About Mike Vonella:
Mike Vonella, my father, is a Master.
Writing about the life of an artisan is alone a challenging proposition. So, you can appreciate that writing about our father, the artisan, is an extraordinary undertaking.
“I was 11 when I cut my first pair of pants” is not so much a statement, rather, an enduring lesson that has been hand-stitched into the finest fabric of our family. It is also indicative of the passion which manifests through his ‘Hand tailored for… by Mike Vonella” signature that adorns the inside of every suit he creates. For those who have ever walked through the doors of his tailor shop in Windsor, Ontario, spent any time with him, and who have reserved the most appropriate spaces in their closets to hang his name- they understand the feeling- the anticipation and a poise in recognizing the moment you put it on, you are about to feel and look that much better.
It’s the way I’ve felt for 35 years.
And it’s what you will get in every single garment he makes.
His uncle taught him the craft the quintessential ‘old school’ way in southern Italy (Calabria). It was the way he had to learn on his path to greatness; lugging a broom around the shop floor, countless hours of grasping the connection between needle and thread, burnt hands filling the hot coal irons and-no matter what- a ‘listen to your boss’ approach to everything he did.
By 11, he had cut his first pair of pants. He learned about the subtleties of fabric, the geometry of the physical body, and by the age of 16, made his first finished suit. At 17, he left his mother & father, his family, and his friends behind en route to Switzerland in pursuit of mastering this art. It was factory work to start. Yet, under the tutelage of some of Europe’s elite tailors he rose from the ranks of apprentice, to supervisor, to head tailor.
At that time, he shared the thirst of many young immigrants as he followed his dream of a new life in a new world. He married my beautiful mother Silvana and headed for Canada in 1965 under the auspices of the Canadian government. Windsor is where- for the better part of the last 50 years- you can find him, my mother and a few long standing and dedicated craftsmen and women making exceptional clothing, by hand.
Today, he’s one of only a handful or so master tailors left…in all of North America.
His goal is two-fold: to continue to dress people of all shapes & styles with impeccable craftsmanship and a fervent need to create a look distinctive of the individual, united by a special experience many have had the privilege of enjoying. And now, to impart his knowledge to others- teaching anyone who is willing to put in the time to learn this lost art.
For me, the goal is straightforward – to help solidify his legacy by sharing his story, and also to help him along his journey of keeping an age-old art from dying. If you are serious and determined, no doubt you will appreciate learning from him.
Enjoy this snapshot of a Master Tailor.
Michael Vonella Jr.”
About Vonella Tailors
Vonella tailors are artisans with decades of experience in their chosen field. Each has grown through personal training at the side of their seniors. Vonella tailors are the critical element of success in apparel creation.