By M.J. Bale
“I discovered the half canvas creation in 1971 while working for Canali in the ‘Hitman’ suit factory in Corsico, Milano.
“I discovered the half canvas creation in 1971 while working for Canali in the ‘Hitman’ suit factory in Corsico, Milano. Hitman was the first company to produce half canvas suits in Italy on behalf of some important luxury brands. Previously all suit production in Italy had been full canvas. By 1974 after the discovery had been made, all suit production in Italy was 90% half canvas and 10% full canvas. It was mainly as a result of the great price-quality relationship. It took half the time to make half canvas jackets, yet still gave the wearer most of the benefits of full canvas, especially where it counted most, from the break of the suit, through the lapel and on the shoulder.
The mass production fused suits (where linings are glued, and do not move freely in the jacket), had come from the United States. Italy, however, was traditional and made things in the old-fashioned way. The benefit of the half canvas is that the top half of the jacket remains canvas, as it’s the most important part to create the shape and drape of the jacket. The bottom part is still clean and stable, therefore easier to make and efficient for the price. Richard Gere wore one of the first half canvas creations in American Gigolo! The rest, as they say, is history, and I am proud to be part of M.J. Bale’s next chapter in the life of this important Australian-owned gentleman’s brand.”