Echoing the issues raised in MEN OF THE CLOTH, Tom Downey writes in the Wall Street Journal magazine that:
… most master cutters and tailors in Naples began learning their trade at or before the age of 10—during an era of post-war Italian poverty when child labor was the norm—which means that the top tailors there are, at the youngest, in their sixties. Many more, though, are in their seventies or eighties and long retired. Most wonder openly whether a tailor who starts learning this craft at the age of 18 or 20 can ever attain the technique necessary to become a true master cutter.
And yet I was incredibly inspired by the dedication of Japanese men who’ve apprenticed and trained in Naples, Italy and then return to Japan to craft suits in the signature Neapolitan style.