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Adrian Jules[edit]


American clothing maker, Adrian Jules, was founded in 1964 at Rochester, New York, Its start-up financed from the modest savings of its two Italian immigrant co-founders, Adriano Roberti and Julio Volantere. Patriotic to America’s ideals and committed to assuming their adopted country’s language and colloquialisms, Roberti and Volantere chose an Anglicized interpretation of their first names for their company’s title. From Adriano Roberti came "Adrian." Julio Volantere contributed its last name, "Jules." Hence was born, Adrian Jules.

Two years later, the then 55-year-old Volantere fell gravely ill and passed away in 1966, leaving 32-year-old Adriano Roberti to head the small and still struggling start-up that would eventually grow into America’s oldest and largest, still family-owned maker of men’s and women’s custom-bespoke and ready-to-wear (RTW) clothing.


The growth strategy Roberti and Volantere conceived, and that Roberti would continue to implement until his own retirement, nearly 30-years later, was surprisingly simple: Create a nationally recognized brand of custom-bespoke clothing whose reputation and consumer demand would stretch far beyond the neighborhood influence of the era’s few custom tailors.

In 1995, Adriano Roberti retired. Though still an active influence in helping develop the company’s long term strategies, he ceded day-to-day operations to sons, Arnald and Peter. Today, Arnald "Arnie" Roberti, president of operations, manages all design, manufacturing and production as well as directing the company’s domestic and international sales. Peter Roberti, president of retail sales, oversees the company’s retail operations.

Since their early-teens, both had been groomed to one day, co-helm Adrian Jules. Each worked their way up the corporate ladder, learning the company’s each and every task, first sweeping floors and picking fabric scraps, then maintaining and repairing equipment. Later, Arnald apprenticed in the design studios and workshop, learning from its Master Tailors the Old World artisan tailoring skills that were the backbone of the company’s business, from hand-sewing and fabric cutting to pattern making.

Peter, on the other hand, recognized an opportunity to expand the company’s sales and earnings via leading a successful, 1982 diversification into retailing. To fully inventory its start-up retail venture, Adrian Jules launched an eponymously named, ready-to-wear (RTW) collection in 1982. Strategically a dual purpose diversification, Adrian Jules retail division was partly created to deliver increased sales and profits. Equally important, its second purpose was an image statement designed to showcase the company’s entire collection of custom-bespoke, made-to-measure (M2M) and ready-to-wear (RTW) clothing for men and women.


Today headquartered at 1392 Ridge Road East, not far from the original, Portland Avenue industrial storefront that seeded its beginning, 46-years ago, Adrian Jules now counts a staff of 75 employees divided among its design studio, workshop and administrative-executive corporate offices.


Shortly after its founding, Adrian Jules earned its tongue-in-cheek nickname, "America’s Best Worn Secret," from its beginnings as a "cut, make and trim (CMT) house," a fashion term that describes an anonymous maker of near-finished, custom-bespoke suits created on behalf of other custom tailors. Later, the company’s growing role as a private label maker of custom tailored and made-to-measure clothing for America’s top retailers added an entirely new dimension of satire to their slogan’s self-contradicting, play-on-words.

As teenagers in their native Italy, founders Adriano Roberti and Julio Volantere each earned the title of "Master Tailor," a still highly coveted status among Italy’s artisan-guild based economy. That legacy of Old World, custom-bespoke techniques explains why the company’s workshop and production flow remains organized, to this day, like a large, custom-tailoring shop.


Despite taking advantage of state-of-the-art production techniques, highly skilled tailors and sewers still perform painstakingly detailed, artisan hand-sewing at every stage of a garment’s assembly. Suit coats and sport coats are cut, shaped, sewn and pressed by hand. Top collars and under collars, along with shoulder linings, arm holes and sleeves are all hand-shaped, then joined together via the same meticulous hand-stitching techniques that founders Roberti and Volantere established as protocol, nearly 50-years ago. Even buttonholes are still hand-cut and shaped, then hand-stitched.


In part, that explains why Adrian Jules has been awarded more blue ribbons for excellence by the Custom Tailors and Designers Association (CTDA)[1] than has any other American clothing maker. Only Chicago’s 94-year-old Oxxford Clothes holds a CTDA blue ribbon count that approaches Adrian Jules’s total.

To its custom-bespoke, made-to-measure and Adrian Jules’ branded ready-to-wear collections, the multi-faceted company now counts top coats and full dress coats, as well as a myriad of traditional to trendy tuxedos among its wide ranging inventory.


Adrian Jules Prequel

Adriano Roberti, like his older mentor, Julio Volantere, first brandished shears at eight. Three years later, the 11-year-old Roberti was an accomplished pant maker. Each earned the title of "Master Tailor" – a still highly coveted status among Italy’s artisan-guild based economy – while still teenagers.

Recruited from their native, Brescia, Italy, in 1957 by the Rochester, New York-based, men’s clothing maker, Hickey Freeman, Adriano Roberti and Julio Volantere would ambitiously climb through its ranks for the next seven years. Each, at different times, quickly rose from a menial task sewer to shop foreman, then foreman-of-the-shops and finally, assistant head designers. [2]

Entrepreneurially driven and eager to tackle still additional challenges, the 30-year-old Adriano Roberti recognized the opportunity to create a nationally recognized brand of custom-bespoke clothing. With little hesitation from his soon-to-be-partner, the younger Roberti convinced his equally enthused, 55-year-old mentor, Julio Volantere, to join forces in the venture. ...


  1. ^ Custom Tailors and Designers Association (CTDA)
  2. ^ Hickey Freeman

External links[edit]

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