La Stoffa - by Agyesh Madan
Agyesh Madan is the former head of product development at Isaia and the founder of Stoffa. He is also one of the most inspiring men in the clothing industry. And at the same time one of the most humble and sincere guys I've come across. If you haven't read the post I wrote about him back in the days in 2014, take a look at it from here.
The name Stoffa is Italian and stands for "the stuff things are made of". The brand started with a kind of unique range of accessories featuring scarves, pocket squares and knit ties. From the start the Stoffa had a modern and fresh look. I have called it "Italian minimalism". Even though they have from the start been using century-old production techniques. Today the company is especially known for their outerwear and trousers. And every product is made by order.
Yes, there is no stock. Nothing you could buy off the rack. The outerwear collection includes 5 different jackets in various options of material, and every piece is made to order and made to measure. As said by Agyesh himself, "our thoughtfully designed outerwear is elegant and luxurious. Clean lines combined with meticulously tested details invoke a natural affinity with the wearer and provide the perfect complement for life on the move."
Stoffa does not have any retailers and they do not have their own store. But Agyesh travels around the world for trunk shows to take orders. For more details check out about the upcoming shows and cities, take a look at their website.
Every single Stoffa piece is made to order and made to measure.
Stoffa outerwear - the 002 flight jacket
As already mentioned, all of the products are simple and casual, yet elegant and refined. There are two long overcoats, the car coat and the asymmetric coat. Then there is the field jacket and two shorter jackets that are the most casual ones of the selection. Perhaps the most important aspect of the design of Stoffa outerwear is the simplicity. And another thing worth of mentioning are subtle changes of proportion.
For my first order I ended up choosing the cropped 002 flight jacket in navy suede. Finally I made the choice between the asymmetric jacket and the flight jacket. I thought that this one would better suit my own style and body. The flight jacket is in fact a great example on the perfect proportions. And in my opinion it is especially a great choice for a short guy like me. The clean and refined jacket features generous pockets and a soft, rolling collar. The jacket is made of high-quality lamb skin suede and finished with high-grade single needle stitching. I don't go into the details of the finishing and quality, but believe me - if you try it, you will feel and see how it is.
The process - my order
As said, Stoffa does not have any retailers. But if you are living in Scandinavia, the easiest way is to make your way to Stockholm. And go to Marcus Malmborg, who has his own showroom and who represents Stoffa as well. This is also the place where the trunk shows in Stockholm are arranged.
My own process for ordering the jacket was actually quite a long one. I visited in Stockholm in summer 2016 to meet Agyes as he was having a trunk show there. I tried out the models, which were five at that time. We discussed about different possibilities and Agyesh took my measurements and wrote down the needed alterations for different type of jackets. At that time I did not however yet pull the trigger. It took me over a year to make up my mind. Finally last fall I decided that I would go for the flight jacket. After a short consideration between the dark brown and navy suede I chose to go with the blue. The brown seems to be more common but in my opinion the navy suede is actually even more versatile option. And more appropriate for my own use.
Pick-up from Stockholm
As I didn't have any trips to Stockholm scheduled I emailed to Marcus and Agyesh if they still had my measurements stored. And they did. So we agreed the details of the order via email and they put the jacket into production. The normal delivery time is around 4-6 weeks. The preferred option is that the orders are delivered through trunk show appointments. Naturally because then you can take a look at the result and see the fit of the jacket. This time however I asked them to deliver the jacket to the showroom of Marcus even though I couldn't make it for the next scheduled trunk show. And at the same time I got a nice excuse to make a short weekend trip to Stockholm.
The prices of the Stoffa outerwear starts from around 1000 euros. The suede flight jacket cost 1300$ and the pieces made of cotton or linen fabrics are a bit less. The long overcoats starts around 1500 euros and the trousers costs around 300-500 euros. Naturally depending on the material you choose to go for.
It is clear that these are not cheap pieces. But if you consider the quality and the fact that every piece is made to order as well as made-to-measure and you get to choose all the details as well the fabrics, the price is fair in my opinion. And the jacket is definitely worth the price.
The fit of the Stoffa flight jacket
To put it shortly, when I received the jacket, the fit was perfect. It is close but not tight on the shoulders, a nice line through the waist, good length on the hips, and the length of the sleeves is just on point. The fit was in fact just how expected and hoped. So you could say that it was just how made-to-measure garments should be. And as there were only minor alterations to the fitting jacket, they were executed perfectly. And the jacket did not need any further alterations.
One thing that is good to keep in mind in terms of fit is the proportions and structure of the jacket. Due to the short length and over-sized pockets it draws attention to your waist line and hips. And this can make you look bulkier than you are. Especially as the jacket is quite tight on the shoulders, you may want to give some extra thoughts on the fact, will the jacket suit your own body. To summarize, the jacket in principle have an effect that makes the waist look bigger and the shoulders smaller . Which is fact is the opposite proportions of tailoring.
For myself this wasn't a problem. Partly because I have relatively wide chest and shoulders in comparison to the other parts of my body. And also the short length of the jacket fits my own height and proportions pretty nicely. In a way it actually makes me look a bit taller as it sits perfectly just above my hips.
Sum-up - how to combine the navy suede flight jacket
As already said the Stoffa flight jacket is casual and simple but at the same time refined and chic. And this makes it quite easy to combine with different kind of trousers, shirts and pullovers. In my opinion the suede version is definitely at its best when you combine it with roll neck sweaters. Just as I've actually done in every picture features in this post. In terms of colors the usual rules apply. The navy blue is perfect pair for off-white trousers or knitwear as well as for shades of brown and gray.
In terms of trousers, I personally prefer options with higher waist. Mainly because of the short length of the jacket. When you wear trousers with higher waist, the jacket fits much more nicely as the hem of the jacket is placed just below the waistline of your trousers.