Anything that has to do with fine menswear has to do with Kelly See. That’s mostly how it is with him. From the suits to the hats to the gentleman’s trifles, there’s never anything out of place. Since becoming one of the founders of Signet—a specialty boutique that deals in luxury apparel, bespoke tailoring, and fine accessories—Kelly has helped shape the landscape of Philippine menswear in the few years that the company’s been around.
But what makes Kelly different from any other clothier is the amount of attention he pays to each brand the boutique carries—learning its history, knowing how to carry himself in them, and traveling to where they’re made to see the craftsmanship that goes in them (and just as often purely out of personal interest). It’s precisely this interest that leads him to seek out these people and bring them to the Philippines.
As one of the people behind Signet, your work has taken you to places that are renowned for a particular art. Which cities/towns have you visited for this purpose and which art did you discover in them?
Florence, Naples, and Milan—mainly for their tailors.
How did you begin traveling for Signet? What is it like to scour the world for the best sources of men’s style?
By visiting tailors and the bi-annual Pitti Uomo tradeshow in Florence. You get to meet artisans and craftsmen who are really passionate and skilled in what they do. You understand their way of thinking, way of life.
Tell us more about your travels to Naples. What makes the place special?
The light touches objects differently and brings colors to life. I visited various tailors such as Dalcuore and of course, Panico, who is a living legend.
Describe the Neapolitan lifestyle. What does it mean to be Neapolitan and what aspects of it made the biggest impressions on you?
Plenty of espresso and hours-long dinners. It’s about enjoying life in the company of family and friends.
What’s the tailoring scene like?
Naples has a lot of sartorias both big and small.
Which places in Naples would you recommend to see in particular?
Matuzzi, Positano, and Capri on a boat.
This article first appeared in Vault Magazine Issue No. 24 2018.