Knitwear and Tailoring

Today, we visited two companies within the consortium, both were also production companies. The first was Sartoria Cavour, a tailoring company and the other was Mario Foroni, a knitwear factory. Both companies were unique in their own way, the tailoring shop because everything was hand crafted and the knitwear factory because they design things for famous people all around the world, that we know in the United States. It was extremely cool to see the pieces that were the same as what the celebrities wore. Seeing these things did not take away from the tailoring company, it was also cool to see how each employee had their own part of the process that they did and they fed us great food, which is always a plus. When

The biggest difference between the two companies was that Mario Foroni was trying to  make clothes quicker by using machines, however, Sartoria Cavour was trying to make the highest quality of clothing by doing everything by hand. The structure of Sartoria and Mario Foroni is a sole proprietorship. By having a sole proprietorship, you are limited in the funds available when starting a business. Also, when it is just the owner in charge they take great pride in their products and want to make sure they are producing quality products because their name is on it. The method of quality control I saw at Sartoria Cavour was incredible, one of the heads of the company sat and looked over every part of the jacket to ensure it was of the best quality. This is a very tedious but effective method for making sure everything is done perfect. Although he did not seem to find many mistakes while we were these, I am sure there is occasionally. With a rapid decline of skilled workers that want to work in factories like this, it gets harder for them to find employees and to be able to continue the tradition of making everything by hand. Since it does take so long to make a jacket, they need to keep the number of employees up to keep producing at the same production level. In both of these companies, the employees must pretty much be born a skilled knitter or sewer, however, there is still training at these companies and Mario Foroni even has a school upstairs from its workplace. In the tailoring company, they just can’t simply find young women that want to learn to do this job rather than work in a retail store, even if they do pay good wages and work them short hours. It is great that they want to keep all their products hand crafted, but they may have to compromise that if they cannot find workers. Especially since they are trying to expand their market to the United States, they will really need to increase production to serve more customers. Mario Foroni is also trying to expand their business to the US and launching their very own line of clothing instead of designing for other brands.

In the fashion sector of business, companies normally have an informal culture, to be able to design clothes you must be able to be creative and work freely. That is the main focus of designers to be free and creative. However, in production companies, the culture is more formal and organized, each employee has a specific task to do. They are not free to do what they want with the products because they did not design it. Their job is to simply create it or part of it, they do not have the right to change it. Companies like this are all about making the most efficient products and using the most efficient techniques. Sartoria Cavour has very minimal excess fabric when making their jackets. Mario Foroni now programs machines to produce their products so the machines can efficiently use the correct amount of yarn, but their products are hand finished especially the more expensive ones. All in all, both companies started out very small and grew to be designing for huge names, Mario Foroni for Kanye West and Sartoria Cavour for Polo Ralph Lauren. I believe that this may be partially devoted to being part of the consortium.

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