, Boy London, Replay and more.
Now, Berto operates The Tailor Pattern Support, consulting brands and designers in the industry on developing patterns and production training. Education plays a large role in his day-to-day, as attention to craftsmanship is falling to the wayside as automation steps in. Experienced experts, like Berto, are fewer and further between.
In 2019, Berto led workshops on pattern making during Denim Première Vision in Milan and London.
What will the denim industry be like in the next 18 months?
I don't know how it will be, but I hope it will be even more united, collaborative and honest.
What changes would you like to see in the denim industry as a result of Covid-19?
In Italy, the process that has already begun to implement a more realistic [approach to] responsibility and transparency and a return to making collections that have the same flavor as those of the pre-globalization period. In general, I find that there are many beautiful brands in the world but sometimes there is no true story behind them—and I’m not just talking about sustainability. I am talking about the product, the emotions of shades and details, the study of the garments and the importance of the fit.
I don't see denim with a strong fashion attitude as I saw in the ’80s and ’90s. I’ve notice niche selvedge brands that focus on vintage sewing machines and pseudo-tailoring craftsmanship, but few on quality and fit. We pay more attention to using authentic machines and vintage looms and sometimes we do not see that the trousers [are bad].
I would like to see [simpler] marketing, more attention to the supply chain, more attention to details and wearability of garments and an explanation for high prices.
How do you define sustainability in a post-pandemic world?
Sustainability is education. Young people are the future of this sector (not just in denim) and they must be educated by those who know how to make things. To put it simply, to make a quality product it takes money and professionals throughout the supply chain—not just technology.
Those who have been working in this sector for more than 30 years know very well how to build a quality collection [by hand]. Anyone who says technology can replace humans and be more sustainable has not made use of the professionals in the company or does not know how to choose the correct manufacturers. Technology must be used to support professionals.
Describe your dream jeans.
The jeans of my dreams are made well, have a good fabric, a good workmanship, no washes (I like rigid jeans) and above all, have a correct fit.
What is your most worn pair of jeans, and why?
Usually, I wear jeans from my archive which I buy used or rigid from deadstock retailers. The only new pair of jeans that I own—and that have been given to me—are two pairs of Levi’s 501 XX Big E 1943 rigid. And I wear them a lot before I wash them.
Name one word that describes denim to you.
Perfume. [I can remember] from my childhood the smell of the denim stores.