Atelier Lavoro Have Tailored The Work Uniform Of Tomorrow
— 11 June 2024

Atelier Lavoro Have Tailored The Work Uniform Of Tomorrow

— 11 June 2024
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

Just in time for 15°C days and 5°C nights, menswear obsessives in Australia will be getting acquainted with Atelier Lavoro: a new craft apparel operation, brought to us by the same minds behind The Finery Company and Lieutenant Furniture Designs.

Helmed by Joe Ha and Davy Zhu, respectively, those two businesses have been integral to Lavoro’s formation. The latter takes its name from the Italian word for “work”; and within that concept, shoppers can glean various facets of inspiration — ranging from old department store catalogues to fabric libraries and, unsurprisingly, vintage workwear silhouettes.

So far so good. But beyond its considered (if admittedly somewhat niche) perspective, there are several USPs that will endear Lavoro to closer inspection amongst menswear enthusiasts.

Pictured (left to right): The ‘Lot 101’ coverall ($960) and ‘Lot 301’ work trousers ($590) can be combined in order to create the most un-suit-like of two-piece suits.

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The most obvious one has to do with the brand’s distribution model. At time of launch, all of Lavoro’s 11 signature products are exclusively “made-to-order” (MTO): a detail that feels practically significant, in ways that go beyond sustainability.

The involvement of Ha — who is a bespoke tailoring expert and agent for the Japanese brand, Han Shoemaker — gives this new label a lot of early credibility: especially when you consider pieces like the ‘Rodeo Chief’ denim ($530).

No doubt under Ha’s guidance, the brand offers it in a rare 13.5oz fabric that has long been discontinued; along with numerous handsewn details that can only be achieved with period-correct sewing machines.

Zhu’s contribution is arguably even more intriguing. Before pivoting to a career in furniture (making objects like retro-futurist armchairs shown at Melbourne Design Week), the Lavoro co-founder worked in a range of fashion-focused roles.

A fixture of Melbourne’s hugely influential street style scene, Zhu has brought all of his inspirations — ranging from Americana to mid-century industrial design — to the look of Lavoro. That’s best demonstrated in pieces like the ‘Coverall’ jacket ($960) or work trouser ($590); separates Ha and Zhu actually recommend buying in an identical fabric, so as to achieve a timeless uniform aesthetic.

Pictured: Like most products in the Atelier Lavoro catalogue, the Lot 401 ‘Ace’ sports jacket incorporates a range of high quality details – such as a ‘cape’ backpiece and traditional raglan sleeves.

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Even with the MTO uplift — ergo, the flexibility to make multiple work suits in a range of seasonally on-point fabrics — the Lavoro suit (as I’m informally dubbing it) can be had for prices starting at $1,550.

These days, that’s the going rate for most ‘tailors’ one will purchase custom tailoring through. Not to mention: a whole lot less handiwork — in the seams, shape, and tension points — than what’s on offer here.

Pictured: Lavaro’s ‘Ace’ sports jacket ($990) is inspired by the classic benchwarmer and can be made to suit a range of seasonal climates.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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