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SAITTA 1960

Love and bet
Fortunata and Carmelo Saitta in a village in the province of Catania, just married, and in the Syracusan apartment, with their children

Dovevano avere vent’anni. Credo fossero già sposati, a Catania, pur senza beneplacito della famiglia di lei: quella che in siracusano chiamiamo “fujtìna”. Si erano conosciuti a Cassibile, paese d’origine di lei. Carmelo era andato lì a trovare il fratello Nino, parroco del paese. In comune avevano, oltre che la passione, il mestiere: erano entrambi sarti. Il padre di Fortunata, però, non voleva concedere la figlia in sposa a uno sconosciuto di Catania, e Nino senza il consenso non poteva celebrare le nozze. Dopo mesi d’attesa, Carmelo esausto parla a Fortunata: “Fortunata, che dobbiamo fare? Io ho intenzioni serie…”. Poco dopo, i due scappano a Bronte, paese di Carmelo, per diventare marito e moglie. Torneranno il mese seguente a Cassibile dove apriranno una bottega di tessuti, cucirini, aghi, spilli, nastri e ogni altro occorrente per lavori di cucito. La loro abitazione è nel retrobottega, dove Fortunata cuce i grembiuli per le donne e i bambini del paese. Carmelo si occupa della vendita dei tessuti e presto inizia anche a confezionare abiti. Quando la famiglia si allarga con i due figli Biagio e Angela, Saitta è già un nome legato, oltre che alla merceria, alla moda.

saitta-1960-vintage-storia-1
From tailoring to quality Made in Italy
Fortunata and Carmelo in Venice and Russia, 1970s

A sinistra abbracciati e vestiti di tutto punto a Venezia, a destra divertiti e à la page negli anni ‘70, a Mosca, in uno dei pochi scatti buffi di mio nonno Carmelo. Dagli anni ‘60 il negozio si è trasformato in una vera boutique di abiti sartoriali, molto frequentata dai clienti della città e dei comuni limitrofi. Il campanello della porta tintinna a tutte le ore e per Carmelo i ritmi di confezionamento degli abiti diventano impegnativi. Così i due imprenditori hanno un’intuizione: visitare gli stabilimenti tessili in Nord Italia, dove si dice che ci siano ditte in grado di produrre centinaia di abiti in poche ore. Fortunata e Carmelo partono alla volta della Toscana e dell’Emilia, dove scoprono che la produzione tessile industriale è anche meglio che nei racconti: non solo la velocità di produzione è impressionante, ma la vestibilità è altissima, il taglio dei capi eccellente e la qualità dei tessuti ottima. In breve – complice la giovane età e la loro attitudine alla modernità – Fortunata e Carmelo trasformano il negozio in una boutique non sartoriale di Made in Italy di qualità. Inizia l’era dei viaggi, dalla Sicilia a tutta l’Italia: da Carpi a Brescia, da Firenze a Empoli, nelle più famose e innovative ditte italiane.

"Not even a cloud above us ..."
Shots of Fortunata and Carmelo, in the shop or in the garden, alone and with Giulia, the niece: me

The 80s explode full of bright colors, overhead perms and large, bulky teardrop glasses. Pupo's Sanremo song “Not even a cloud over us” plays on the radio and Fortunata and Carmelo's shop is proceeding under full sail. The two decide to review the spaces that the shop has occupied since 1960 - a house owned by Fortunata - and give it a more modern setting: the same one that is still preserved today. The brands handled by the store are the most authoritative of the moment: from Levi's to Carrera, from Missoni to Pierre Cardin and Laura Biagiotti. Begun with success and a sense of novelty, these years end with a new arrival in the family. The last of three grandchildren, Giulia arrived, who immediately lived my grandparents as second parents and the shop as a second home (as well as my personal "amusement park").

The large family of the boutique
The orders and the Carmelo Saitta shop in the 1980s

Enza, Lidia, Nella and Pina, just to name a few. In the shop there are many orders and many of these names will be destined to become an integral part of the history of the shop and of the Saitta family. When fully operational, there are five or six of them, but in the 1980s, the most successful, the sales staff reached twelve! The “Carmelo Saitta” shop, in the main street of Cassibile, is in front of the elementary school and the tobacconist's. For me, Giulia, who was little and always pampered by my grandfather Carmelo, it was almost a habit to "pretend" small headaches so that my grandfather would come and pick me up at school. He was crossing the street, holding my hand and letting me be in the shop with him. At the shop I was allowed to be anywhere, but always at a safe distance from the cashier. That was the grandfather who triggered it for me. And he did it very often, to give me a thousand lire to buy sweets. When I returned to the shop there was always some customer who greeted me joyfully: "Giulia! How did you grow up! But what are you doing here, no school today? ". "I have a headache ..." I lied.

The 2000s and the advent of fast fashion
Carmelo, Fortunata and me: the niece Giulia

With the 2000s, the birth of the first franchises and fast fashion, the store is no longer what it once was. Even keeping up with the times, a new consumption is taking hold in Syracuse and in Italy. At 19, I went to study in Milan and continued with a job in the hotel sector. Thirteen years of airplanes to and from Milan: after each landing in Sicily, however, the shop is always the first place I visit, where I know I will find my grandparents Fortunata and Carmelo. I have always felt sorry, over the years, to see all those shop leftovers from the 60s, 70s, 80s. I knew that sector: in Syracuse those goods had to be crammed into the warehouse, but Milan already in 2010 with those collections the shops were making a fortune. I tried a couple of times to have the goods sent to me, and for a year I participated in the East Market in Lambrate. When Grandma Fortunata passed away, I had no doubts: I would have returned the value to the store inventories of the garments that, over the years, my grandparents had selected together. This is how Saitta 1960 was born: a vintage clothing store with the label, where you can showcase the taste and foresight of Fortunata and Carmelo.

SAITTA 1960

OUR MISSION

testimonials-quote

La storia che ci precede non si riscrive.

Per questo, all’apertura di Saitta 1960 abbiamo scelto di non riassortire con un ulteriore approvvigionamento di capi. Diamo valore a quelli che, negli anni, i fondatori del negozio acquistavano a Carpi, Empoli, Firenze, Brescia, Modena, i centri della moda dell’epoca. Quando nell’armadio c’erano pochi, ottimi, vestiti d’occasione.

We have a goal: to dress you with the attention of the past.

The rare and unique pieces from our historic warehouse are hanging again in the shop window. Why? Because we believe in the value of those garments, in the slowness, in the importance of quality materials and in the attention of a production that was respectful of people and the environment. Today's customers deserve all the kindness of fashion once upon a time. In our case, without sacrifices: our vintage is all first hand.

From Saitta 1960 vintage is new.

None of the Saitta 1960 garments have ever been worn. Many still keep their original labels and, in cases where they were not left, we have affixed our quality mark, after having checked the state of conservation: good, excellent or excellent.

Saitta 1960 di Giulia Saitta
Via Nazionale 326, 96100 Cassibile (SR)

info@saitta1960vintage.com

P.IVA: 11271690965

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