nationalfutur_italian_icons_caumont

Jean Baptiste Caumont

The lone Frenchman in the canon of the Italian Look, Jean Baptiste Caumont was one of the original group of designers (Walter Albini, Cadette, Krizia, Missoni, and Ken Scott) who broke with the Italian fashion industry in Florence and brought Milan into the limelight. His first foray into womenswear was quickly followed by men’s knits and then a complete menswear collection. As his reputation as a tastemaker grew, his business continued to expand, including luggage, handbags, shoes, jewelry, and other goods. But Caumont continued to adhere strictly to his notion of line, form, craftsmanship, and consistently delivered stylish, refined sportswear, knits, leather, and evening clothes aimed at the well-bred customer who wanted a look of elegance and ease devoid of affectation.
He was particularly drawn to the styles worn by the wealthy during the early 20th century: the glamor of luxury travel on the Orient Express, the prim uniforms of English schoolgirls, and the smoking jacket. Trench coats and blazers of textured tweeds, houndstooth, and glen plaids, layered daytime wear, and unabashedly luxurious eveningwear of soft silks and crêpe de chine all reflected his signature of refined understatement.
The Caumont look, a worldly and sophisticated one, was considered at once timeless and yet essentially Milanese, embodying the urbane chic for which the Italian center of fashion became known.