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Growing up in Tatura, a small country town in the Goulburn Valley in Victoria, it was the panel beaters, not the pattern makers, that beckoned Dom Bagnato. The first of five children born to hardworking Italian migrant tomato farming parents Bagnato recalls, “My dad wanted me to learn to be a panel beater; the Italian custom back then was that your son learnt a trade.”
But it was his beloved godfather’s menswear and tailoring store that captured Bagnato’s imagination. When he was nine, Bagnato began working for his godfather doing after-school-jobs in return for lessons - for knowledge - how to sew, how to stitch, how to master the art of button holes, setting Bagnato on the road he has travelled for the rest of his life.
When his secondary school, Shepparton South Tech, became co-ed another door opened as courses were expanded to offer tailoring and textiles and Bagnato swapped the soldering iron for the sewing machine. In the 1970’s a decision like this made school life difficult but Bagnato’s passion was lit, and his eyes were opened to the world of fashion and the designers that inspired him then and continue to inspire him now, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.
At 16 Bagnato moved to Melbourne to study patternmaking and design at Glenroy and RMIT, while converting his family garage into a mini factory where he started an alterations business doing freelance designs, pattern making and consulting. At 21, Bagnato became the head designer at a large suit manufacturing clothing company producing product for Myer, along with designing for Christian Dior which, at the time, was produced in Australia under license with several other labels.
In 1984, with the support of his wife Pia, Bagnato began the Dom Bagnato brand, selling into seven stores around the country. Just two years later a joint venture with Travelers Apparel propelled Dom Bagnato into 80 doors nationally, together with the launch of the Bagnato sports casual wear line, making it a complete ready-to-wear lifestyle collection.
It was the zenith of the 80s, the year of Dancing in the Dark, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go and Like a Virgin; of Ghostbusters, Footloose; and it was the year a company called Apple released the Macintosh.
In 1984 the world was changing internationally and at home, and it was the year that designer Dom Bagnato changed the course of fashion history in Australia. With the support of his wife, Pia, Bagnato began his eponymous label selling within seven stores around the country. Just two years later a joint venture with Travelers Apparel propelled the Dom Bagnato brand into 80 doors nationally, together with the launch of the Bagnato sports casual wear line, making it a complete ready-to-wear lifestyle collection.
Success beget success and in 1990 the first Dom Bagnato retail store opened in Bourke Street, a vital hub for the brand for years to come, specialising in detail-oriented custom service. In 1994 the Dom Bagnato brand began its longstanding relationship with the Myer department store. Expansion continued in 1996, now into the New Zealand market, with the licensing of the Dom Bagnato brand to Cambridge Clothing.
The new millennium heralded a new Bourke Street site and in 2001 the flagship store, showcasing men’s suiting and casual wear lines, opened its doors. In the winter of 2004, Bagnato opened his second store in the newly renovated Melbourne Central shopping precinct, with a unique concept housing several other high fashion brands. The Myer partnership continued to flourish with the roll out of concession concept stores, presenting the Dom Bagnato brand within 16 doors nationally. In 2010 the brand took shape as a true family business with Dom and Pia’s children - Nunzio and Melina – bringing fresh eyes, youthful thinking and their knowledge of design and marketing, respectively, to the business ensuring the continued success and legacy of the brand.
Dom enters his 20th year of being involved as a judge in the prestigious Myer fashions on the field at the AMII Derby Day during the Melbourne Cup carnival as men and women take to the stage in their fashion pieces which has evolved over time as the standard each year continues to amaze, which brings Dom great enjoyment and pleasure.
Mr Bagnato and his family recently celebrated, with gratitude, their 30th year anniversary of the Dom Bagnato brand, and are excited to continue to offer its customers contemporary classics, creative elegance, and Italian style.
Man according to Dom Bagnato is a handsome concoction of alluring charisma and stark sophistication wrapped up in Italian style tailoring. There is a spark of passion and a wind of vitality that emits from the label’s designer, an authentic sensibility that is sewn directly into his garments. Dom Bagnato the man, is passionate about life and his approach to fashion. Juxtaposing contemporary elegance with timeless craftsmanship. With over three decades of experience, Bagnato permeates the essence of classic menswear, working with the best quality fabrics, personally sourced from around the globe, influenced from Dom’s Italian styling heritage.
The Dom Bagnato collection is for the man who craves quality cut and fit, and trusts the eloquence of the Dom Bagnato total look.
'Ritenga la passione!'