Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 21, 2012.

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An inspiring portrait of three Italian master tailors with a passionate devotion to their Old World trade

                         Press Coverage for MEN OF THE CLOTH

Main Line Times     The Trad      GQ Eye      Valet Magazine     MR Magazine

 i-Italy     Fine Young Gentleman    Gents Among Men     Parisian Gentleman

Beverly in Movieland    Fatto a Mano (Made by Hand)

Thanks a million to everyone who contributed to make this campaign a success -- my generous backers and wonderful sponsors who donated some truly special rewards! Please sign up for the mailing list to receive updates on MEN OF THE CLOTH.

We welcome additional donations through PayPal or Fractured Atlas to pay for the following distribution-related expenses: a distribution consultant, travel to film festivals, printing of posters, publicity, and errors and omissions insurance.

THE STORY OF THE FILM

I first conceived of MEN OF THE CLOTH when I was Senior Fashion Editor at DNR, a menswear magazine that is now part of the fashion bible Women's Wear Daily. I became fascinated by Italy's artisan tradition and the incredible pride and passion that's part of the cultural DNA of Italy's master tailors.

I truly admire these artisans who live a life of meaning and purpose – and create clothing that’s as beautiful inside as it is outside. They’re unsung heroes – with skills that have been honed over the course of a lifetime -- and my film honors their legacy for a younger generation.

MEN OF THE CLOTH unravels the mystery of their artistry as they confront the decline of the apprentice system and navigate their challenging roles in the twilight of their career. 

In this fast-paced world, the art of making handcrafted custom (or bespoke) clothing -- with a pattern created for each individual – has been declining for years.  There are few remaining Italian master tailors, and this turn of events inspired me to share the story of Nino, Joe and Checchino with the world. But while their personal stories are quite distinct, they also give us an insight into the current state of their craft as a whole. So as much as it’s a character-driven film, MEN OF THE CLOTH is also a meditation on the value of craftsmanship and handmade clothing.

 In the film’s visual through-line, we show a process that takes several weeks in real time: we follow the making of one bespoke suit from start to finish – from a bolt of cloth to a beautifully constructed garment.

HOW THE FILM WAS FUNDED

MEN OF THE CLOTH is a truly independent film made with dedication and passion. Since its inception, my film has received generous contributions from individuals around the world. I’m very grateful for this grassroots support because it comprises the majority of the film's funding. We’ve also gotten some early funding from the National Italian American Foundation and some funding at the editing stage from the William B. Dietrich Foundation.

I launched my first online crowdfunding campaign last year, and the money that I raised allowed me to hire an accomplished editor who tackled 100 hours of footage. With the help of dozens of contributors, we were able to finish editing, to create the titles and graphics and to compose and record the musical score. That process took a year to complete.

We’ve now “locked picture” on a 96-minute feature film. But in order to get the film ready for festivals, screening events, the DVD, and other avenues of distribution, we need to pay for some necessary post-production steps.

HOW YOUR DONATIONS WILL BE USED

What I need now are the finishing funds to polish the film and to prepare it for screening at festivals and for broader distribution. This includes:

•       Color Correction 

•       Sound Mixing

•       Mastering to HDCAM tape

If you enjoy soulful and inspiring stories that celebrate the creative spirit and humanity of individuals, please become a backer of this campaign -- and you’ll ensure that the film gets out into the world.

HELP THIS CAMPAIGN BY SHARING WITH THE WORLD!

In addition to pledging, another way that you can help is to spread awareness of this campaign by contacting your friends, family, and co-workers. In order to be successful, I want this to go viral!

Send an email to friends and family with a link to this Kickstarter campaign.

On Facebook: you can simply click the "Like" button directly below the video at the top of this page or paste the URL straight onto your page with a message.

On Twitter: you can tweet and post a link to the video by clicking the button under the video or simply sharing the direct URL for this page.

Post on your blog and embed this Kickstarter video.

Face-to-face: spread the word about this campaign with people you interact with in your everyday lives.

Become a sponsor: If you’re a craftsman, tailor or artisan of any stripe, please consider donating a custom-made or made-to-order item to this campaign. In exchange, we’ll promote your work through our mailing list and through social media.

Any way you can help -- big or small -- is deeply appreciated! 

The MEN OF THE CLOTH team

Produced and Directed by Vicki Vasilopoulos

Edited by Sandrine Isambert

Assistant editors: AJ Gesualdo, Jason Sacharoff

Filmed by David Gaynes, Andrew David Watson, Christian Jacks

Original Music by Chris Hajian

Motion Graphics by Michael Saul

WE'RE OFFERING UNIQUE REWARDS FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION

The sponsors of my campaign are all kindred spirits. They’re exclusive or small-scale businesses that make goods with a superior level of craftsmanship. They’re quality-driven, not “status-driven.”

