Italians Nino Corvato, Joe Centofanti and Checchino Fonticoli are master tailors who have spent a lifetime perfecting the skills necessary to construct flawless custom-made suits for their clients in New York City, Philadelphia and Penne, Italy, a fascinating process broken down step-by-step in Men of the Cloth. Now in the twilight of their career, they fear that their Old World knowledge will vanish with them. Enter Joe Genuardi, a tailoring apprentice who reflects the resurgence of popular interest in artisanal craftsmanship as an alternative to corporate mass production, providing hope for the future of this craft.
Men of the Cloth is structured like a triptych: each character’s story gives us an insight into the past, present, and future of their craft. We see the intimate connection with their tools and the tactile nature of their trade as they work in studied concentration: sewing, pressing, cutting, marking, and pinning. The whir of the sewing machine, the clank of the steam iron, and the sharp slicing of the tailor’s scissors create an aural symphony. These artisans cherish their interactions with their clients. And as they go about their daily tasks, they share observations that are, by turns, nostalgic, poignant and humorous.
Men of the Cloth unravels the mystery of the tailor’s artistry, and how he fashions a garment in such a way that it moves and breathes with the person who’s wearing it. Filmed over the course of eleven years in New York, Philadelphia, and Italy, Men of the Cloth is a meditation on the value of handmade clothing.