A classic coat is one of the most elusive items in a woman’s wardrobe. Imitations abound: racks overrun with ornamented versions or poor craftsmanship. Looking to repopulate stores with what women are really searching for, Vancouver’s Harriet Guadagnuolo founded Tempo Italy: simple, clean, Italian-made coats.
“A lot of performance-driven outerwear has been trending for a few years now—brands like Moncler—but then we’ve been seeing the last few years that tailored wear has been coming back into the scene,” Guadagnuolo explains at the Tempo Italy launch at Blubird’s Oakridge store (the collection can also be found at Blubird’s downtown location). “We didn’t see a lot in that market that was handmade in Italy, that had that approach, so we created it.” Six styles, tight in design and concept, make up the brand’s offering: tailored silhouettes like a belted cape in Italian wool and a luxurious Italian cashmere blend robe highlight Tempo’s focus on form, fabric, and fit.
Working closely with tailors in Florence, the brand takes all the best things about Italian construction, fabric, and seaming, and packages them in a classic and contemporary coat that can be easily dressed up or down. “Many of the coats in the line are made in double-face construction, which is a traditional Italian construction,” Guadagnuolo says, stroking a handsome belted waist coat. “It’s unlined, and you take two pieces of fabric and you hand-sew them together so that they bond together like this. This is a really great way of making an easy, casual coat as opposed to a stuffy, structured coat that you see often.”
With a background in cosmetic product development, Guadagnuolo takes a fairly upfront and market-driven approach to the brand. “I really have a feel for product and reading product,” she says. “Creating product is always a similar process: you have to assess who your client is and assess what the appropriate marketing is for it, and so this is sort of a natural step for me.” It’s an upfront and simple business plan—no embellishments needed.
Read more Style stories here.