"We want to have always a softer and softer hand. That is difficult but it is our direction"
--- Andrea Benedini
At Luigi Bianchi Mantova’s factory, the first thing that strikes any visitor is the art. It’s everywhere. In corridors and in every room, there are paintings & antiques from the local region, contemporary works commissioned by the company, and art made from scraps of cloth by local schoolchildren. The central piece - which was once owned by the the House of Gonzaga, who ruled this region for centuries - depicts a Biblical scene where a king has thrown a wedding banquet and invited everyone. The only condition upon the attendees is that they’d be properly dressed, which is why the painting shows a man being thrown out for not being so. It’s an apt piece for a company that has focused on properly dressing men for the last hundred years.
Luigi Bianchi opened a tailoring shop in Mantova, Italy in 1911 after spending a dozen years in Turin learning to become master tailor. His name, taste, and the quality of his clothes became so well known in Europe that the Duke of Windsor once came into the shop and ordered an entire wardrobe. Eventually, the shop evolved into factory production, but Bianchi was always careful to maintain a certain level of quality. And while many of his competitors moved to Milan, he always stayed rooted in Mantova, the city he loved most. His legacy is present everywhere in this town, where the company built housing for employees, a daycare for their children and is active in the life of the region.
Nowadays, Luigi Bianchi Mantova is run by the family’s third and fourth generations and continues to balance a contemporary approach to production with a deep-rooted respect of sartorial traditions and taste. It is best known to menswear aficionados around the world for its LBM 1911 line, which focuses on offering softly tailored garments constructed from innovative fabrics, such as those with unique garment-dyeing and wool printing techniques. The Sartoria line also offers classic patterns with tasteful choices in cloth and updated silhouettes.