Savoia grew up with a grandfather and father who were “sharp dressers,” he adoringly recalls, much in the vein of the glamorous movie stars whose black and white films play on repeat in his office 24/7. In the ’60s as a kid, Savoia remembers his maternal grandfather, who was a master tailor, wearing a three-piece suit even if it was a hundred degrees outside and watching his father from beginning to end while getting dressed for his job as a night club manager. Among the indelible impressions left upon him were the pressed shirts, pinky ring, and gesture of his dad greasing his hair back in the mirror into a dip before watching him walk down the front steps to his car through the window of their six-family house (the kind that literally housed the entire extended clan). So impassioned by the sartorial high standards of the male role models in his life, Savoia never went to school in sneakers and won the best dressed award every year at school. Today, to say he is a tailor is an understatement. Savoia eats, sleeps, lives and breathes his work of making and designing clothes for everyone from CEOs and fashionistas to Broadway costumes, with an intensity and perfectionism that speaks volumes to the value of a strong heritage.
It is mostly the romantic, seductive and streamlined beauty of the late ’30s and the Art Deco aesthetic that Savoia considers to be the epitome of a time when the world was at a creative and design peak, ranging from fashion and architecture to automobiles. In an effort to live in his visual fantasies, his clothing shop on the LES is like stepping into an inviting time warp, from vintage cuff links to his ’58 custom Harley Davidson Bobber parked outside that he rides everyday. A meticulous perfectionist when it comes to the eye, you won’t find Savoia in just any high-waisted trousers, rather the ones that really sit on your waist. The details of a cuff, if not French, are a Stove Pipe, laden with a richness of contrast stitching and contrast buttons that are only a small part of the love that goes into any one piece. He is part Errol Flynn in the distressed vintage leather trench coat that I wanted to take home and a more fit, slightly rock and roll Al Capone in a velvet vest with satin piping, pinstripe pants, earrings and tattoos. And don’t let his tough exterior of a scarf tied under the traditional apple jack hat in buttery classic black leathers and dark shades fool you. Savoia is as endearing as they come, with tattoos for his mom and daughter among the the many sentimentalities on his arms. He is obsessed with setting the stage, playing the part and “dreaming in an awakened state.”