Geneva Custom Shirts -- http://www.genevacustomshirts.com/ They cater to a discerning clientele. Here’s an article about them in Cigar Aficionado magazine: bit.ly/TF9Hgd

Centofanti Tailors  -- a bespoke shop that’s an institution on the Main Line (outside Philadelphia). Joe Centofanti is a main character in my film.

Nino Corvato – a Sicilian-born master tailor in Midtown Manhattan who’s in a class by himself; he’s a main character in my film. Nino is featured in this article (the info is based on my film): bit.ly/TJMjjS

Martin Greenfield Clothiers – The one and only Martin Greenfield in Brooklyn will be featured on the MEN OF THE CLOTH DVD. He’s both a Holocaust survivor and President Obama’s tailor. Here’s an article on him in the Wall Street Journal:  http://on.wsj.com/Tacnnq -- and one in the Washington Post: wapo.st/TFRfZv

Basil Racuk – a California-based designer whose leather bags are sold at such high-end stores as Leffot and Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Not only are all his bags handmade by Basil in his northern California studio, all the materials are sourced locally in CA as well. Here’s a great piece on Basil on the Handful of Salt blog: bit.ly/lueBvN

Basil Racuk's waxed calf soft briefcase in "British khaki" color with forest green waxed cotton lining
Basil Racuk's waxed calf soft briefcase in "British khaki" color with forest green waxed cotton lining

Margo Petitti -- known for her limited-edition hand-sewn scarves and pocket squares in classic menswear suiting patterns in wool, silk and cashmere from  luxury Italian mills such as Vitale Barberis, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Fratelli Piacenza. Produced in a small factory in Fall River, Massachusetts, her designs are sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Paul Stuart. (The items offered here are not available in stores.) Here's an article on Margo Petitti in Robb Report.

Margo Petitti super 120's reversible wool pocket square in a dark purple and white check with a light pink plaid on reverse side (10" by 10")
Margo Petitti super 120's reversible wool pocket square in a dark purple and white check with a light pink plaid on reverse side (10" by 10")
Margo Petitti super 120's reversible wool pocket square in a royal blue glen plaid with yellow, green, and brown houndstooth check on reverse side (10" by 10")
Margo Petitti super 120's reversible wool pocket square in a royal blue glen plaid with yellow, green, and brown houndstooth check on reverse side (10" by 10")
Margo Petitti super 150's brown and white check wool scarf edged in black doeskin finish cashmere (9.5" by  70"- style name "Buck")
Margo Petitti super 150's brown and white check wool scarf edged in black doeskin finish cashmere (9.5" by 70"- style name "Buck")

Kelly Christiansen – a talented knitwear designer based in New Jersey who sells on Etsy.com. Her unisex scarves are available in the variegated oatmeal, dusty grey, charcoal, fatigue green, and sand.

Kelly Christiansen's grey hand-kit cowl scarf (unisex)
Kelly Christiansen's grey hand-kit cowl scarf (unisex)

Denisse DiGiorgio -- an artisan at The Tailored Nest sewing studio in upstate New York who uses tailoring/couture techniques for home decor. Her linen pillow (pictured below) is entirely cut, sewn and assembled by hand.

Denisse DiGiorgio hand-crafted neutral linen pillow with shell buttons & sculpted flowers (12 X 16).
Denisse DiGiorgio hand-crafted neutral linen pillow with shell buttons & sculpted flowers (12 X 16).

Finevintagefedoras at Etsy.com - dealer Scott Dalsbo is offering a fine vintage Borsalino Milan straw hat.

Vintage Borsalino straw hat
Vintage Borsalino straw hat

J. M. Gentry’s – Erik Sellers is an Arkansas-based clothing designer who creates custom bow ties and vests (you will get your own pattern made). “I truly love tailoring – making it and wearing it,” he says. Here’s his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JMGentrys

HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS 

Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform where personal creative projects can be funded by individuals who share the same goals as the creators. These backers become part of the "tribe" or community around a project because they help make it happen!

Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully funded or no money changes hands. In other words, if I don’t raise my goal of $20,000, backers will not be charged and I will not receive any funding. So if you are considering backing this film, please don’t delay!

HOW TO MAKE A PLEDGE

Once you decide what level you would like to choose, just click the green “Back This Project” button in the upper right-hand corner. You will be asked to input your pledge amount and select a reward. You may also choose to not select any reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. (You may also increase your existing pledge by clicking the blue “Manage Your Donation” button.)

If you would like to make a donation in exchange for a tax-deduction instead of a reward, you may do so through Fractured Atlas, our non-profit fiscal sponsor, by visiting the Contribute page of our web site. (However, your contribution will not count towards the Kickstarter funding goal.)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CAN I CONTACT YOU WITH ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FILM OR DONATING TO THE CAMPAIGN?

