When I saw the film MEN OF THE CLOTH, I wept. I wept to hear and feel the stories of three master Italian tailors, filmed over the course of eleven years. Director Vicki Vasilopoulos tells a beautiful story. In this interview, Ms. Vasilopoulos shares her background, what inspired her to commit to making this film, and why these master tailors’ stories need to be told now …
MKG: Were you always interested in fashion?
VICKI: I’ve always been interested in fashion, since high school. When I got a job at DNR, the respected men’s wear news magazine (which later became a part of Women’s Wear Daily) it was my introduction to the world of men’s fashion and design. As a fashion editor I covered shows in New York and Europe. When traveling to Italy, I met master tailor Checchino Fonticoli, and was introduced to the passion and pride and luxury of this Old-World profession.
MKG: Why is this subject dear to you?
VICKI: I have a reverence for things that are made by hand; the personal and intimate creations by artisans and masters of their craft. My father was a craftsman (a furrier) and I grew up appreciating what he did. I know there’s a continuous feedback loop between the brain and the hands. The subject of master tailors fascinates me: I did my research, I used my journalistic background to investigate, and I uncovered the fact that this was a disappearing art. Creating the film was an eleven-year process. When I started, I took a topic-driven approach. As the years developed the focus of the film changed and in the editing process it became clear that this film needed a more character-driven approach. And I am very happy that we did that because the intimate portraits of these three wonderful master tailors now have a universal appeal. The message of MEN OF THE CLOTH is one to which we can all relate: what it means to find your true calling in life. Continue reading