Rome doesn’t have the menswear popularity of Milan, Florence or Naples. However there are some uncommon little gems nestled in numerous elements of town.
Probably the most fascinating is Atelier Bomba. Began by Cristina Bomba in 1980, it has a popularity for high quality knitwear and unstructured tailoring.
Neither the web site nor suggestions we got actually do the place justice, nonetheless – notably on the tailoring.
It’s a small, slim store, simply off the massive Piazza del Popolo. However the entire rear half is a working atelier, with drapey jackets, coats and trousers being made to measure.
The partitions are stacked with a shocking vary of material. A lot of it’s classic, and all of it’s uncommon however tasteful. The instance beneath is a classic hand-loomed hemp. It nearly had Milad and I ordering based mostly on the material alone.
Cristina was available, however the day-to-day operating of Bomba is finished by her son, Michele (pictured high).
Michele is definitely a skilled bespoke tailor, and makes his personal fits solely himself.
“I made a deliberate determination years in the past to not make that a part of the enterprise,” he stated. “The one method to have achieved it will be to outsource manufacturing, to grow to be a supervisor, and I didn’t wish to try this.”
Michele didn’t perceive how anyone might make a bespoke garment with out the cutter, and ideally the maker, seeing the client. That led to a protracted dialog about practices amongst tailors and shoemakers, which might be not value reproducing right here. However I assume may make an fascinating future put up.
Once we arrived at Bomba a buyer was having a pair of navy linen trousers made. He was sporting them with a black polo shirt and mushy slip-ons, and seemed very a lot the easygoing half.
The trousers seemed properly fitted. Inside, that they had an terrible lot of handwork – not all crucial maybe, however in all probability half and parcel of the expertise in case you like all the pieces being made on website.
The jacket I attempted on (beneath) had an equally spectacular quantity of handwork, and was properly styled. Although personally, I’d in all probability favor a little bit of construction in a basic DB like this. The lapel peaks have been somewhat unruly with out it.
“Generally we do put somewhat canvas within the jackets, only one layer of linen,” stated Michele, “and no shoulder pads. The items can actually be whichever mixture the client needs – that’s the apparent facet of getting all the pieces made right here.”
The type of a few of the jackets was additionally somewhat quirky – the jacket I attempted on had two buttons of various sizes. However once more, Michele emphasised that this was only one type, and many shoppers made extra delicate commissions.
There have been pretty craft particulars elsewhere too. The shirt/jacked pictured above had intentionally matched checks on the buttonholes, for instance, which I can’t keep in mind seeing earlier than.
We didn’t have time to attempt many items – I hadn’t realised fairly how fascinating the store can be, or how participating Michele and Cristina – however I think a shirt/jacket like this is likely to be extra my type. There are additionally lengthy coats, work jackets and robes.
The knitwear was equally pretty, and may need broader enchantment too.
Apparently one in every of Cristina’s early obsessions was a shetland knitwear that was gentle sufficient to be worn within the Roman local weather, so she labored with melange yarns to get an analogous combine of colors. You’ll be able to see the vary within the cupboard above. They’re all very gentle and really mushy.
The opposite knit they’re identified for is super-fine merinos. (As in super-fine knitting, not the fibre itself.)
Moderately like Umbria Verde, their manufacturing unit in Como makes use of outdated English looms that the founder took aside and remade, with a purpose to get a finer setting. They now work at 45-gauge, which is why the items are so clear (above). Once more, notably suited to Rome.
Bomba, though small, has historical past and connections. The household was good mates with Vittorio Solbiati, and at all times made use of their linens.
“When the corporate was being bought not too long ago, we received a name to come back and take what we wished from the inventory room,” says Michele. “That outdated material had been a part of the sale, however nobody wished it.
“So we drove up in a van and stuffed it to the highest with essentially the most stunning bolts. We nonetheless have loads of it at the back of the store – it can take us some time to get by it.”
They’ve additionally been pivotal in retaining the character of their avenue, Through dell’Oca. “After the pandemic, there have been loads of empty streets right here,” says Michele. “We satisfied some mates, reminiscent of Patrizia Fabri subsequent door, to take them. In any other case they may have simply grow to be vacationer locations and sandwich outlets.”
These are Fabri staw hats on the partitions – all made in somewhat atelier exterior the centre. One other little Roman gem.
I’ll positively be again to see Bomba, hopefully this 12 months. There was a lot to discover, and Cristina and Michele have been so pretty.
Cristina specifically seemed achingly stylish regardless of the 35-degree warmth, in an white linen tunic, jewelry and sandals. She jogged my memory reasonably of the equally trendy Audie Charles at Anderson & Sheppard.
Each are additionally filled with enjoyable. Michele was blissful to have his portrait taken, however Cristina stated she’d solely achieve this if there may very well be some knitwear within the shot too.
The primary picture beneath is what she gave us. Then she stated the knitwear would look higher on the canine, and proceeded to decorate him up.
Michele watched on, arms folded, with a smile.
Bomba is just not low cost, largely a results of making a lot by hand, on website. The jacket I used to be sporting value €2800, and a piece coat in linen was €1700. The cashmere knits are €570.
Through dell’Oca 39, Rome
Pictures, Milad Abedi