Walking into New Haven’s Ferrucci’s, you’re greeted right away by all the proof you need that this men’s clothier is the quintessential ma and pa store. It’s in the form of a loving homage to Vincent P. Ferrucci, founder of what’s been a New Haven staple since 1963, and father of current owner, Vincent F. Ferrucci. The elder Vincent’s credentials are not only impressive – he trained in tailoring and design in Italy from the of age of 13 to 16 – but they tell the story of a man who seemed destined to not only be a self-made man, but to create an enduring legacy for his family.
Fashion trends might have changed a bit since Vincent P. was running the shop, but the cornerstones of his business have remained exactly the same: fashion, quality, and service.
“You’re either at the top end, or you’re nowhere,” says Vincent F. today. “Stores like ours are like delicatessens for your wardrobe. We’re not a supermarket. They call places like Ferrucci’s speciality stores; well, you have to be special or you’re not a speciality store.”
Catering to the modern man who takes pride in how he presents, Ferrucci’s customers range from men in their twenties to men in their eighties. With an inventory of high-end merchandise – ties, shirts, jackets, suits, shoes, sweaters – Ferrucci’s tacit motto is enduring style and quality.
“We’re a product driven store,” says Vincent F., “not a brand driven one. If I introduce a suit or outfit to any customer, there has to be a rhyme and a reason as to why it makes sense to own as part of their wardrobe. It has to fit not only their physical body, but it needs to speak to how they wish to project themselves to their clients, colleagues, friends, and family.”
Joining his father in 1989 after receiving a business degree from the University of Connecticut, Vincent F. knew he was destined to take over Ferrucci’s someday. Having been around the store since he was a young boy, learning the trade was an effortless endeavor. In fact, the younger Ferrucci, who always seemed to share his father’s appreciation for design and fashion, would accompany his mentor on buying trips to glimpse upcoming collections.
“It was a father/son business in every sense,” Vincent muses. “My father was brilliant at what he did and I’m lucky to have had him of course as my father, but also as the inspiration for something I truly love to do. I know he’d be quite proud to see the place thriving the way it is today.”
When the elder Vincent opened Ferrucci’s doors back in 1963, he specialized strictly in tailoring, a trade he learned in the old country. As any master tailor will tell you, custom clothing was and still is the superior way of creating a natural expression into each garment for a better fit. Yet as a way to provide greater variety for those time-constrained clients, Ferrucci’s began to offer ready-to-wear clothing and furnishings, i.e. shirts, neckwear, belts, etc.
“Our customers truly are family,” says Vincent today. “We are privileged to know about the goings-on in their lives – weddings, job interviews, anniversaries – and we help them to prepare for these milestones. We operate as much as a social center as we do a store. That was important to my father, and I’m proud to see that ethos continue to this day.”
To learn about Ferrucci’s high end apparel, visit them at 53 Elm Street in New Haven, or visit their website at www.ferrucciltd.com.