A steaming, froth-capped cup of cappuccino—it’s not the first thing you’d expect to be handed at a clothier. Consider it a gesture of Peter Cassara’s hospitality and a hallmark of the Italian heritage that defines his shop.
The inveterate tailor learned to make suits in Sicily in the ‘60s before packing up his skills and sewing kit to move to San Jose in 1971. Every two years, he travels back to Italy to hunt down the latest styles by Baroni, Enzo, and Petrocelli. He favors lightweight fabrics such as cashmere, silk, pima cotton, and the emperor’s new polyester, always with an eye out for upcoming trends such as slim-fitting suits.
When customers come into his shop, he sometimes guides them through the collection himself. “I do everything myself because when a person comes in, I look at how they’re built. I know exactly what they need. If there are too many employees, they don’t get it right,” he said. In his spare time, Mr. Cassara serves as a fashion consultant and prides himself on the ability to summarize in less than a minute the proper way to curate a wardrobe. It keeps him pin-sharp as he performs all the alterations, from simple hems to leatherwork. He sweeps floors, he dresses window, and sometime he even froths the cappuccino.