When you hear the name Gino Venturini it conjures up an image of an Italian Signore with Grandezza. The Viennese – and not just them – value the top-class products associated with the brand Gino Venturini – tailor-made, gentlemen’s shirts..
You can find the shop on your black and white WIEN PRODUCTS map at Spiegelgasse 9 — here, you can experience a constant coming and going almost every day – customers from far and wide flock to this establishment. Here – close to Stephansplatz – measurements are taken, shirt lovers look through materials, expert advice is given and the cut, buttons and special details of shirts are discussed. And it is from here that customers collect their orders a few weeks later.
I would like to know how the shirts got their legendary reputation and how they are made .. so, I arrange to meet company owner and Managing Director Nicolas Venturini at the production workshop. I travel out to Lower Austria on a sunny September day to the place where the heart of this brand beats.
There are rows of folders with individual customer patterns, hundreds of fabric rolls are stacked on large shelves and here sit the ladies who transform the pattern pieces into elegant shirts
Nicolas Venturini greets me at his office – and every minute there are phone calls and messages. I am pleased that he takes the time to tell eagerly me about his company and answer my questions in detail. He has craftsmanship in his blood and that is something you can feel immediately. He tells me excitedly how he grew into this company and took it over a few years ago. The person who gave the company its name – his father Gino Venturini, born in Trieste – was really a grand seigneur and got the company up and running. His son continues to run the company successfully and moves with the times. Even so, one thing has remained extremely important – everything is handmade.
“We are a family company and we are craftsmen,” he says, as we go into the production area. He knows all of his staff by name – many of them have been with the company for an eternity and there really is a family atmosphere between the people.
The cloth is cut at the tables –pattern pieces are put on with an experienced eye – always with the end-result in mind. The stripes are completely straight – yes, the workers also use their brains. Next to this, shirt collars and cuffs are reinforced – so many invisible details that make a shirt tailor-made.
Nicolas Venturini draws my attention to something unique – the hand-stitched monogram. It makes a difference whether it is stitched by hand or machine. “Not everyone can do it,” he explains. “We also offer different styles of fonts for monograms!” As we go through production, Venturini checks various individual items, asks his staff if something that they had spoken about yesterday had worked, and you get the feeling he knows every single order.
In between, he hands out chocolate bananas and says that chocolate bananas and so-called Leberkässemmel (warm, meat pate rolls) always create a good mood. This is very important to him. “I wouldn’t be able to run my business without my staff,” he says. “I don’t have their skills. I take care of many things and feel responsible for everything.” That has paid dividends.
He likes to look for new materials – he also creates unique Venturini designs that are specially woven in Switzerland and Italy for the company. “Everything is two-ply,” he says, not without pride. Most of the materials are pure cotton, I am allowed to touch some of the fabric and am impressed by the quality and extremely comfortable feeling of the materials on my skin.
“We have hundreds of materials on stock – that means that customers do not have to wait ages for their shirts.” I stand there, amazed by the huge number of rolls of fabric, full of hundreds of stripes, big and small checks, single and multi-colored materials, plaid and spotted cloth – a fantasy beyond imagination.
I stand next to an employee once again. The shirt is getting its buttons here, and the positioning of the small, mother-of-pearl buttons that come from the Waldviertel is also not left to chance.
When a shirt has been hand finished, ironed and gone through a strict quality control inspection, it is carefully folded and placed into wonderful, dark green Venturini packaging. Now, it is ready to be taken to the customer. Sometimes the shirt returns to the shirt maker after many years – then it gets new cuffs and a new collar. There are special fabric stocks for this. A wonderful sustainability idea and a guarantee for long-term happiness with a tailor-made shirt
I am impressed by what I have seen and heard and say goodbye to Nicolas Venturini. The exceptional quality of the shirts is well worth the walk to Vienna’s Spiegelgasse 9!