Yes, of course! Feel free to email me at: info@menoftheclothfilm.com

WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG TO FINISH THE FILM?

Following real people takes a great deal of time because we deal with actual life events. About four years ago, after I had (ostensibly) finished filming, one of my characters acquired an apprentice, and that necessitated raising more production funds and filming more footage. Our last production shoot was actually in October 2011, after we had already started editing the film! But that day’s footage resulted in a very important scene in the film. The editorial process took about a year (a typical time frame for documentary features).  We held two audience feedback screenings along the way, the last one in July 2012, after which we trimmed and tweaked the film some more.

WHEN DOES THE FILM COME OUT?

People often ask me ‘when does the film come out?’ or ‘how do we know if the film will come out?’ These queries are understandably based on the idea of Hollywood films, which have a pre-set release schedule; that’s what most people are familiar with. But films that are independently produced and financed have to create their own timetables, and MEN OF THE CLOTH is no exception. In time-honored tradition, the film will have a film festival premiere next spring and will be released shortly thereafter. We’ll screen the film in any city or venue where there’s a receptive audience – and I’ll be honored to be there in person for as many of these screenings as possible!

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T REACH MY FUNDING GOAL? 

You aren’t charged for your pledge and I don't receive any of the funding. Of course, I hope that doesn't happen!

WHAT WILL THE FUNDS BE USED FOR? 

This Kickstarter campaign will enable me to finish post-production on the film.

CAN I EXCEED MY GOAL?

Yes, absolutely – that would be great!!

WHAT HAPPENS IF I SURPASS THE GOAL?

If I am fortunate enough to surpass my goal, it will help us with paying for travel expenses to screen at film festivals; creation of a foreign language version of the film and a one-hour version for television; Errors and Omissions Insurance for distribution; publicity and printing of posters; and a distribution consultant.

CAN YOU DONATE FROM OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?

Of course! Just click on the Amazon Payment Button and you will see that you can pay with a credit card from any country! But you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. If you have any problems please contact me.

CAN CONTRIBUTORS INCREASE THEIR PLEDGES ONCE THEY HAVE MADE THEM?

Yes—that would be wonderful! If you have already contributed, and are signed in to your account, then instead of a green “Back This Project” button on this page, there should be a blue “Manage Your Donation” button.  

HOW IS MY PLEDGE PROCESSED AND CHARGED?

Once the campaign is successful, your pledge will be processed by Amazon on December 21st. The process is safe and secure.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I’ve worked single-handedly for over 10 years to make my film and now it’s almost done, so I feel like that was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken both financially, personally and career-wise.

One of the basic challenges for every independent film is securing distribution. The main challenge for me is finding an executive producer, producer’s rep, or sales agent who can help me navigating the distribution options for my film...So I’m working on that.

I’ve received many inquiries from design schools who’d like to screen the film and from individuals who’d like to buy the DVD. So at the very least, we will self-distribute the film and I’ll work with a distribution consultant to devise an appropriate strategy that will connect MEN OF THE CLOTH with as wide an audience as possible.

We’ll create both a consumer DVD and an educational version that we can use for a college tour. We’ll also edit a shorter one-hour version of the film for potential broadcast in the U.S. and abroad.

**Please note: I cannot send out the DVD’s until the film has had its festival premiere (otherwise, it jeopardizes its chance of acceptance). But I’ll be sure to update my donors if it’s past our estimated delivery date. To save money on postage, we may wait to ship the posters along with the DVD’s when they’re ready.

FAQ

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    A MEN OF THE CLOTH signed postcard, a thank you on the Facebook page and email updates on the film

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    A MEN OF THE CLOTH pre-release DVD, plus a signed postcard, a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates

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    Super 120's reversible wool pocket square in a classic menswear suiting pattern from designer Margo Petitti ($15 extra for shipping), plus a signed postcard, a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates on the film

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    A MEN OF THE CLOTH signed film poster, a thank you on the film’s Facebook page, plus a MEN OF THE CLOTH postcard, Bookmark, & email updates

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    A MEN OF THE CLOTH pre-release DVD plus a signed film poster, a thank you on the film’s Facebook page, a MEN OF THE CLOTH postcard, Bookmark, & email updates on the film

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    The Director’s Cut DVD with extra features and deleted scenes, plus a signed film poster, a thank you on the film’s Facebook page, a MEN OF THE CLOTH postcard, Bookmark, & email updates on the film

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    A fine vintage Borsalino Milan straw hat from dealer Scott Dalsbo (finevintagefedoras at Etsy.com), plus a signed MEN OF THE CLOTH postcard, a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates on the film (Shipping is $15 extra)

