For over a century this one-of-a-kind men’s clothing shop has been synonymous with creativity, seductive elegance and Genoese identity. It was established in 1899 by Emanuele Finollo in the elegant surroundings of Via Roma, one of the “new” streets in the “new” city centre that was built two decades earlier and was to become the precinct of choice for Genoa’s elite. Still run by the Finollo family, the shop’s current owner is Emanuele’s great-granddaughter, Francesca Linke, daughter of the unforgettable Roberto, while her mother Daniela runs the workshop in Via Luccoli where, now as in the past, shirts and other items of clothing are crafted by hand and made to measure. It takes a series of fittings and 12 hours of labour time to make one of their bespoke shirts. Emanuele Finollo, who was both an artisan and an entrepreneur, designed the splendid shopfront and Art Nouveau portal with wood inlay – an elaborate moulding on which the sculpted wooden volutes with “whiplash curves” frame flowers, fruit and, in the centre, his name repeated on the jambs at the sides of the windows on the curved front beckoning you to come in – as well as the doors, handles and bronze decoration. The original owner also masterminded the interior furnishings, wood panelling and stuccoed ceiling – the latter was done by a Parisian craftsman – based on Old-World Shops in London and Paris that Finollo had seen.
In the warm welcoming interior lined with vintage panelling, the late 19th century atmosphere characterises the celebrated ties and shirts made from fabric designed by the owners and imported from the UK. Famous customers in the past included the Duke of Windsor, Guglielmo Marconi, writer and director Mario Soldati and former head of FIAT Gianni Agnelli.