It was a typically hot Singapore afternoon, 33 degrees no less. But the heat and humidity did not seem to faze Mr Stefano Cau, who grew up in Como, Italy, a province famed for its fine fabrics and artisanal weaving techniques.
In fact, he enjoys our weather and expressed his disappointment in not being able to visit Sentosa during his short 3 day stay in Singapore. Intrigued by the way ‘Kopi’, the Hokkien dialect for Coffee with milk, is placed in a plastic carrier when ordered to go, he whipped up his phone to snap a picture for his girlfriend and business partner back in Italy.
Always make time for coffee
Stefano grew up as an insider in the world of men’s accessories. In the 80s, he was offered the chance to join the family business, which till today, still deals in ties and foulards. He deepened his understanding of what it truly means to be “Made in Italy” when he spent several years at Mantero Seta Spa, the Como-based textile producer and distributor.
Stefano established his eponymous label in 2005 and enjoyed success in the artisanal Italian and Japanese market. He combines his family’s textile heritage and his eye for artistic expression and seek to translate that into his designs. It goes without saying that production is entirely handmade in Italy. Fast-forward a decade, Stefano is now ready to break into the South-East Asian menswear market, starting with Singapore.
Having spent several hours with Stefano, taking him to lunch at a Redhill Hawker Centre (he wanted to experience the local way of life) and listening to him share the way ties are made, it is not difficult to see why people want to work with this man. Clad in a light blue oxford shirt and chinos, this was a man who was as talented as he is passionate about artisanal mens accessories. His eyes lit up when we mentioned the possibility of visiting the Singapore Peranakan Museum; and when we were there, he marvelled at the intricacies of the Peranakan needlework and Sarong Kabaya.
This was a designer who was in touch with reality. No lofty ideas yet not compromising on the Italian flair. This is ultimately reflected in his Spring Summer collection which features ties that are suitable for an office ensemble as they are for a wedding suit. Yes, his Spring Summer collection just arrived but we already cannot wait to see what Stefano creates next.
Stefano Cau hand-stitched Italian ties are available at Takashimaya Lvl 3 Mens and Tangs Orchard Lvl 3 Mens