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    A hand-knit wool cowl scarf in a cashmere/merino blend by designer Kelly Christiansen – not available in stores (allow 1 month for order; $5 extra for shipping to the U.S) plus a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates

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    A hand-knit wool cowl scarf in a cashmere/merino blend by designer Kelly Christiansen – not available in stores (allow 1 month for order; $5 extra for shipping to the U.S) plus a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates

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    One-of-a-kind custom hand-crafted linen pillow from artisan Denisse DiGiorgio ($8 extra for shipping)

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    An invitation to the MEN OF THE CLOTH premiere or two tickets to a screening near you, a MEN OF THE CLOTH DVD and signed film poster, a Thank You on the web site and Facebook page, a postcard, and email updates on the film

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    Bronze Level Sponsor Package: 6 MEN OF THE CLOTH pre-release DVD's, plus 6 signed postcards, a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates on the film

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    Brown and white check Super 150's wool scarf edged in black doeskin finish cashmere from designer Margo Petitti ($15 extra for shipping included), plus a signed postcard, a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates on the film

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    A custom-made vest with your choice of fabric (a pattern is created for you) from Erik Sellers of J.M. Gentry’s (available January 2013 - $7 extra for shipping), plus the MEN OF THE CLOTH poster or pre-release DVD, a thank you on the Facebook page & web site, and email updates

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    A custom-made shirt from Centofanti Tailors of Ardmore, Pennsylvania (allow 1 month for order starting in January 2013), plus the MEN OF THE CLOTH poster or pre-release DVD, a thank you on the Facebook page & web site, and email updates

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    A hand-crafted custom shirt from Geneva Custom Shirts in New York City (available January 2013), plus the MEN OF THE CLOTH DVD and signed poster, a thank you on the Facebook page & web site, and email updates on the film

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    Silver Level Sponsor Package: 6 MEN OF THE CLOTH Director's Cut DVD's (with many extra features & deleted scenes), plus 6 signed film posters, a Thank You in the SCREEN CREDITS of the film, 6 signed postcards, a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates on the film

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    A pair of custom-made trousers from Centofanti Tailors of Ardmore, Pennsylvania (allow one month for order starting in January 2013), plus the Director's Cut DVD and signed poster, a Thank You in the SCREEN CREDITS of the film and on the Facebook page & web site, and email updates on the film

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    A pair of custom-made trousers from master tailor Nino Corvato in New York City (allow 1 month for order), plus The Director’s Cut DVD with loads of extra features and deleted scenes, along with a signed film poster, a Thank You in the film’s SCREEN CREDITS as well as on the Facebook page & web site, a MEN OF THE CLOTH postcard, & email updates on the film

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    Gold Level Sponsor Package: 10 MEN OF THE CLOTH Director's Cut DVD's (with many extra features & deleted scenes), plus10 signed film posters, a Thank You in the SCREEN CREDITS of the film, 10 signed postcards, a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates on the film

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    A film screening & in-person presentation for your group or organization by the director of the film (travel expenses not included) plus the Director's Cut DVD with public performance rights, and a Thank You in the SCREEN CREDITS of the film

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    A two-line commemoration in the SCREEN CREDITS of the film of a family member who was a master tailor (“in honor of” or “in memory of” that individual)

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    A men’s custom sport jacket from Martin Greenfield Clothiers of Brooklyn, NY (you have to come to the factory to pick a fabric and get measured, and return at least once more for a fitting), plus a tour of the Martin Greenfield factory, and a Thank You in the SCREEN CREDITS of the film

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    An Associate Producer credit in the film as well as on the film’s IMDB page, plus The Director’s Cut DVD with extra features and deleted scenes, a signed film poster, a thank you on the film’s Facebook page, a MEN OF THE CLOTH postcard, Bookmark, & email updates on the film

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    A two-line commemoration in the screen credits of the film of a family member who was a master tailor along with an accompanying photo of them

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    A handmade soft leather briefcase in "British khaki" waxed calf from Northern California designer Basil Racuk – it can be customized to your taste (allow 2 months for order starting in January 2013). Plus a Thank You in the SCREEN CREDITS of the film

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    A video remembrance on DVD of a family member who was a master tailor (under 10 minutes) -- filmed and edited by the director (travel expenses not included)

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    Platinum Level Sponsor Package: 20 MEN OF THE CLOTH Director's Cut DVD's (with many extra features & deleted scenes), 20 signed film posters, a special Thank You in the SCREEN CREDITS of the film, a special Sponsor Listing on the film's Web Site, a private screening of the film for your organization with the Director in attendance, plus 20 signed postcards, a thank you on the Facebook page & email updates on the film. (Travel expenses not included)

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Funding period

- (35 days)