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Mention to your man that he has to wear a blazer in August, and expect a grunt of despair. Now mention to him that you know of a blazer that's light enough to inhibit sweat and masculine enough to elicit the respect of everyone in the room, and you might just get him to perk up a bit.
Enter Casa de Novelas, a newly launched line of Italian-crafted blazers designed right here in Miami Beach. Everything about these blazers is authentically Italian, from the fabric to the buttons, and every detail is designed with Miami in mind.
"The idea is that it should hug your body, but at the same time it should be really, really light," says Daniel Novela, the lawyer-turned-designer behind this eponymous line.
So how do you make a blazer that retains its shape but is light enough to wear throughout the year? The secret is in the canvas, a jacket's skeleton in short. Novela's blazers are made with only a half canvas, which is what keeps them from being heavy, and woven with horsehair to reinforce their structure. Lining is kept to a minimum to expose the craftsmanship, which means that there's no room for error. It is a more expensive way to make a jacket, reflected primarily in the price tag, but it also ensures that you'll be able to wear your purchase for that much longer.
But it's not just the internal construction of the blazers that makes them special; the value is in the details. Take the Novela pocket for example, a small incision on the outer portion of your chest pocket that's small enough to fit the stem of your sunglasses or that of a flower, thus leaving your pocket square to take center stage, undisturbed. Or take notice of the half-moon stitching, the artistic prints on the lining, the extra pocket that's thin enough for a train ticket, and even the sole floral button on the blazer's lapel, a Casa de Novelas signature.
From the front buttons to a classic ticket pocket, he wanted to add special intricacies to the jacket because according to him, "It adds elements of complexity, which makes it more special." There's really no functional reasoning behind the first button opening being slightly bigger than the rest, or having an extra pocket to pay homage to the past, to a time when people would keep their train tickets in their front jacket pocket. He just wanted the extra work, the extra detail to make the jacket his own, to make it a true Casa De Novela jacket.
The inspiration for line was brought about by Daniel's love of traveling. He's a corporate real estate lawyer by day, but the rest of his time is spent satisfying his artistic side. Although he is of Cuban descent, Italy holds a special place in his heart and he spent plenty of time there traveling, studying, and preparing to launch his line. Each jacket also carries the name of his favorite beaches around the world, including Miami's own South of Fifth. It truly is a piece of clothing that speaks to the guy who enjoys dressing up, the guy who doesn't want to compromise, but wants to travel and see more of the world.
This is just the beginning for Daniel, but already he has high hopes for the future. He wishes to one day be able collaborate with different artists and have limited editions of his own line. You can find Casa De Novelas online with free shipping and returns, and locally at Basico in Wynwood and Sartorial in the Design District.