Stefano Cau, an Italian-based entrepreneur and menswear enthusiast, is the owner of the highly regarded tie brand Stefano Cau. Headquartered and designed in the famous silk city Como, in Italy, the company offers clients worldwide high-quality handmade men’s accessories. Stefano Cau is mainly known for his handmade silk ties placing uncompromising emphasis on quality. However, the company offers also a broad product range of various men’s accessories such as scarves, pocket squares and bow ties. Have a closer look at the beginnings of establishing Stefano Cau, the product range and its characteristics.
Stefano Cau’s journey of creating his own company
It can be said that Stefano has been born into the tie business. He comes from Como in Italy which is a very famous silk city. His family has been running a textile business since 1964, which he joined at the age of 19. His mother used to make ties by hand, so she taught him all possible secrets in this field. As you can see on the pictures, Stefano has a unique sense for design and creativity. Those distinguishing characteristics influenced his professional path until the latest adventure of him opening an own company 5 years ago. He has created his own label, which is independent financially and strategically, fully reflecting his vision of today’s menswear world.
Stefano Cau’s sources of inspiration
Stefano is totally in love with the 1920s and 1950s. These two decades are characterized by architectural and fashion culture, the art déco. Whereas the first decade was more “happy” the second one was more colorful. Both however are very similar based on clean and well-defined looks, taking full inspiration from geometries and color contrasts. These were decades when manual skill was a major factor and hence a further reason of interest for Stefano.
Full inspiration is being taken from geometries and color contrasts of the art déco
Besides these two decades, Stefano also takes inspiration from his frequent travels, both for work and pleasure. He loves designs and the culture of the Middle East, the Byzantin and nomad civilization of which wonderful mosaics and colors can be seen in Southern Italy or Southern Spain.
It is very difficult to explain the process of coming up with and creating a collection. There are no specific rules, no schemes, no restrictions on time. It is all a matter of inspiration. According to Stefano the most important and difficult part is not actually making the collection but expressing and communicating the feelings one has about that collection. So, creativity is not only about the design but also how to sell the creation. The concept of being successful and achieving business results is very much undervalued.
Characteristics of Stefano Cau’s ties
Stefano is a big supporter of dark ground colors such as navy, black, burgundy, purple, green or brown throughout the year and for all occasions. The simple logic behind this is that a darker color base is easier to match with different jackets and shirts. A definite must-have in a man’s wardrobe is navy tie with a red/wine motif. More difficult to combine but very elegant is a tie with a black base, perhaps a black & white pin dot tie. This could be worn for ceremonies or formal occasions but also in some very trendy fashion situations.
Stefano’s favorite are hand rolled three-fold ties
Stefano loves hand rolled three-fold ties. This making transmits a real sartorial handmade experience with his own exclusive touch by the small Italian flag, something that his mother created to emphasize the country it has been made.
Coming from the decades he loves Stefano’s ties are made using a 8,5 cm base full bottle shape which is very vintage. With this shape a perfect knot and more visibility can be achieved because it is slightly bigger. The 100% wool interlining with the 100% cotton canvas on top gives a specific soft touch to the tie. Furthermore, this interlining gives the opportunity to use the tie without losing its shape or the characteristics.
The online market and its potentials
When it comes to the online market, Stefano sees huge potentials in the e-shop. It is a pretty complicated world, but also a very motivating step to the future, to a new generation of consumers. They are way more demanding and curious of understanding elegance, details and the personalization of single items or garments.
Through the internet, Instagram, Facebook and the online shop, Stefano started meeting many people. Those were not the usual online shoppers but very curious people, mostly from the younger generation (24 – 32 years). They wanted to talk and wanted to understand why Stefano produces/creates a particular design or where that design is coming from. For Stefano, this virtual connection is an opportunity to present and make everybody understand his ideas about fashion, about craftsmanship and about passion. Consequently, it is a strong tool for interacting directly with consumers which brings it to a new level of communication.
Today’s menswear shopping is a totally emotional and personal experience. There is a category of consumers that requests exclusivity and personalization of the product. These features can only be found in the sartorial world, in its bespoke or niche products. This is a reason to design a tie collection which is more unique, different, expressing one’s own feelings about designs and taking advantage of one’s own experience and knowledge about a specific time.
Stefano Cau offers its customers a high degree of personalization
Therefore, in December 2019 Stefanocau.com turned the whole offer into bespoke products. The customer is now free to choose the size, shape and length. Even a customization with initials on any product is possible. Very soon there will be a full redesign of his webpage together with a new communication campaign. This will include a video explaining the philosophy and his passion for the artisan world.
For Stefano, a tie is like an umbilical cord. Ties gave Stefano a meaningful life, a way to go but also great opportunities to meet different people. They also enabled him to go further and to explore different other commercial categories. This includes for example scarves, bandanas (Stefano believes bandanas are a must for this spring and summer 😊), silk shirts and jackets with a twist of being more casual but at the same time a feeling of sartorial elegance, simply a great bespoke casual jacket.
Besides consolidated markets such as Japan, Korea, Singapore and Northern Europe, in the future Stefano wants to further approach Italy which is a very demanding market and the USA which is his most important target.
Stefano, thanks a lot again for all those interesting and exciting insights into your company! 😊
Picture courtesy: Stefano Cau