Nicole Kidman’s blessing thrilled custom tailor Dominic Lacquaniti. Lacquaniti moved to Naples two years ago from New York, where he worked in textile design. Lacquaniti, now 42, joined his dad, Rocco, at Rocco’s Tailor Shop, and they expanded into exclusive pieces for clients, including celebrities.
Revenue has increased by 70 percent since September 2013, when their new 1,700 square-foot showroom and workshop opened on Tamiami Trail.
Recently, Kidman OK’ed a jacket Dominic Lacquaniti designed and made for her husband, country singer Keith Urban. That led to the custom clothier creating suits that Urban wore in 2015 for the London premiere of Kidman’s play, Photograph 51 and the season finale of American Idol.
A day after returning from a client trip to Nashville, Lacquaniti chatted about the family business and what he calls the rebirth of old school, custom tailoring.
Why is the Naples market a place where a custom tailor shop can succeed?
I never thought in a million years we would be this busy. I’ve seen it grow and grow and grow. The clientele actually loves and appreciates fine things, from wine to cars to clothing.
Have you seen a shift in fashion in Naples?
Absolutely. I have a lot of guys coming in who … all of a sudden, they want their pants more tapered, shorter, a little more fitted, and shirts that fit more. It’s because of their wives, too. Women have a huge influence in men’s fashion.
Is there a workforce for tailors here?
(Laughing). The workforce is impossible to find because they’re older, they’re retired. We were in Italy trying to bring tailors here to work with us for the season. We were in New Jersey, New York, Boston, Toronto. That’s my biggest challenge, and that’s to find people that are really good at their craft.
What does it take to keep celebrity clients?
Those kinds of relationships have to be built slowly. You have to grow trust. One person talks to the other person. It takes just one celebrity. It just opens doors for everybody.
Do you allow walk-ins?
They can walk in. Come sit down, have an espresso, relax. Take a look. The fabrics are on the wall. If you like something, great. I’ll explain the process. We are absolutely against high-pressure sales.
What is it like working with your dad?
I get to see something my dad has been doing since he was 7 years old. My dad is 73. I study his hands. Looking at what he does is beautiful to me. In regards to the final word on how something should fit, that’s dad. Without his blessing, that jacket or pants or suit do not leave the shop.