Designer Domenico Vacca looks into fashion’s future
The Domenico Vacca label may be rooted in old-school southern Italian tailoring traditions of the past, but its founder, creative director and namesake is a social media junkie whose efforts on various film and TV products have him looking three to 30 seasons down the road. During a recent visit to his Beverly Hills boutique, he shared his thoughts on what fashion of the future might look like, the importance of Instagram and what happens when the guy wearing your tuxedo wins an Academy Award.
You’ve made suits for Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold character on both the HBO TV series “Entourage” and the upcoming film that won’t hit theaters until mid-2015. Did you approach the projects differently?
Definitely. You have to think June 2015, you can’t think March 2014. We kind of already know what’s going to be trendy a year from now, so what I created for Jeremy [is what] you will see in my next collection, the one that comes out in the spring of 2015.
What will the suits of “Entourage” — and hence spring 2015 — look like?
Colorwise we have a lot of great blues, royal blues, very deep colors. We also did a great palette of browns and beiges. We also did a lot of Prince of Wales [checks] and plaids where we really pushed the colors a bit. ... We posted pictures of Jeremy on the set in some of the pieces to Instagram and people started reacting like crazy.
Speaking of which, you have a pretty robust social media presence. More than 24,000 people follow your Instagram account, and almost 37,000 follow your Twitter feed. What role does social media play in building a brand like yours?
It’s amazing! And I’m completely addicted to it. I like to do the Instagramming myself — and then share it to Facebook and Twitter — because it gives me a lot of feedback and reaction right away. You know if you’re on the right track. And it’s a great way to be in touch. I used to spend more time in my stores, but now I’m traveling a lot and spending much less time with my customers, and I miss that in a way. That’s where you get your feedback and reactions. So I think Instagram and Twitter really are filling in that gap. Now, in one shot, I can have a 33,000-person audience. Imagine how long that would take otherwise.
Besides “Entourage,” what other film or TV projects have you worked on recently?
I helped do the wardrobe for a [TV] pilot called “Tin Man” — it’s about [robots] in the future, in 2030, Shaun Toub is the lead actor.
What will men’s fashion 15 years from now look like?
I still believe it will be about a slim silhouette [and] simple lines but with interesting details. One of the things we did was make the corners of the lapels on an overcoat Shaun’s character wears in metal. They could be done in different fabrics and changed to match the color of the tie, like a pocket square. That’s what I see. And everything is going to be less sloppy — and the bodies are going to be perfect. You can’t tell me that in 2030 somebody can’t come to me and say: “I can suck all your fat out.”
Let’s go from far in the future to the recent past for a second. Perhaps your biggest red-carpet moment to date was in February 2013 when Daniel Day-Lewis wore a custom royal blue Domenico Vacca tuxedo with a shawl collar in black grosgrain to the Academy Awards. Does something like that translate into a measurable jump in sales?
The Monday after the Oscars, we sold 20 of those Daniel Day-Lewis tuxedos. People were just calling from everywhere saying they wanted it.